The Archdiocese of San Francisco will be conducting special prayer services this week to remember people who were killed in the city and its surrounding area since October and their families. "We ask that you please remember, during daily and Sunday services, all affected family, friends and those involved in these crimes," said Julio Escobar, Director of Restorative Ministry.
The Christmas season is difficult for families who have lost loved ones to violence. The Church family, friends, and the community are often at a loss about how to be there for those who must face the holidays without the children, parents, sisters and brothers who were so loved. Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) has put together resources to help us all face the grief and cope. POMC has a number of chapters in California.
KNXT aired a two-part program on restorative justice this fall as part of its Catholic Social Teaching 101 broadcast. Participants active in the Fresno area talk about how these principles are being implemented in schools, neighborhoods, prisons and parishes.
St. Catherine of Alexandria church in Riverside participates in a Diocese of San Bernardino ministry that offers spiritual guidance to the incarcerated at more than two dozen jails, prisons and juvenile halls in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Such work is encouraged in the diocese that serves 1.6 million Catholics in the region. On Monday, its leader, Bishop Gerald Barnes, traveled to the Norco prison to say Mass for the Virgin of Guadalupe’s feast day.
Maisha and Lawrence (Torry) Winn are heading to UC Davis with a clear mission. They will be establishing the new School of Education Center for Restorative Justice on campus.
“I think the University has an opportunity to be a leader in transformative justice and education,” Ms. Winn says. “There is a culture and rich history of engaging in difficult conversations about differences among people, and looking at those differences as an asset, not a deficit.”
On Friday, December 2, the Diocese of San Bernardino marked the first anniversary of the attack at the Inland Regional Center with an Interfaith Prayer Service and a Memorial Mass. Family members of victims of the attack were present for both events. The Bishop also called for a one minute observance in silent prayer at 10:58am that morning, the exact hour of the San Bernardino shootings.
Dozens of prisoners staged a "flash mob" inside an Italian men’s prison to celebrate Pope Francis’ calls for prison reform and greater tolerance and acceptance of the world’s migrants.
Crux reports that a "flash mob" will be staged on Thursday, December 1, in an Italian prison. It will feature a zumba routine set to the tune of "Pope is Pop," and highlight Francis's vision on prison reform. It's been tough to win attention for Pope Francis's social justice priorities in the media. But the welfare and rehabilitation of the incarcerated has consistently been one of his top five concerns. Are Americans ready to listen?
Since Healing Hearts, Restoring Hope (HHRH) hosted its week-long training in Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD) earlier this year, the program has worked closely with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services to expand VOD in Southern California. VOD is a victim-initiated, face-to-face meeting between the victim or survivor of a serious or violent crime, including homicide, and the person who committed the crime.
Each week since 2012, Rev. Michael Quinn, who is a chaplain for the San Francisco Police Department, and Julio Escobar, who helped create the prayer efforts and outreach for the Restorative Ministry of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, have often stood alone on street corners and in alleys to pray for those who have lost their lives to violence. So far this year, they have prayed at every one of the 46 homicide scenes across San Francisco, oftentimes with little fanfare and no audience.