Order of Malta


Looking to the Holy Spirit To Meet a Need


Vero Beach Member Reaches Out Via the Pen Pal Program

“It has touched my heart, because there is a need.” Those are the words of Tim Brooks, American Association member in Vero Beach, Florida, talking about his participation in the Order’s Prison Ministry Pen Pal Program.

Tim and his wife, Rebecca, have been members of the Order since 2019 and were members of the Auxiliary for three years before that. In 2020, Tim became the Hospitaller for his Area and began his participation in the Pen Pal Program.

Reaching out to help others has been part of Tim’s life since childhood, when he would visit the ill. Before the pandemic, he had been a regular visitor to nursing homes. That is on hold now, so he said when he heard about the Prison Ministry Pen Pal Program, he thought it was something he could do. “I probably in my wildest dreams wouldn’t have thought I’d be serving Prison Ministry,” he said. “However, it has touched my heart, because there is a need.”

He said that whether you’re helping someone in a nursing home or in a prison, you’re taking care of people who in some way cannot take care of themselves. And people in prison need help. “They might have made mistakes, but Jesus Christ is there with them, and He wants them to be healed.”

Somewhat surprisingly to Tim, his pen pal is a woman, and he admits to having been a bit anxious before writing his first letter. “I thought, I hope I don’t make a mistake and do the wrong thing. Of course, I had to work on improving my penmanship,” he joked.

But Tim knew he was not alone in his task. “I believe the Holy Spirit was influencing the words I wrote,” he said. “When they opened up that letter at the other end, the Holy Spirit would touch them and say, ‘Okay, this is for you. You’re not lost behind those bars.’”

For more information about the American Association’s Pen Pal Program, contact Steven Hawkins, Program Coordinator at hawkins.steven1969@gmail.com.

Order of Malta

American Association, U.S.A
St. Patrick’s Cathedral Parish House
14 E 51st Street
New York, NY 10022
(212) 371-1522