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Insights: Program Helps Parolees; Two-Year Session Ending

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August 24, 2018

A Bridge to Redemption: Pilot program aims to help parolees re-enter society

After 30 years behind bars, Doris Frey stood at the threshold of freedom and hesitated. Life on the outside was now a life unknown.

“They opened the gate and I just stood there…What’s waiting for me out there?” recalls Frey.

That’s a question the Diocese of San Bernardino is helping her answer with the new Bridges Mentoring Program. It’s aim; support Catholic parolees as they rebuild their lives. Bridges will assist them in finding work, a parish and even contribute money for rent, food and clothing. Frey is the first, the test case, on which Bridges will be based. Though she briefly waivered during her release, something clicked...literally.

“As soon as I heard the gate click, I ran!” she laughs. “I heard all the girls go ‘Doris, Doris!’ They were on the fence chanting my name.”

Less than a month later, Frey was working with her mentor Marciano Avilla, Director of the Diocesan Office of Restorative Justice. His Office developed the Bridges program after seeing a void. 

Avilla and other mentors will work with parolees before and after release for a total of 18 months. Initially they’ll meet once a week, less as parolees get acclimated to life on

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With Two-Year Legislative Session Ending, Bills are Moving Quickly

With just one week left in this Legislative session, legislators are now working furiously to shepherd their bills through both houses and onto the Governor’s desk.  As of earlier this week, California lawmakers had more than 750 bills to settle with 548 bills in the Senate and 210 bills in the Assembly.

The Legislative session ends at midnight on August 31. With this year being the end of the two-year legislative session, there is even more activity, debate and discussion taking place within the Capitol walls. 

As the legislative session draws to a rapid close, there are several bills that are of critical importance. The California Catholic Conference (CCC) is tracking them closely and you can expect to see several alerts in the coming week asking you to act as the status of the bills rapidly change.

You can expect to continue to see alert activity as the bills are sent to Governor Brown, who has 30 days to act after he is presented with bills at the end of a session. There are no guarantees as to whether a bill will be signed or vetoed, so please stay diligent in sending letters via the alerts.

As always, visit for a comprehensive list of all bills being monitored by the CCC and thank you for being a voice for life and dignity in California.


Act on These Bills Now


California Blessed with New Priests

A diverse mix of 35 new apostles of Christ were ordained to the priesthood in California this year, entering ministry to the state’s Catholics.

The newly-ordained priests include men who heard Christ’s call early in their adult lives, but also men who travelled other paths into middle age before hearing the call. Among them are men who had been surfers, financial managers, space researchers, teachers and musicians, to name a few of those who had previous occupations.

Some are native Californians; others were born in other states. Many were born in Mexico.

The largest ordination took place in Los Angeles where Archbishop Jose H. Gomez ordained nine men for the archdiocese. The diversity of the City of Angels is reflected in the men who became Catholic priests there in 2018.

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Pope Francis Calls for Solidarity with Abuse Victims

“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it,” writes Pope Francis in a letter responding to the revelations by the Pennsylvania Attorney General.  “These words of Saint Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons.

“Crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike.  Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient.  Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated.”

Read the Full Letter


August 24, 2018
Vol. 11, No. 27

En Español