Priest gains purpose after losing eyesight

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PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) -- An East Oregon priest credits losing his eyesight with finding his purpose.

The Rev. Douglas Jerome has dedicated his time to inmates at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution since 1994, after losing his sight the previous year.

And now the 71-year-old priest has been recognized for his services.

Jerome was named Volunteer of the Year at EOCI in April. He was named an outstanding corrections volunteer for the state of Oregon in May for his prison ministries.

The East Oregonian says Jerome's story began when he lost his sight after a heart attack in 1993.

He says he grieved at first. Then he realized that life goes on.

He became an ordained priest in 2002.

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Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.info