December 11, 2018
Latest News

Women behind bars in Panama make rosaries for papal visit

Panama City, Dec 6 (epa-efe).- They have been behind bars for a number of years, dealing with remorse, overcrowding and loneliness, but there is one activity that has brought some excitement to this group of female inmates in a Panama penitentiary: crafting rosaries for next month's visit by Pope Francis for World Youth Day (WYD).

At a table full of colorful beads, wooden crosses and cords of string and leather, Yaribel Virrareal told EFE that daily life in the women's prison on the outskirts of the capital is "too hostile" and that this workshop has helped her "keep my mind busy."

Virrareal has spent seven years locked up awaiting trial on fraud charges.

"I'm an apostolic Catholic and I never imagined that while being deprived of freedom I could be part of WYD," she said.

"I believe that the pope will be moved when he learns about what we're doing and when they tell him that ever since we started making rosaries, we've been more united than ever," said Rubiela Patiño, Virrareal's friend.

Panama will host WYD from Jan. 22-27, one of the most important events of the Catholic Church, which every three years brings together thousands of young people from all over the world to meet with the pope.

The pontiff's visit has generated immense interest not only in this country but throughout Central America, since the last pope to travel to the region was John Paul II in 1983.

The intention of the group of 60 prisoners is to manufacture 10,000 rosaries to be distributed to churches in Panama City and made available to the nearly 300,000 pilgrims who are expected to participate in WYD.

Prison warden Vielka Gonzalez told EFE that most of the prisoners are students who are part of a University of Panama reinsertion program, which allows them to eliminate one day of their sentences for every two days of study.

"It is proven that inmates who study in prison are much more likely to reintegrate and not re-offend," she said.

The workshop is held in a new barracks - painted in spotless white - with a fan and air conditioning, which contrasts with the other parts of the prison, which are dirty and dilapidated.

The inmates usually meet on Saturday mornings, but there are some who also come by on weekdays to spend time making rosaries.

"Many of them were not even believers when we started, but they have placed their hopes and dreams in the rosaries," said Luisa Angela Tabaes, the prisoners' tutor.

Pope Francis' agenda in Panama includes celebrating several large Masses, along with meetings with the Panamanian government and Central American prelates, as well as visits to a youth prison and a social shelter run by the church.

The pontiff is not scheduled to visit the women's prison, but the inmates are certain that someone will deliver one of their rosaries to him.

News history
Mexico City begins to receive the millions of Guadalupan devotees

Mexico City, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City on Monday began to receive the millions of believers who, every Dec....

Mexican students create prototype for transforming water into fuel

Mexico City, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- Mexican students at the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) have created a prototype of a hydrogen-generating device that...

Antisemitic harassment, rhetoric rising according to EU Report

Vienna, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- European Jews are increasingly worried about the risk of harassment and hate crimes according to a report published by the...

DR Congo Ebola deaths rise to over 280, nation deals with worst-ever outbreak

Kinshasa, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- The death toll from an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo stood at 283 by Monday, in what was the worst such...

Over 150 UN member states back global migration pact in Morocco

Marrakesh (Morocco), Dec 10 (efe-epa).- Over 150 countries on Monday adopted a global pact to better handle migrant flows as part of a supranational...

Italian police evict squatters from abandoned Rome factory

Rome, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- Italian police evicted dozens of people living at an abandoned penicillin factory in the capital Rome on Monday in an operation...

New Religion Regulations released by The State Council China's cabinet

Beijing, Dec 10 (efe-epa).- At least 80 people were detained in a police operation against members of a prominent Protestant church in the city of Chengdu...

Activists highlight pollution in India's Kolkata, considered worst in world

Kolkata (India), Dec 9 (efe-epa).- Activists in the northeastern Indian city of Kolkata on Sunday held an event as part of a campaign seeking to raise...

Veteran Russian human rights activist dies

Moscow, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- The most senior human rights activist in Russian and former Soviet dissident Lyudmila Alexeyeva died this Saturday in Moscow, the...

Nobel laureate Nordhaus says climate agreements should be mandatory

Stockholm, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- American economist and 2018 Nobel laureate William Nordhaus told EFE in an interview on Saturday that participation in climate...

Trump again blames Paris climate accord for France yellow vest protests

Washington, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States reiterated Saturday that the supposed unpopularity of the Paris climate agreement was to...

Thousands rally in Malaysia against anti-racial discrimination convention

Kuala Lumpur, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- Thousands of people flocked to the capital of Malaysia on Saturday to participate in a massive rally against the...

Thousands of students across Australia protest against climate change

Brisbane/Melbourne/Sydney, Australia, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- Thousands of student demonstrators took to the streets of Australia’s main cities on Saturday in the...

Mergui's hidden paradise could revive Myanmar's fledgling tourism

Nga Khin Nyo Gyee, Myanmar, Dec 7 (efe-epa).- Hundreds of white, coral sand beaches with crystal clear waters, and lush vegetation, spread over some 800...

Colombia VP corrects her mistaken tweet re former President Betancur's death

Bogota, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- Colombian Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez on Thursday stated definitively that former President Belisario Betancur is still...

Pelosi rejects financing Trump's wall in exchange for Dreamers solution

Washington, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who will become House Speaker in January, on Thursday ruled out approving financing for...

Women behind bars in Panama make rosaries for papal visit

Panama City, Dec 6 (epa-efe).- They have been behind bars for a number of years, dealing with remorse, overcrowding and loneliness, but there is one...

Students protest against reform plans

Montpellier (France), Dec 6 (efe-epa).- High school students in the southern French city of Montpellier on Thursday protested for the second day in a row...

More than 100 detained in China over medical fraud

Beijing, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- Chinese police have detained 132 people on suspicion of involvement in a fraud syndicate that scammed nearly 1 billion yuan...

Former Australian archbishop acquitted of covering up child abuse

Sydney, Australia, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- An Australian court on Thursday overturned former archbishop of Australia Philip Wilson's conviction for covering up...

Duterte says useless, critical Catholic bishops should be killed

Manila, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- The president of the Philippines has launched yet another verbal attack against Catholic bishops, calling them useless and saying...

Australia's northern bettong marsupial faces threat of extinction

Sydney, Australia, Dec 6 (efe-epa).- The Australian northern bettong could soon disappear unless drastic measures are taken, the World Wide Fund for Nature...

Colombia's Icema project helps minorities deal with violence

Quibdo, Colombia, Dec 5 (epa-efe).- In one of the regions most affected by poverty and the Colombian conflict, an educational project - Icema - has been...

Paris uni students protest rising enrollment costs of international students

Paris, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- Students at Tolbiac University in the French capital held a protest Wednesday over rising enrollment fees for international...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.