CapuchinI laughed and laughed and laughed this morning when I read the story of a criminal serving his sentence with Capuchin friars pleading to be sent back to prison… because Capuchin life is too hard, he claimed! The reason for the humor is that Capuchins aren’t too known for their austerities today in North America; the Capuchin order may be strict only in a few places in the world but…may be this is a wake up call to the Friars Minor Capuchin (and others)…

I got this story via a friend:

Austere existence: A convicted criminal serving out his sentence in a Sicilian monastery run by Capuchin monks has escaped for the second time and asked to be sent back to prison because life there was too tough .

Thief David Catalano, 31, was sent to a Santa Maria degli Angeli community run by Capuchin monks in Sicily last November.

But he found their austere lifetstyle too tough to handle and soon escaped. After a short while on the run he was caught by police and sent back.

On Monday he fled for the second time in six weeks, only to swiftly turn himself in at a police station and beg officers to send him back to jail in the nearby town of Nicosia.

He told the stunned policemen: ‘Prison is better than being at that hostel run by monks.’

A police spokesman said: ‘Catalano arrived out of the blue and said there was no way he could stay on with the monks.

‘He said it was too tough and he wanted to go back to prison, so we happily obliged and he is now back behind bars serving the rest of his sentence.

‘Life with the monks can be pretty tough – there are no mod cons and they are up early and go to bed early. There are no luxuries at the hostel and the monks run a very austere regime.’

The Santa Maria degli Angeli community is based in a monastery near Enna on the island of Sicily.

‘He said it was too tough and he wanted to go back to prison, so we happily obliged and he is now back behind bars’

It has been run as a halfway house by the Capuchin friars for more than 12 years with around 60 prisoners accommodated there as they near the end of their sentences.