Noticias de la Diócesis de Allentown

On Christmas, Showing Prisoners That the Church Cares

(Photo courtesy of Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame)

Christmas Day is a joyous time for so many throughout the world, but for those in prison, said Father Joe Corpora, it can be “a day when the regrets are deep.”

That’s why Father Corpora, a Holy Cross priest from Notre Dame University, will be spending some time on Christmas visiting people in Lehigh County Prison.

An Easton native who will be home with his family over the holidays, Father Corpora will go to the prison to be with anyone who wants to talk, regardless of their religion. He’ll also lead songs and will be available for confession.

“Some people are very lonely on Christmas Day,” he said. It’s a day when many prisoners regret the crime they committed, or regret the fact that they are not able to spend Christmas with their loved ones.

Father Corpora is in campus ministry at Notre Dame, including serving as chaplain for Latino and LGBT students. He also works with the Alliance for Catholic Education, where he helps make Catholic schools available, accessible and affordable to Latino children and families.

The visit is being coordinated by Diane Varra of St. Paul Parish, Allentown, who is a member of the Diocese’s prison ministry.

“It’s just a simple thing,” said Father Corpora of his Christmas Day plans, “to let people know that the Church cares about them.”

“Because We Are Catholic” tells the stories of how the people of the Diocese of Allentown make a difference in the lives of others, bringing the Light of Christ to each other and to our community. Videos of people in the series are available on the Diocesan website at