Bishop Michael C. Barber has taken a leadership role in supporting community Ceasefire walks to combat violence in the Diocese of Oakland's neighborhoods. Ceasefire participation had dwindled over recent months with fewer people doing the monthly walks that call for an end to gun violence in our communities. Violence, unfortunately, was once again on the rise. Bishop Barber decided to make Ceasefire a visible part of the diocese's activities for the Year of Mercy. The attention revived energy for all.
According to a post in National Catholic Reporter's The Field Hospital blog, the faith connection is growing with Catholics on the outside and incarcerated men and women. The article cites many programs across the countyr, including the death row ministry at San Quentin, the pen pal project in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, where U.S. parishes and dioceses are reaching out to the incarcerated.
Diocese of Monterey - Restorative Partners, a non-profit organization that serves people impacted by crime, presented a series of short classes for the deacons of the Diocese of Monterey and their wives during their convocation in early March. The day was spent entering into a taste of the work Restorative Partners does, with topics including:
Deacon Clyde Davis has stepped into the role of Chaplain Specialist for the Catholic chaplains working in California state prisons. The California Catholic Conference received a grant in late 2015 to develop a statewide program that would build a stronger network of support for current chaplains and recruit new people to the ministry.
Archdiocese of San Francisco – Communidad San Dimas is a ministry focused on bringing the Christian message of forgiveness, restorative justice, and peace to at-risk youth. The young people may be former gang members, or formerly incarcerated young men and women in probation or parole programs. The program also offers support to their victims.
Diocese of San Bernardino – The Office of Social Concerns for the diocese is leading a night walk to stop gun violence in the community. The event calls on faith and community leaders to stand together and find "Common Ground for Peace." Inland Congregations United for Change, a PICO National Network affiliate, is the cohost for the event.
Date: Thursday, March 17th, 4pm
Starting point: St. Anthony's Parish, 1640 Western Avenue
Ending point: St. Paul AME, 2050 N. Mt. Vernon Avenue
In 2014 California voters strongly passed Proposition 47. Its goal is to reduce the huge number of people incarcerated in California for relatively small crimes, a number that had been growing far faster than population growth. Today, the California Catholic Conference published an update on the impact this legislation is having in communities across California. The article also points to important restorative justice legislation that is being introduced this year to continue the groundwork laid by Prop 47.
California Catholic Conference just completed its first ever chaplain recruitment exhibit at the LA Religious Education Congress. It was a great success. The booth had a large number of visitors, young and old. Sixty-two individuals sign up to be contacted further about being a chaplain or volunteer.
Thanks to chaplains from many different state agencies for volunteering at the booth: