January 09, 2008

African saint turns Oregon death-row inmate's life upside down

[From Catholic News Service, January 7, 2008]

Portland, Oregon.
From a windowless cell at the Oregon State Penitentiary, a Catholic death-row inmate evangelizes across the world. A former white supremacist, Jeff Tiner is now inspired by a humble Sudanese saint. He resists publicity for himself, saying he wants only to spread far and wide the story of St. Josephine Bakhita. He uses most of this time and resources to support the Canossian Sisters, the religious community St. Bakhita joined more than a century ago. At one time, Tiner had other priorities. In 1993 in Springfield, Ore., according to court records, he shot a man and disposed of his body in a remote area of the Cascade Range. He had been in trouble with the law before and bore tattoos of a swastika and the words "White Pride." But, after reading about St. Bakhita's life, the condemned man felt hope. "I came to understand that I, too, could come back to life, spiritually," he wrote in a 2006 article for the Canossian Sisters' magazine. "I could be rescued from slavery to sin and find redemption and joy in the arms of Jesus and Mary." More information is available on the Web site www.sainteds.com, by clicking on "The Bakhita Project" in "featured pages."


Blogger Esther said...

Gosh! What a story. Only through God would this be possible. Thanks for sharing Father S.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Athanasius contra mundum said...

Its just like it says in Luke 1:37, "For nothing is impossible with God." With that said, I cannot help but be struck with the irony.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Marie said...

Thanks, Father, for this inspiring story.

BTW, St. Josephine Bakhita also got a big boost in Pope Benedict's latest encyclical on Hope.

Well done!

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some time ago St Josephine Bakhita's story was shown on EWTN. It will probably be repeated.


3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't forget the part about him cutting the guy's fingers off. Ask him if her ever asked the victim's Mother (a real Catholic, by the way)for forgiveness...That poor woman couldn't bury her son for over 7 years because his remains were in the custody of the state as evidence. Don't be so quick to embrace the monster. That guy has caused more griefe and pain in this world than you can imagine. I guess as long as he spouts the words he's ok though?

7:03 PM  

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