Sister Piedad Aparicio is an admirable Daughter of Charity. Every day during the past thirty years (except the fifteen days of her annual vacation) she visits the prison in Basauri (Spain) and offers the men (this is an all male prison) various workshops.
Sister Piedad does not forget to advise and teach the Gospel because, she says, “if I did not do this, it would not make sense. I do a lot of work with them and I also try to model for them”. I tell them: “I do not judge you, that is why you already have a judge.” I only tell them that they should ask for forgiveness from those whom they have offended. I also do not ask them what they have done. Some deserve punishment because they have made families suffer and I don’t even want to think about that …. I see that many are there in prison because of their lack of knowledge (they don’t know why they have done what they have done!). We talk about many things, they open up to me and listening is very important.
In her car Sister brings clothing and food to her group of inmates (clothing and food [truffles, rasins and some fruit] that is donated to her) … Until a few years ago she was responsible for making Twelfth Night Bread (Spanish King’s cake) for the entire prison. She made them with sponge cake, a very thin layer of cream and then a layer of peach jam and frosted fruits. Now, however, she buys them.
She tells us about her vocation as the Daughter of Charity: “I knew the Daughters of Charity. I had always thought about becoming a religious since the time of my childhood. I remember the Little Sisters of the Poor and the manner in which I was able to help them … but I met the Daughters of Charity and these filled me spiritually. I have six brothers, and three became religious: “I have a Mennaisian brother stationed in Buenos Aires, and another, who was also a Mennaisian, died in a car accident three kilometers from Santo Domingo.
Sister’s first appointment, once she left the novitiate, was Comillas where she taught young children. From there she was assigned to Otxarkoaga, where she spent six years in charge of a nursery that cared for minors up to six years of age His next appointment was Miranda de Ebro, where she administered a nursing home, and then to Barakaldo for the same purpose. During her stay in Santander, she had the opportunity to teach sewing to a group of women (on Saturday mornings) in the now-defunct provincial prison.
Once again appointed to Bilbao, “the chaplain of that prison told the chaplain of the Basauri prison about me and he contacted me. He convinced me and I started going to the prison on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings. When I retired, I decided to go there every day (from three to seven in the afternoon). This is a ministry that is very proper for a Daughter of Charity. Saint Vincent is the universal patron of social works and the poor were his burden and sorrow. The poorer the person, the more Vincent did for them. I always say that the poor are not only those persons who do not have money … there are many other forms of poverty (lack of education, lack of love and affection from one’s parents … and the greatest poverty is the lack of freedom)”.
I tell the prisoners that they have to behave well, and I let them know that they have done things wrong, otherwise they would not be here. At the same I encourage them: when you fall to the ground, you can either stay on the ground or get up? … yes, I encourage them to get up and begin anew.
With information from elcorreo.com