This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.
I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill
I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/
Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/
The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.
Lampstand Book Excerpt: Holy Prisoner Monks
The past points towards the future for the prison ministry, as this from Geltner (2008) notes:
“Largely as a response to their persecution under the Romans, early Christian apologists developed a basic imaginary of the prison. Martyrological narratives set in and around Roman jails introduced literary “sweet inversion” of despair into hope, of physical suffering into spiritual empowerment, and of secular coercion into divine grace. In this way, theodicy helped disseminate incarceration as a leitmotif of Christian spirituality, first among ascetics and later in monastic circles. As we shall see, self-imposed incarceration became a common metaphor for the angelic life and soon assumed purgatorial qualities. With one exception, which will be discussed below, the tie between prisons and purgation (and later, Purgatory) went on uninterrupted for more than a millennium.
“The Martyrological literature conveying the experiences of Christian confessors presents the prison as a place of personal trial and eschatological triumph, and incarceration as a process of spiritual growth, potentially culminating in revelation. Thus, rather than precipitating apostasy, the harsh conditions of the Roman jail accelerated religious perfection: a classic “sweet inversion.” In the emphatic words that Prudentius (348-405?) attributed to Fructuosus, the martyred bishop of Tarragona (d. 259),
“Prison to the Christian faithful is the path to glory,
Prison propels to the heavens’ summit,
Prison unites God with the blessed.”
“As a new locus of holiness, the prison attracted substantial attention from early Christians, whether laymen or clergy…
“In the words of Tertullian (140-230): “The prison serves the Christian as the desert served the prophet…Even if the body is confined, even if the flesh is detained, everything is open to the spirit.”
“By comparing the prison with the desert, Tertullian linked Christian asceticism with the formative experiences of the Israelites and Christ’s spiritual training….The metaphor subsequently found its way into monastic spirituality, which spawned a distinct new strand of carceral language. Thus, according to the Desert Mother Syncletica (d. ca. 400),
“In the world, if we commit an offence, even an involuntary one, we are thrown into prison; let us likewise cast ourselves into prison because of our sins, so that voluntary remembrance may anticipate the punishment that is to come.” (pp. 83-85)
The Lampstand vision of the future of criminal transformation within the Catholic Church envisions a host of sanctified and transformed professional criminals, who, through their acquisition of deep knowledge, will become heavily armed spiritual warriors, triple crowned professionals helping their brothers and sisters move from the criminal/carceral world to the communal world.
The tri-crowning comes from criminal world experience outside and inside a maximum security prison, postgraduate degrees from the academy, and advanced study in Catholic Social Thought, all fortified by a regime of daily practice: Ordinary or Extraordinary Mass or Divine Office, 15 Decade Rosary, Prayer and Contemplation.
Deep knowledge leadership is a going beyond a daily life of worldly dictated movement and moving to the supernatural symphony. It is the true way of the apostolate, drawing from a deep well of interiority strengthened by a lifelong pursuit of knowledge from the Fathers and Saints of the Church, literally walking with Peter, to Christ, through Mary.
Acquiring deep knowledge calls for a spiritual maturity earned through criminal experience, post-graduate education, and carceral suffering, a powerful octave in the way of perfection.
The way of perfection is congruent with entrepreneurial vision fused with spiritual knowledge, of those who have suffered, transformed their suffering, and can help others discover the path of transformation.
As criminals, we are people of the far edge, we must go to the maximum reach, for that is what draws us, and a rigorous daily practice built upon an ancient and formidable history and teaching, does and will draw us, it is the only foundation that will.
The 15 decade rosary will be among the primary tools in our arsenal—a powerful weapon—as St. Montfort (1954) teaches us:
“If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins “you shall receive a never fading crown of glory” (p. 11)
For those who will remain in prison for the rest of their lives—and indeed, for the rest of us—the Divine Office, as Pope Paul VI, (1970) writes, is a great blessing.
“Public and common prayer by the people of God is rightly considered to be among the primary duties of the Church. From the very beginning those who were baptized “devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the community, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers” (Acts 2:42). The Acts of the Apostles give frequent testimony to the fact that the Christian community prayed with one accord.
“The witness of the early Church teaches us that individual Christians devoted themselves to prayer at fixed times. Then, in different places, the custom soon grew of assigning special times to common prayer, for example, the last hour of the day, when evening draws on and the lamp is lighted, or the first hour, when night draw to a close with the rising of the daystar.” (p. 8)
Lampstand envisions a legion of spiritual shock troops manning the front lines in the ancient war against evil, their souls flying the logos of Christ, their minds embracing the social teaching of the Church, their intellects wielding the sword of St. Michael, and in their hands, the 15 decade Rosary, the Divine Office and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, forming outposts in prison tiers, parish pews, neighborhood streets, and the halls of academia, united in seeking the reformation and transformation of their criminal brothers and sisters.
We will be penitential professional criminals—not informers, rapists, or pedophiles—men of honor retained in our world.
We will know that the only true path to freedom is internal—not mere provision of rehabilitative services—but growth from deep inside as knowledge and spirituality matures.
We will walk away from our criminal past, but not dishonor ourselves by revealing the who, when, and how of our past, throwing scraps of meat to the jailer from the table we once fed.
We will receive the forgiveness of baptism and our past will be cleansed.
We are called to be no less than saints and warriors within the great host in the eternal war against evil and the prince of this world, Special Forces shock troops in the legions of the mightiest angel in heaven, St. Michael the Archangel. (pp. 136-142)
David H. Lukenbill. (2011). The Lampstand Prison Ministry: Constructed on Catholic Social Teaching & the History of the Catholic Church. The Lampstand Foundation: Sacramento, California