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Students of KUL at the detention centre received a letter from Pope Francis

The letter from the Vatican was sent to the Rector of the Catholic University of Lublin, Rev. Prof. Mirosław Kalinowski, on the occasion of the inauguration of the academic year at the Center for Studies of the KUL at the detention center in Lublin in October this year. During a meeting in the prison, the Rector of the Catholic University of Lublin read it out and handed it to more than 30 of his students who are serving prison sentences. The students promised to respond to the Pope's letter.

For the inmates, it was an extremely moving moment. - During the two decades I spent in prison, I always wanted to feel needed, for someone to notice me. Today, a letter from the Pope himself is very moving, even shocking. Francis is writing to us, to marginalised prisoners," says Dariusz, a student at the KUL Study Centre at the detention center in Lublin.

In the letter, the Pope wrote: We all make mistakes in life (...). Let us not forget that God forgives everything and always (...). When we feel lonely and abandoned, let us not forget that Our Blessed Mother is close to us, especially in times of need. The Holy Father also addressed a blessing to the prisoners and asked them to pray.

There will be continuity in the correspondence. In the near future, the inmates will write a joint letter to be sent to the Vatican.

This is the first time in the history of my work with prisoners that I have personally handed over a letter from the Holy Father," said the Rector of the Catholic University of Lublin, Rev. prof. Miroslaw Kalinowski. The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin has been running full-time studies of the first and second degree for inmates in the field of family sciences for over 10 years. On 24 October this year, more than 50 students began the new academic year at the KUL Study Centre in the Lublin Remand Prison.

At the end of the last academic year, the Academy of Modern Media and Communication of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin produced a film that shows the idea of educating inmates, the transformation that takes place in prisoners and how life in prison takes on a different dimension when someone offers hope and comes with evangelisation.

The film, translated into English, Italian and German, was sent to the Vatican News. Information about the detention center, along with the film, reached hundreds of thousands of people worldwide through the Vatican media. The report was also seen by the detainees themselves.