The month of May brings up many beautiful images of Mary. The image of Mary standing, hands folded,in a prayerful pose gives us strength as we feel the power of her prayer. It is also the image we have of her standing at the foot of the cross. She stood there present, absorbing the violence during the heinous crime of her son's execution.
Theologians have rightly stated Mary does not perpetuate the violence or respond to it. Mary absorbs the violence and prayerfully ends the cycle of violence. She is a model of restorative justice.
We need many people to follow Mary's model of restorative justice in our Church and communities.
This month, our newsletter features a story about Fr. David Kelly and the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation. Fr. David provides a safe place for healing and restitution while the community listens and acknowledges hurt experienced by victims of violence. Through their efforts at gang mediation, they are present to those who are tired of violence and offer another model as a solution.
As Florida speeds up the execution process, Dale Recinella, one of our regular speakers, is walking the journey with those being executed as a death row lay chaplain. He is modeling Mary's presence by being at the foot of the gurney. His presence is a model of reconciliation and restorative justice.
As followers of Jesus, through the example of Mary, we are called to be a restorative people. The solution to violence, harm and heinous crimes is not using more violence, creating more harm, or committing more heinous crimes as punishment.
Let us all continue to pray and work to end the use of the death penalty and create more restorative methods to respond to crime.
In this May 2014 newsletter you will find:
JOIN THE CMN REJUVENATION CAMPAIGN
By Eddie Guers, CMN Program Assistant
Students and teachers alike often view the summer months as a time of rejuvenation to regain energy in preparation for the challenges of the upcoming school year. At Catholic Mobilizing Network, we don’t break for the summer – our fight to end of the use of the death penalty and promote restorative justice never stops. Instead, our source of rejuvenation is the support we receive from our dedicated sponsors who heed God’s call to defend the dignity of all persons. Our efforts could not exist without our CMN Stewards, who make monthly donations to CMN.
That's why CMN is looking forward to some much-needed summer rejuvenation – and hopefully with your help! By the end of the summer, CMN hopes to reach 50 CMN Stewards by launching our CMN Rejuvenation Campaign. How can you help out? Go here and sign up to be a CMN Steward by giving a recurring monthly donation. For as little as $5 or more a month, you can help change the criminal justice system and promote God’s message of the unconditional dignity of human life. And if you cannot commit to a monthly donation, please consider a one-time donation to support this important work.
Thank you for all of your continued support. God bless, and have a wonderful – and rejuvenating – summer.
I WAS IN PRISON OUTREACH MINISTRY
By Cathy Jarboe, CMN Director for Catholic State Networks and Organizations
Dale Recinella has gathered thousands of stories – both joyful and painful - along his 20-year journey as a spiritual counselor and Catholic lay chaplain in Florida’s prisons. On behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Florida, he ministers cell-to-cell to the more than 400 men on Florida’s death row and the approximately 2,000 men in Florida’s long-term solitary confinement. He and his wife, Dr. Susan Ward Recinella, have ministered as a team during executions. He serves as spiritual advisor to the condemned and Dr. Recinella serves as a lay minister to the familes and loved ones of the condemned.
Dale and Susan are inspirational speakers and members of the CMN Speakers Bureau team – traveling internationally and throughout the U.S., telling their personal story and sharing the powerful and tragic stories of those they meet in their daily lives.
PRECIOUS BLOOD MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION
By Fr. David Kelly
Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation Training Circle meeting.
Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation (PBMR) is a not-for-profit organization that reaches out to youth and family in the Back of the Yards/Englewood community in Chicago, in particular those who are impacted by incarceration and conflict. We embrace two core values: hospitality and accompaniment.
We seek to create safe spaces in the community where youth are welcomed and supported in building healthy relationships, expressing themselves, repairing the harm done, addressing trauma (hurt people hurt people), and developing necessary skills and competencies.
The Precious Blood Center embraces a restorative justice philosophy and the Peacemaking Circle as a key practice.
Read more and view a video of Fr. Kelly.
CMN URGES AMERICAN PHARMACY ASSOCIATION TO BAN MEMBERS FROM PARTICIPATING IN EXECUTIONS
CMN, along with more than two dozen other Catholic congregations and organizations, has sent a letter to the American Pharmacists Association requesting that the organization ban its members from participating in executions. In a letter sent to President Matthew Osterhaus, CMN urges the non-profit membership organization to “ban APhA members from participation in executions in any way as pharmacists.” In the letter, CMN explains, “As Catholic people of faith, we ask that you not only consider the ethical codes breeched when pharmacists use their training and tools to facilitate state-sponsored killings, but also consider the profound moral codes that call upon all of us to respect the sacred dignity of every God-given human life.” For a copy of the final letter, co-signed by 30 organizations and Catholic leaders, email CMN at email@example.com.
NEW RESOURCE: WEEKLY SPANISH LANGUAGE PODCASTS EXPAND CMN'S REACH
CMN’s outreach to the Catholic Latino community is growing stronger! Working with journalist Andrea Acosta, CMN is producing a weekly podcast addressing the church’s teaching on the death penalty and restorative justice in three versions (30 seconds, 1 minute, and 5 minutes). The podcast format makes the program suitable for use in various ways: for radio programs, on YouTube and websites, in social media, and more! The podcast is being distributed to a network of 34 Hispanic Catholic radio stations and networks, reaching nearly a million people. We are looking for more stations and networks. Starting soon, CMN will post these on Facebook and Twitter (#CMNPodcast) .The first podcast received great feedback from Virginia, California, and even Argentina! Listen to it here. Please share the podcast and retweet freely. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATED RESOURCE: NEW CMN DEATH PENALTY ONLINE SCAVENGER HUNTS FOR MISSOURI
A new CMN State Death Penalty Scavenger Hunt is now available for Missouri. Like our other CMN Scavenger Hunts, it is meant as a resource for teachers, pastors, or youth/campus ministers to lead youth (ages 11 through 18) in scavenger hunt-styled lesson about the death penalty. A general United States scavenger hunt is available, as well as state-specific hunts from several states. Remember to check back often for our updates and new resources.
May 19-22: Annual NCCL Conference and Exposition (St. Louis, Mo.)
CMN will exhibit and present our workshop “The Death Penalty and Restorative Justice – Catholic Social
Teaching,” at the 78th Annual National Conference for Catechetical Leadership and Exposition at St. Louis’s Renaissance Grand Hotel.
For more information, visit the NCCL website.
July 16-20: 55th Biannual National Convention of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas (Billings, Mont.)
CMN will be exhibiting at this biannual event. The Catholic Daughters of the Americas (CDA) is one of the oldest and largest organizations of Catholic women in the Americas. They donate to charities, administer scholarship programs and strive “to be helping hands where there is pain, poverty, sorrow or sickness.” The CDA was formed over 100 years ago and today numbers 75,000 dues-paying members in 1,250 courts (local chapters) in 45 states across the country, and in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. The program includes concerns of today’s church and society as well as issues that affect the well-being of women and children. The Legislative Program encourages interested members to learn about laws that may influence their faith and to contact their state representatives to make their personal positions known.
For more information, visit the CDA website.
July 20-24: The Roundtable – Social Action Summer Institute (Saint Louis, Mo.)
CMN’s Executive Director Karen Clfition will present a workshop and CMN will exhibit at this annual event of the Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors (CDSAC). This year’s event will include a focus on restorative justice from the perspectives of victims, offenders and community members, presentations on the foundations of Catholic Social Teaching, an
advanced symposium on restorative justice, immersion day trips, prayer, networking and more.
For more information visit the CDSAC website.
August 12-14: Leadership Conference of Women Religious Assembly (Nashville, Tenn.)
CMN’s Sister Ilaria will participate and CMN will exhibit at this annual meeting of the LCWR. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is the association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States . The conference has more than 1,500 members, who represent more than 80 percent of the 57,000 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, the conference assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.
For more information visit the LCWR website.
Want to know what else we're up to? Check out our full Calendar of Events.
If you have an event that your local Catholic organization is presenting or sponsoring on the death penalty or on a restorative justice topic and you would like it to appear in our CMN newsletter, please send us the relevant information, including flyers and complete descriptions of the event at least four weeks in advance. CMN may edit or choose not to publish any submission.