The new house is the fruit of "an idea that was put forward some time ago in the prison ministry," says Father José Antonio Rojas Moriana, the director of the Cordoba Prison Ministry, in an interview with Omnes. "We detected the need to have a resource for people who are leaving prison and who have no type of help: neither family nor social. People for whom it was going to be very difficult to reintegrate properly into society without anyone who could accompany them in this return to normality."
On August 2, the Bishop of Cordoba, Bishop Demetrio Fernandez, blessed the facilities of the St. Gabriel Residence. It is not a reception center "as usual", as Rojas Moriana explains, "it is a community of life where the people who are welcomed will be part of this family".
A normal family, with responsibilities, obligations, affection and accompaniment. In this sense, the people who are welcomed there "will take part in the decisions of the house, in the administration, in the daily work, in whatever needs to be done. It is, above all, to offer a family, with whom you live, where you are helped, accompanied and are part of this project".
The San Gabriel residence will house people who, after serving their sentence, want to rebuild their lives and do not have any family or social support to help them at this stage.
It is a difficult job, due to the profile of its recipients, which will be directed by the Pastoral Penitenciaria de Córdoba together with Cáritas diocesana de Córdoba, which provides professionals to accompany and train the people received, and the congregation of the Hermanas Hospitalarias de Jesús Nazareno which, as the priest in charge of this work points out, "has placed a community of nuns at the service of this project, who live in the house and who will accompany these people".
The house occupies what was once the Seminary "Santa Maria de los Angeles" of Hornachuelos, located in the natural environment of the same name, a unique location to develop the work of assistance and rehabilitation of those who are welcomed there. The house has three floors: the ground floor is dedicated to common areas such as the dining room, bathrooms and office. The second floor houses the chapel and some of the seven rooms, which are completed on the second floor, dedicated solely to bedrooms. The third floor has a nature classroom and an activity room.
A project that, as José Antonio Rojas points out, materializes the work of the prison ministry "from the Gospel and the Church, seeking the best in each person and offering them a channel of freedom, of inner reconstruction and bringing out the best in them so that they do not have to return to the life they had before".