Life with Capuchins? Take me back to jail!

A priest friend sent this, no doubt to amuse and edify.

From the Daily Mail:

Criminal serving his sentence with monks pleads to be sent back to prison… because monastery life is too hard

A convicted criminal who was serving out his sentence in a monastery has escaped for the second time and asked to be sent back to prison because life was too tough.
Thief David Catalano, 31, was sent to a Santa Maria degli Angeli community run by Capuchin monks in Sicily last November.
But he found their austere lifetstyle too tough to handle and soon escaped. After a short while on the run he was caught by police and sent back.

On Monday he fled for the second time in six weeks, only to swiftly turn himself in at a police station and beg officers to send him back to jail in the nearby town of Nicosia.
He told the stunned policemen: ‘Prison is better than being at that hostel run by monks.’
A police spokesman said: ‘Catalano arrived out of the blue and said there was no way he could stay on with the monks.

‘He said it was too tough and he wanted to go back to prison, so we happily obliged and he is now back behind bars serving the rest of his sentence.


Not exactly three hots and a cot.

Read the rest there.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Sonshine135 says:

    St. Padre Pio- Pray for him!

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    That’s one way to separate the men from the boys.

  3. NBW says:

    Wow! Prayers for him.

  4. Athelstan says:

    The point to remember: Those monks chose that life voluntarily. They aren’t being punished.

    One hopes that will raise the curiosity of at least a few of the readers.

  5. Phil_NL says:

    I can’t say I blame the crook (for this one; no clue what he was inside for).

    Intellectually, I can see the attraction of monastic life, especially contemplative monastic life. Yet one visit to the musuem of Grande Chartreuse was quite enough already to convince that I’d never cut it either.

    And there’s no shame in that, in my opinion. You need a calling for this, to put up with, and eventually relish the austerity. Most people will have a different calling – and I for one have a brain that can be used for good, but not on a poor diet; then it simply shuts down. Again, we don’t all get the particular graces such monks need.

  6. samgr says:

    Friars. Capuchins are Franciscan friars. Friars don’t take a vow of stability and once upon a time were expected to leave their friary to beg their daily bread. This poor guy wouldn’t have lasted a week with the Benedictines. They’re monks.

  7. APX says:

    A monastery is not a halfway house. A halfway house is used to re-integrate offenders back into society as they transition from life in prison and have become instutionalized. If you put a monk back into society after living in a monastery, he would have issues too. Heck, I know girls who come back from postulancy and can’t handle the sounds of daily life.

  8. Tim Ferguson says:

    I could think of worse punishments. He could be assigned to a Jesuit house. The food might be better, but the liturgy, Oy gevalt!

    I kid, I kid…

  9. Matt Robare says:

    And to think my Frankish ancestors used to tonsure their rivals and confine them to monasteries because it was supposed to be humane.

  10. gramma10 says:

    The austere environment actually is a great thing for a criminal! They could have given him some spiritual direction and a bible!
    Lots of quiet alone time to think. A person who has no belief must have trouble in stoney silence. Like being in solitary!
    Seems he was being punished and not rehabilitated.
    Maybe back in prison the experience caused him to think! : )

  11. FrCharles says:

    I wish we would make this story into a piece of our vocation literature.

  12. Cafea Fruor says:

    I know nothing about what life is like in Italian prisons, but if this happened here in the U.S., I’d have to ask myself, “Now, does this mean the Capuchins are really so austere, or does this mean that our prisons are just too lax?”

  13. ocalatrad says:

    This reminds me of a little pamphlet they give out at the Abbey of Fontevraud in France, which was converted by Napoleon into a prison and is now a secular museum. The pamphlet compared the life of a prisoner with that of a monk. It is illuminating to consider the similarities while also recalling the reason that a man goes either to prison or the monastery–redemption of one’s soul.

  14. APX says:

    I can’t speak for the US prisons, but the Canadian federal institutions (at least the ones I’ve visited) are pretty nice. The maximum security one I visited had the most beautiful grounds for the inmates to recreate on with a tennis court, outdoor basketball court, huge gymnasium. The inmates walk around freely, and the food is better than what I eat when money gets tight. I don’t understand why it costs so much to feed inmates. Why can’t they all eat lentils, rice, and some sort of vegetable? Why do they eat better than me??

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