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ISSUE NO. 1

JULY 2024

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JULY 2024

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ISSUE NO. 1

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Letters

Mintie Ministry

By David

David writes from South Coast Correctional Centre (Nowra), NSW.

Willy Pleasance

Have you ever heard the phrase: ‘It’s moments like these you need Minties?’ 

Well, in 1980, I witnessed one of these ‘moments’. 

A Chinese parishioner in my parish of Pyrmont was killed by a car on her way to church. For many years, she had complemented Buddhist philosophy with her Catholic faith tradition. 

A week or so later, a Buddhist monk and I shared the celebration of her life at the funeral parlour called Kinsellas, then located at the top of Oxford Street, Sydney. Many of the mourners were Buddhists. Later, at Rookwood Cemetery, I witnessed the ‘moment’ when I observed the Buddhist monk sharing Minties amongst the grieving mourners. I was puzzled and asked him, ‘why are you handing out Minties at the graveside?’ To which he replied ‘to symbolically take away the bitterness of grief ’. 

Many men I have come across in jail are experiencing constant unresolved grief. Sorrow and remorse for their crimes, and the loss of intimate contact with loved ones, can lead to a sense of hopelessness and despair. In these times of dark despair, a Mintie offered at just the right ‘moment’ can bring a momentary smile, and an invitation of friendship to those in mourning. Men come and go in the pod, and they are quickly replaced by other offenders almost on a daily basis. They come and go, come and go, without ever having the opportunity to receive little acts of kindness and a listening ear. The Mintie Ministry provides opportunities to show hospitality and care on a one-to-one basis to those who are broken and suffering. 

Hence, my ‘Mintie Ministry’. 

David runs his Mintie Ministry from inside prison.

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