August 6, 2021
|As seminarian Ed Hopkins holds the prayer book, Bishop Michael Olson blesses the holy oils at St. Patrick Cathedral, during the Chrism Mass Tuesday, March 30, 2021. The sacramental oils are used throughout the diocese, including when Bishop Olson baptized and confirmed female inmates at FMC-Carswell. (NTC/Rodger Mallison)|
FORT WORTH — On Sunday, August 1, Bishop Michael Olson and seminarian Ed Hopkins celebrated Mass in two units of Federal Medical Center - Carswell Prison in Fort Worth. During the two Masses, a total of five women were baptized and four women were confirmed. Approximately 60 inmates attended.
Hopkins called it a “day of excitement, of hope, of redemption” for the women who entered the Church, and they responded like anyone else coming into the Church, with tears of joy. Receiving the sacraments of initiation is “a beautiful thing to see, whether it’s at St. Patrick Cathedral, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton [Parish in Keller], or at the women’s prison,” he said.
Although Bishop Olson has visited the prison previously, this was Hopkins first experience. The seminarian observed, “Prison doesn’t change the effectiveness of the sacraments. The Holy Spirit is just as powerful inside.”
Hopkins remarked that the bishop could have delegated Confirmation to the chaplain that regularly serves the prison, but instead he spent most of the day at the prison. After each Mass, he blessed rosaries they brought for the inmates.
Hopkins, who just began his pastoral year at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, concluded, “For me, it was affirming to see that the Church is working in a lot of different ways in the Diocese of Fort Worth. God is working in places we don’t always think of.”
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Bishop Olson's homily from FMC-Carswell may be found here.
FORT WORTH — On Sunday, August 1, Bishop Michael Olson and seminarian Ed Hopkins celebrated Mass in two units of Federal Medical Center - Carswell Prison in Fort Worth.