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Justice & Peace

Restorative Justice

Sisters hold up black and white signs saying Being in Communion Against Racism in front of the old St. Louis Courthouse

In June 2020, the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph put out a statement on racism and a commitment to direct action. As part of this commitment, the U.S. Federation will be hosting a four-part series on restorative justice, its relationship to the Charism, and how we can more fully incorporate restorative justice into our daily lives and ministries.

2020 Workshop Series

September Workshop: Restorative Justice and the CSSJ Charism

On Thursday, September 24 at 3 pm ET, we had our first restorative justice workshop. In this first session we discussed the philosophy, principles and practices of restorative justice. We also discussed the intersection of the CSSJ charism and restorative justice values. 

Speakers: Caitlin Morneau (Catholic Mobilizing Network) and Sr. Rose McLarney (Carondelet-St. Louis)

Moderated By: Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy (Catholic Mobilizing Network)


October Workshop: Racism and Restorative Justice in Catholic Institutions

On Saturday, October 10 we held our second restorative justice workshop. Dr. Shannen Dee Williams (Villanova University) and Sr. Melinda Pellerin (Springfield) discussed racism within Catholic institutions, historical truth telling, and practical reparations necessary to move forward. This workshop discussed antiracism work within the Charism and attendees left with a concrete and historically informed plan of action.

Speakers: Dr. Shannen Dee Williams and Sr. Melinda Pellerin (Springfield)


November Workshop: Restorative Justice Practitioners

On Thursday, November 19 we held our third restorative justice workshop. People utilizing restorative justice in their lives and ministries gave short presentations on how they incorporate restorative justice principles. This was followed by a lively panel discussion where participants asked practical questions of our panelists, leaving with concrete ideas of how to incorporate these principles into our own lives.

Panelists: Jessica Cuevas (Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles), Emile DeWeaver (Prison Renaissance), Sean Horrigan (University of San Diego), Heather Thompson (DC Peace Team) 

Moderated by: Arica Maurer, Director of the Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence at Avila University


December Workshop: Restorative Justice with Sr. Helen Prejean

On Tuesday, December 15 a, author and anti-death penalty advocate Sr. Helen Prejean joined us in a conversation about restorative justice in her life and in her ministry. Sr. Helen, a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph, drew on her experience as a companion to death row inmates and her ministry to end the death penalty. The discussion was moderated by Sr. Maryellen Kane (Brentwood), executive director of the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph and a long-time community organizer.