By Vicki Schieber, CMN
September 16, 2011
In our May edition of the CMN e-newsletter, we promised to introduce the Mount-CMN programs and interns for the Fall 2011 semester. We are now in the third week of our new semester and are pleased to introduce our two interns, Megan Kinsella, a Junior, and Sarah Roe, a Senior.
Megan and Sarah will initially be assisting CMN in gaining survey information on what is being done in seminaries to educate seminarians about Catholic social teaching in general and the death penalty in particular. One of our goals is to assist Catholic universities and seminaries in developing educational resources on the death penalty, especially materials focusing on the Church’s teaching on the death penalty.
Future intern projects will include researching American lay and religious organizations working on death penalty repeal and gathering articles and information on Respect Life issues for the CMN website. This information will be available as a resource for priests and lay ministers in parish communities. Additional Mount students, Joey Gannon and Megan Earley, have volunteered for service projects supporting CMN in updating and managing our database as well as gathering materials for future campus programs.
This fall, the Mount is offering a course called “Perspectives on the Death Penalty.” This is a 75-minute course providing an in-depth, interdisciplinary study of the death penalty through an analysis of philosophical, theological, sociological, political and historical texts. The class, taught by Dr. Trudy Conway of the Philosophy Department, is offered twice a week and now has 26 students participating. The primary focus is a critical examination of arguments regarding the current practice of the death penalty in contemporary American society. A major segment of the course focuses on Catholic teaching on the death penalty.
Vicki Schieber participates in the course and will be teaching a segment of the course that focuses on the experience of murder victim family members in dealing with the U.S. criminal justice system. This segment will also consider the relation of restorative justice and the death penalty.
Conway and Schieber also are preparing a summer workshop on restorative justice that will be part of the Mount’s 2012 summer program offerings. The two-day workshop on the Mount campus will target attendees from local faith communities who serve as lay ministers and educators, do prison service, or are simply interested in learning more about restorative justice. The program will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, July 27, 2012, with registration followed by dinner, a speaker presentation and an evening prayer service. On Saturday, July 28, 2012, there will be several workshop sessions during the day followed by Mass at the conclusion of the program. More information will follow in future e-newsletters, when the topics, speakers and other details become available.
Finally, we want to update you on the progress of the textbook on the death penalty being written by 16 Mount Saint Mary’s scholars, also discussed in our May e-newsletter. The book chapters are due for submission in December 2011. After revising and editing, the content will be sent to the publisher during the summer of 2012. We expect a publication date in the fall/winter cycle of 2012/2013. The central theme is the restoration of people whose lives have been torn apart by violence and hate. The intent is to communicate the love and hope of the Gospels and Catholic social teaching.