The doors of the Catholic Chapel were swung open to approximately 250 invited guests on Sunday, April 3. They came to dine, fellowship and listen to the smooth sounds of jazz pianist Matthew Lee Jaspar, a quartet of Spanish musicians and songs by Michael Adams.
As Father George Williams welcomed the congregation, he told them, “The doors to the church are always open and not just to come to eat food. We are here to serve all, at all times.
“Easter is the most important celebration of the Catholic Church; it’s the Resurrection of Jesus Christ,” he added.
Michael Adams opened the Easter Day assemblage with these words: “We are all sharing the love of Jesus Christ here today. The church welcomes all men of all races and all interfaith dominations to share Jesus’ love and to rejoice in God’s love.”
After Father Williams blessed the provisions, 12 line servers filled the plates of the invited guests.
The Easter Banquet had special meaning for many. Robert Tyler explained his feelings: “It’s the coming together of people in the church and non-members that brings the gift of sharing love as a blessing.”
Roger Chavez commented, “The celebration of Easter and to honor Jesus Christ who died for us is what gives reverence to the spirit of the church. I want to give a special thanks to Father George for his tireless dedication to the men here at San Quentin.”
Stephen Pascascio said, “It’s a blessing to see everyone enjoying a pleasant meal and the warmth it brings to share God’s blessings and to thank Father George for his dedication and tireless work.”
Jessie Skinner said, “It’s a glorious day at San Quentin.”
“God is benevolent and merciful,” said Bernard “Abdur–Raheem” Ballard, a Muslim who was invited to attend. “It’s interfaith events like this that show how gracious and merciful God’s blessings are, as we come to share these precious moments with other men of faith.”
|“It’s the coming together of people in the church and non-members that brings the gift of sharing love…”|
B. Chandler, a man of Jewish faith, said, “I’m here seeking the experiences of other religious worships.”
“I’m very grateful and blessed to be here with the men of San Quentin,” C. Jackson said.
S. Woige said, “It’s a blessed day. God is good all day. Today serves as a reminder that there are times when we must come to appreciate the sacrifices that are taking place all around us every day.”
“Mother Earlene,” a regular visitor to the various religious affairs at San Quentin, was ecstatic. “I’m so happy to be fellowshipping with the guys during Easter Week. Everybody should come and join us in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Marischal Brijido closed with these remarks: “I feel blessed to see all the brothers come together from all around the prison to be in one place for a worthwhile purpose. They are my rock.”