I Was In Prison
Online Prison Ministry Newsletter
September 5, 2006
Dale S. Recinella, Catholic Lay Chaplain, Florida Death Row and Solitary Confinement
Susan M. Recinella, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed

Upcoming Events

"A Groundbreaking Conference on
Christian Responses to the Death Penalty"

Saturday September 30, 2006 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Knott Auditorium,
Mount St. Mary’s University,
Emmitsburg, MD
"Our Christian Call to Respond to the Death Penalty”
Morning keynote by Dale S. Recinella.

“Organizing Scripture-Based Death Penalty Discussions and Death Row Ministries” afternoon workshop with Dale S. Recinella, Dr. Susan Recinella and others.

The book “The Biblical Truth about America’s Death Penalty” will be available for purchase and signing.

For information, contact:

Dr. Trudy Conway, Dept. of Philosophy
Mount St. Mary’s University
16300 Old Emmitsburg Road
Emmitsburg, MD 21727

Ph: (301) 447-5368.
Fax: (301) 447-5806


Conference Schedule - Word Document

Announcement Flyer - pdf

Do You Believe It
By: Dale Recinella

I will never forget the moment.

Most Catholics my age have experienced sponsoring someone for Confirmation or being a Baptismal godparent. In the early sixties, Confirmations were done at a younger age than today. I was confirmed in 5th grade and served as a sponsor in 8th grade. The young man involved had helped with my paper route for three years. There’s more there than meets the eye. Harsh Michigan winters. Hot humid summers, wayward dogs and neighborhood toughs. You really get to know someone when you work together in such circumstances. I could vouch for his character and his loyalty. Even for his faith that God would protect us from rabies, frostbite and heat stroke..

The first taste of god-parenting came at that time as well. My youngest brother was born just a week before my 14th birthday. I was hono#CC0066 to become his godparent but the relationship has grown even deeper. We share our faith more readily as adults than we did as youngsters in the Motor City.

The roles are important. Someone in the community of faith must step forward and speak for the larger Family of God, speak the words of commitment that the baby Christian, whether child or adult, will be mento#CC0066 in the faith. Someone in the community must vouch for the faith of the one to be confirmed. Mentoring. Vouching. Those are the roles of the godparent and sponsor.

Where faith is alive, there will be Baptisms and Confirmations. Hence there will be a need for godparents and sponsors. The faith is alive on Florida’s death row. There’s more there than meets the eye. It’s not an easy place to choose Catholicism.

Catholics are a minority religion in North Florida and its prisons. Anti-Catholic tracts by Jack Chick and others promise absolute certainty of hellfire to anyone who is baptized into the Catholic faith. On occasion, well-meaning but misguided Christians have argued passionately to men on death row that becoming Catholic will seal their eternal fate in hell at the moment of their execution. It takes courage to become a Catholic in any North Florida prison. It takes a great deal of courage to do so on Florida’s death row.

Six men on death row are currently enrolled in RCIA. Four more are studying Catholic materials to make a decision. Today there will be a Baptism and Confirmation. Who will step up and promise to mentor this Catechumen spiritually? Who will vouch for his faith and his courage? I have spent months tutoring him through the sweltering heat of August and the frigid days of December. I have sha#CC0066 his prayers in the most difficult of circumstances. It is my honor to voice the words of mentor and sponsor on his behalf.

He kneels in his prison whites on the floor inside his cell. We stand in the corridor at the cell door. Fr. Jose, the priest for Florida’s death row, stretches his hand through the bars, anointing as he speaks the words of the Rite. My new godson responds solemnly and fervently to the questions. The oils are administe#CC0066. The blessed water pours from a styrofoam cup, over his head and onto the concrete floor. The candle and the white cloth are touched and explained.

“At this moment,” Father finishes, “your immortal soul is as white as snow. You believe that, don’t you?”

Our newest Church member rises slowly while the words settle in. Finally, wiping streams of water from his face with a worn prison towel, he responds.

“I know you believe it, Father. I know Brother Dale believes it. So, I am able to believe it.”


© 2006 Dale S. Recinella Used with permission. All rights reserved.
No further reproduction or republication without prior written permission.

Upcoming Events
“The Death Penalty Up Close”

Two Presentations by Dale S. Recinella,
both including “The Week of an Execution”

Saturday October 7, 2006 2 – 4 p.m.

The book “The Biblical Truth about America’s Death Penalty” will be available for purchase and signing at both events.

Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church
2490 N. Cramer St.(corner of Bradford and Cramer St.)
Milwaukee, WI
Sunday October 8, 2006 2 - 4 p.m. St. Mary’s Visitation Catholic Church
1260 Church St.
Elm Grove, WI

For information, contact:
Ms. Kathy Smith
St. Mary’s Visitation Parish
Ph: (262) 782-9470

Email: ksmith@stmaryeg.org

Presentation Flyer - pdf

Be an informed Voter in Wisconsin’s November referendum on the Death Penalty.
I Was In Prison
News & Updates
This ezine is targeted for people involved in prison ministry or in stopping the death penalty, we think you will find helpful information for people who are undecided about capital punishment, for those who have never experienced the inside of a jail or prison, and for those who feel called to participate through prayer and adoration.

Your name and information will never be used or sha#CC0066 with anyone. We promise!

Dale S. Recinella, Catholic Lay Chaplain, Florida Death Row and Solitary Confinement
Susan M. Recinella, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed

If you Like this Weekly Ezine - You will love Dale's Book!
Sr. Patricia Proctor
Paperback: 433 pages

Excellent book on the topic!,
June 13, 2005 Nathan Eanes
(Review from Amazon.com)

The Biblical Truth about America's Death Penalty is a must-read. It deals with Biblical standards of Capital Punishment and then compares them to the system used in America today. It is the best-researched, most faithful to scripture, and most evenhanded analysis I have ever read concerning the Death Penalty. Whatever your persuasion on the issue, this book will teach you a great deal. Recinella is a trained lawyer and committed Christian who now volunteers part-time on Florida's death row. He thus understands law, the Bible, and the system of execution in America. I challenge anyone who supports the Death Penalty to read this book.

Read more reviews

This ezine edited by Sister Patricia Proctor, OSC - Poor Clare Sister
to support the IWasInPrison Outreach