Total Pageviews

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dogs Bless America

This morning, Sr. Pauline Quinn corresponded with HIA from Marinette, Wisconsin via a post at the Homeless In America People of Mercy and Compassion Map (see bottom of the page), “I spent years being homeless, thrown away in Institutions, so wounded from the experience that I could not talk, became self abusive for 25 years, developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but I came back, pulled myself up and have not stopped helping God and the people I meet who have asked me for their help…”

After being homeless and self-mutilated on the streets of Los Angeles to becoming a Dominican Sister, Pauline Quinn has worked like a dog for God, literally. In 1981, Sister Quinn started the Prison Dog Program in Washington State, rescuing shelter dogs & bringing them into the prison where inmates trained them to assist the handicapped. Today, Prison Dog Programs are in many states and some think it is one of the most successful rehabilitation programs in the American prison system.

She writes, “As I met people of every class and race as I traveled the world, one central thread seemed to weave them together. It was an echo of misplaced souls searching for meaning in life. Desperate to make sense of their existence, they sought a purpose for their pain and suffering. The hopelessness of prisoners condemned to spend the rest of their life in prison, the sadness of refugees who have not only lost their way but their families as well, the pain of the abused and battered who have nothing to cling to that will bring them hope, are all people who helped me make sense of my life as I learned to serve them. For me, their suffering and my opportunity to help them, became a cornerstone on which to re-build my own shattered life. After years of searching, clinging to only a dream, my life took root, bursting forth like the green buds of spring. I want to share my journey in order to bring hope to the hopeless. I pray that my story can be a small candle, a flicker of light, to help others down their sometimes dark and lonely pathway.”

Sr. Quinn’s story has been made into a TV film as well as a book titled, Life on the Cutting Edge. It is the story of how a young woman from an affluent background was sexually and emotionally abused, struggled through years of pain and self abuse and became a powerful advocate for others with difficult lives. In 2001, actress Ellen Burstyn produced and stared in the made-for-tv movie, Within These Walls which introduced Sr. Pauline Quinn’s prison-dog-program to a worldwide audience. The movie has been recently released on DVD.

More on the Internet: & & &

VOTE - Scroll down & vote in the polls.
COMMENT - Daily insights, prayers, thanksgiving & praise.
SUBSCRIBE! -Top, right column.
POST - Your location below at People of Mercy & Compassion Map.
INVITE - Friends and family to Subscribe!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just LOVED this article. It brought me to tears of happiness. I'm (obviously) an animal-lover...they physically give the closest thing to God's love as is feasibly possible. I normally pass on your emails to my dearest friends, BUT this one went to everyone on my address book. I'll forward you any and all comments that come back to me. R.D.