Image Alt

Forty Weeks: Letters from Prison

Provides a powerful Ignatian spiritual resource for families with incarcerated members

Can augment any local prison ministry faith formation program (RCIA/retreats)

Will help inmates begin the healing process and find Christ—a deep, personal encounter with Christ that is life-changing

Can help parishes form prison pen-pal programs for your local institutions

Will encourage and teach people to pray daily (Ignatian Examen) and receive Reconciliation frequently


Serving Christ in the Incarcerated

Forty Weeks ~ Letters from Prison, was a graced project. Ritchie Roman, a federal inmate wrote to Fr. Bill Watson seeking spiritual guidance. Fr. Bill made a compact with Ritchie that if he did the whole program and wrote letters each month, Fr. Bill would provide the spiritual guidance he sought IF Ritchie would allow the correspondence to be the basis for a new Forty Weeks version for the incarcerated. Use this program and see how you can deepen and intensive all your pastoral services to Christ for the incarcerated.

The Knights of Malta Prison Pen Pal Program for both The Federal and American associations of the Order have adopted Forty Weeks ~ Letters from Prison, as an official book for their ministry. The Catholic Mobilizing Network will list Forty Weeks ~ Letters from Prison as a major resource on their new website. Kolbe Prison Ministries in Texas is using the program as are numerous other prison ministries across the nation.

Also Check Out These Great Resources!


Experiencing the love that bases the existence of every human being is the purpose of St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises. I found a strong confirmation in the story told in Ritchie’s letters from prison. Reading them is an invitation to travel that path open to every human being. It is an invitation to open the doors to the spiritual path that leads to the encounter with Jesus Christ.

Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, S.J., Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Prisoners welcome letters. Now you have an abundance of mail.

Fr. Stephen Barber, S.J., Chaplain Emeritus, San Quentin State Prison

Find your own voice and story through the journey of this book.

Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J., Founder of Homeboy Industries, author of Tattoos on the Heart

The knowledge of God through direct experience is available to anyone who seeks it regardless of past actions or present circumstances.

Michael Brown, author of The Presence Process

Take a chance like Ritchie did on a lifelong relationship with God.

Karen Clifton, Director Catholic Mobilizing Network

FORTY WEEKS provide a sure and steady path to an experience of God’s unconditional love.

Rick Deshaies, S.J., Chair of American Catholic Correctional Chaplains

Use Forty Weeks to share your story, own your story, live your story.

Zachariah F. Presutti S.J., LMSW, Thrive for Life Prison Project

May your journey with Forty Weeks bring true freedom in Christ!

Fr. George Williams, S.J., Catholic Chaplain, San Quentin State Prison