The Word Among Us

October 2005 Issue

The Return

My Real "Homecoming" from Prison.

By: Samuel E. Cruz

The time had finally arrived. After more than fifteen years in prison, I was being released from the Ramsey Unit, Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Many thoughts and emotions went through me as my family arrived and we began the journey home. "Home"—it was a word I hadn't used in a long time. And yet, during all those years of being away from my physical home, I had not been totally homeless. The church had become my spiritual home. While in prison, I had attended Communion services, and Mass once a month. It was my sanctuary in a place that often offered no compassion.

Of course, the setting didn't always look like a sanctuary. Only one of the three units where I was incarcerated had a chapel with pews...


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