This week, Kerry is working towards the Corporal Work of Mercy of visiting the imprisoned. She is in California where she begins by touring Alcatraz Island. It seems very surreal to Kerry that Alcatraz once housed some of America’s most notorious prisoners and now is a tourist destination with a gift shop where people buy T-shirts. After Alcatraz, she returns to the mainland and prepares for her visit to San Quentin.
It does sound a little…off…that Alcatraz is now such a tourist attraction. I doubt anyone wanted to visit when it was a functioning prison, but now it’s a much busier place. No doubt it’s easier to go when there’s no worry about coming face to face with Al Capone. Still, it makes me wonder why so many have a fear of visiting those in prison. I’m not going to deny that this fear applies to me as well.
For your reflection:
Why do you think more people visit Alcatraz now than they did when it was in operation?
What other ministries can you think of that people shy away from out of fear?