- Bedford Hills, NY
Interfaith Prison Partnership All Souls Service
Interfaith Prison Partnership
Rev. Elizabeth Friend-Ennis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANNUAL ALL SOUL’S INTERFAITH MEMORIAL AT TACONIC CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
Bedford Hills, NY.
Driving past the NYS DOCCS Taconic Correctional Facility for women on Harris Road in Bedford Hills, NY it’s easy to miss the sign for a unique property character of the facility, beyond the buildings housed inside its gates.
Dating back to the 1930’s is a burial ground, at the entrance to the Taconic facility, having as its original purpose to bury the bodies of women who went unclaimed, or whose families could not finance a funeral of their own.
Many of those also buried are infants – both the babies and the women, and men, when the Taconic facility was a men’s medium security facility, all who had been for years until the 1970’s, in unidentified gravesite markers, until Chaplain Sr. M. Antonia Maguire, of the Franciscan Sisters, took the numbers and went to the state NYS DOCCS archives to find the names for each person buried in the cemetery.
Under a past administration and with support from a fundraising campaign by the Interfaith Prison Partnership in Katonah, the cemetery was refurbished, and again, more recently, by the present NYS DOCCS Taconic Administration.
On November 2nd at 9AM, IPP has invited faith-based participants to gather for our annual interfaith All Souls Day service, to indeed, publicly observe that the souls of those buried have not been forgotten.
We thank this year’s support from Superintendent Williams at Taconic, attending organizations that will include The Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, Hour Children,Inc., St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Bedford, Antioch Baptist Church, Bet Torah Synagogue in Mt. Kisco, Memorial United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church in Ossining, Katonah Presbyterian, the Northern Westchester Interfaith Council and invited guests.