This past fall, St. Francis of Assisi assumed the role of facilitating a holiday gift project for men and women on death row in North Carolina.  People on North Carolina’s death row are not allowed to receive homemade goodies that many of us enjoy at the holidays.  Instead, they may receive prepackaged food items through the NC Department of Corrections’ approved holiday program – if they have someone to purchase the gifts for them.  Most people on death row lack funds to purchase these packages, and many do not have family members or friends providing these gifts.  United Church of Chapel Hill began this holiday gift project years ago, and the Raleigh Catholic Worker House called the Nazareth House continued until this past year.  Our parish took this over this year, and through donations by various community benefactors and a contribution from the parish tithe to peace and justice, we were able to fund over 80 requests of prisoners.  We will continue to look for ways to grow our prison outreach ministry in the coming year.  If you are interested in reaching out to prisoners, men and women on death row, and/or victims of violent crime, please contact Frank Lesko in the Office of Justice and Peace, frank.lesko@stfrancisraleigh.org or ext 267.