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www.mn.catholic.org.au Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
LAST DECEMBER, WHILE
recuperating from surgery in hospital,
Lambton resident Enid Cochrane
received a lovely surprise.
Along with her latest letter from treasured
American friend, Phillip, she became the
proud owner of a statue of Jesus Christ.
The delicate sculpture, fashioned from
green soap, is a testament to their eleven
"He's not a Catholic but he has a deep love
of Jesus. Because he is in prison he only
gets 16 cents an hour for work. It cost
doesn't know why Phillip is an inmate
nnsylvania Correctional Centre but
ins firm in her friendship. However,
accepts that others may be skeptical
t's quite unbelievable. Some people
ynical, 'oh yeah, sure, everyone in
n is innocent'. But he's not all bad.
very important to me.
ld be devastated if anything
ened to him."
age dominated by Facebook and
er, where feelings, thoughts and ideas
ondensed into a sentence, Enid
hes writing her letters, her attachment
illip engendered and nourished
gh the almost archaic act of putting
t ninety letters have travelled across
acific Ocean to the former teacher's
ous home and their relationship is
y as strong as those Enid shares with
amily and close friends.
did not anticipate a reply from her
etter, sent as a Christmas greeting
ter McGrath [who was the originator of
the Family Group Movement] came around
to see how our Family Group was going. He
asked us if we would write to prisoners in
America. There was a pile of addresses
and I picked one from the bottom.
"I thought it would be nice for him to receive
a letter and card."
She was astonished to discover he had
replied when she picked up her mail from
the post office a month later.
"I didn't expect him to write back. He was
very thankful. I remember I tried to hide
the address with my hand because it's not
very common to get a letter from a prison
overseas. I was a bit worried about what
people would think."
That worry is no longer present. Now she
worries about Phillip.
His only visitor, his sister June, has
assured Enid she will be contacted if
anything happens to him. Phillip is equally
attentive towards Enid.
"When I was recovering from surgery he
wrote to me, 'Your health is the most
important gift to me. Please, please
Tears roll down her cheek and she brushes
them away with her hand.
"He writes beautiful letters; pours his
Then she disappears and returns with a
stone in the shape of a heart.
"Phillip spent over a week in solitary
confinement because of this. His fingers
were blistered but he said it was worth it."
This must be what English poet, John
Donne, meant when he wrote to Sir Henry
Wotton three centuries ago, 'Sir, more
than kisses, letters mingle souls; for, thus
friends absent speak.'
By SIOBHAN MCALARY
GB Electrical Contractors
Service & Sales
7B 585 Maitland Rd, Mayfield West NSW 2310
Ph: 4960 2188 • www.gbelectrical.com.au G4938765AA-6Mar
2012 HARVEST PILGRIMAGES
e St Paul Expedition
VISITATIONS OF MARY
GRACES OF ITALY
Enid Cochrane with
the gift sent by Phillip.
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