“When I first saw the crime, I thought, ‘He needs a friend more than the others. Everyone is going to shrink back because the crime was so horrendous,'” Brother Vianney-Marie said.
He received permission from his superior to write to Malicoat, and did so for the first time on the feast of the Assumption, 2001. Malicoat took a month and a half to respond, dating his letter October 1, which is the feast of St. Therese.
Brother Vianney-Marie wrote faithfully to Malicoat and two other inmates once a month. “I would talk about their families, the way they were brought up,” he said. “They would talk about themselves.”
The monk said it was like shooting arrows in the dark, making contact with the worst of society’s offenders from a cloistered Benedictine monastery. He had no idea where — or how — the arrows would fall.