Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, visited the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, Nov. 25, greeted Sheriff Carl E. DuBois and his staff with blessings.
Dolan then entered the correctional facility, accompanied by other clergy, including the Rev. Anthony Giacona and the Rev. Anthony Amposah, both of St. John’s Church in Goshen, and performed Catholic Mass for more than 50 inmates.
The mass reflected upon Saint Dismas and the importance of the Gospel to those currently incarcerated.
According to Franciscanmedia.org, Dismas, also known as the Good Thief, was crucified along with Jesus and another man also condemned of stealing. "The only historical mention of Saint Dismas is from the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion. Because of his request of Jesus that he at least be remembered by Jesus when Jesus came into his kingdom, Saint Dismas was forgiven and promised entry into paradise.
"When St. Dismas turned to the Lord and acknowledged his sinfulness, Jesus forgave him and promised that he would be in paradise that very day," Franciscan web site continued. "That’s the kind of Lord we have – one who is more than willing to accept our acknowledgement of sin and our repentance."
As a result, Dismas is considered the patron saint of prisoners.
At the end of mass, Dolan met with each inmate, enjoying a brief conversation then offering individual blessings in their preferred language.
Sheriff DuBois stated: “It’s an honor and privilege to welcome Cardinal Dolan to our facility to give blessings to my staff and those who will be spending Thanksgiving in our facility.