Why you want to know David and Sharon Robinson: The Robinsons have visited the McPherson women’s prison unit for about 10 years in Jackson County. The couple, married 41 years, visit incarcerated women typically twice a month, attending Mass celebrated by pastor Father Stephen Gadberry and sharing their faith one-on-one. With the help of their sons, they also mail religious materials once a month to the women. Sharon, a CPA, helps as an accountant for the parish and teaches religious education. David is the parish sacristan and a retired cabinet maker.
Ages: David, 69; Sharon, 61
Parish: St. Cecilia Church
Family: Four sons, David Robinson Jr., Royce Robinson, Ryne Robinson and Dylan Robinson
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
What feeds you spiritually?
Sharon: I kind of start my day, I first pray to the Lord with the rosary and I try to pray throughout the day. And I particularly love adoration, just to have some quiet time with the Lord.
David: Mostly reading. I’ll read anything, but I’m particularly interested in Scott Hahn’s work. Right now I’m reading St. Faustina’s diary.
How did you get into prison ministry?
Sharon: They built the prisons here, and I didn’t really think much about it for quite a while, but the Lord started calling, that there’s an opportunity. I love to share my faith, our beautiful Catholic faith with anyone who will listen. So the Lord was just continually inviting me to go share my faith there. After several askings, I decided to check into it and before you know it, we were doing prison ministry.
What touches your heart doing this ministry?
Sharon: The girls there, they are so gracious for our time, our efforts. It just touches your heart, their gratitude for your time … Some of the girls are currently on their faith and some haven’t touched their faith since they were young children. There’s different faith levels, spirituality levels. We just try to start with the basics with them and give them some ground level work and try to help them to develop a relationship with Christ.
What is your relationship like with the women after 10 years?
Sharon: I think it’s a little bit of a different type of friendship; they hold a special place in your heart because of the situation. They love the Lord just as we do. They’re attempting to reset and start anew. And through helping them, you just develop a love there. The more time you spend with them, the deeper the love grows.
What would you tell fellow Catholics about prison ministry?
Sharon: If there’s one thing we could relay to all Catholics, it’s for the request of continued prayers for the prisoners. I think that it’s really tough living in those barracks. It’s stressful. And I think that prayers can aid that a lot. God can go places we can’t; he can bestow his grace on places we can’t.
What are your hobbies?
David: I like to play golf ... My handicap is I have a set of golf clubs and I’m not afraid to use them.
Sharon: I also like to play golf; we play golf together. We also like to go to the lake, that’s relaxing. I started a flower garden.
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