Angela House is a residential support program for women making the transition from prison back to society. At any one time, eight to ten women live at the home for several months, until they can provide for themselves. After leaving the residence, about two-thirds of the women live productive lives and do not return to prison. By comparison, only about 10% of women released from prison without the benefit of Angela House do so.
On Sunday nights, a deacon from the Diocese of Galveston-Houston and Kimball Kehoe meet with the residents for an hour. They begin with a brief Centering Prayer period. Then they mainly listen as each resident describes her week – the pleasant and the painful. The basic idea of praying together and listening is that God loves us just the way we are and we can mirror God’s love by human presence (no teaching, advising, etc.) and accepting each other just the way we are.
This meeting has been in place since 2003. Participating deacons include Greg Hall, Larry Hernandez, Sam Mancuso, and Tom Gandara. All of us continue to be uplifted by the strength of the women’s faith in God-with-them as they deal with challenges including drug and alcohol abuse.