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Bridges to life: The Light of Christ’s Mercy in Prison Ministry – Houston, TX.

June 5, 2024

For the last 26 years, John Sage, a native Houstonian and St. Thomas High School alumnus, has dedicated his life to bringing restorative justice to inmates through his faith-based program, Bridges to Life (B.T.L.).

Since 2004, B.T.L. has been a recipient of the Basilian Human Development Grant, which aids its mission.

Inspired by personal tragedy, John founded the organization in 1998 after his sister was murdered by two young adults.

“During that time there was no option for life without parole imprisonment, and the two murderers were sentenced to death row. But this didn’t solve the anything. I asked myself; ‘What next?’ This led me on a 5-year spiritual journey during which I developed a much deeper relationship with God.”

 

BTL Graduation.

 

John mentioned his education at St. Thomas High School as a guide during this dark time in his life.

“It was a blessing. The faith-oriented education, diverse group of students, the sports, and the Basilian presence were all contributors to the foundation of my character, and this foundation was something I could fall back on during the most difficult moments.”

Over the years BTL has evolved into a movement powered by 950 volunteers, reaching 94 prisons across Texas plus numerous partnerships in 16 other states, and expanding to 7 countries. It offers ministerial support to offenders, demonstrating the profound impact of God’s love and forgiveness, and diminish the recurrence of criminal behavior.

 

John with 25,000th graduate.

 

“I remember how one inmate cried because he was called by his given name in our program for the first time in 15 years. Its our job to bring that kind humanity back to them.”

 

50,000th B.T.L program graduate with John & volunteers.

 

Powered by his personal experiences as a spiritual guide to inmates, Fr. John Huber, CSB has been the Basilian sponsor of B.T.L. for over ten years.

“Pain, anguish, sin and human weakness are accompanied by Gospel-inspired instruction. This leads to transformation that truly promotes systemic change of dangerous, sad and unjust situations and demeanors to an honest dialogue leading to truth, humility and forgiveness. Bridges to Life thus ministers to those in prison, with a goal of true systemic change.” Fr. John Huber said.

 

Project participants.

 

John’s commitment to his faith, powered by his Basilian education and current support continue to guide his efforts in facilitating redemption and healing for both inmates and victims.

Photos generously provided by Bridges to Life Staff.

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