The Catholic Mobilizing Network continues to expand its growing list of informed, experienced, and acclaimed speakers who regularly address the issue of capital punishment in the United States. The speakers below have spoken to small high school groups and large conferences. Some have addressed Members of Congress and others draw from the unique ministerial experiences of death row. Others can offer personal stories of conversion and their efforts to bring about the end of the death penalty.

For more information on any of the speakers listed or assistance in reaching out to any of them, please e-mail CMN Executive Director Karen Clifton.

Karen Clifton, MDiv. CMN Executive Director
Executive Director

Karen Clifton is the Executive Director of Catholic Mobilizing Network. She began her work against the death penalty in 1996 in Houston, Texas, when her social justice and advocacy projects intersected with those of Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ. In 2008, Karen spearheaded the formation of Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN).

Headquartered in Washington, DC, CMN seeks to apply the Church’s teaching on the dignity of human life in the areas of capital punishment and restorative justice.

Sr. Ilaria Buonriposi, CMS, Latino Outreach
Latino Outreach

Sr. Ilaria Buonriposi is an Italian Comboni Missionary Sister.  After graduating in Social Work at the  Universidad Pontificia Comillas (the Jesuits’ University in Madrid, Spain), she ministered for 17 years in Peru and Colombia in different areas. In Peru she had been organizing communities and educating women for the Diocese of Lurin, and running a diocesan microcredit program to eradicate poverty em­powering people living below the poverty line.  In Colombia she worked with street children in a con­flict zone.

Speaker

Dr. Trudy Conway has recently retired from her position as Professor of Philosophy at Mount Saint Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland; prior to that position she taught at Shiraz University in Iran. Her Ph.D. is from Fordham University. She has published three books, “Wittgenstein on Foundations” (1989), “Where Justice and Mercy Meet” (editor, 2013) and “Intercultural Dialogue on the Virtues” (2014) and a range of papers on contemporary philosophy and ethical issues.

Speaker

Sister Helen Prejean has been instrumental in sparking national dialogue on the death penalty and helping to shape the Catholic Church’s newly vigorous opposition to state executions.  She travels around the world giving talks about her ministry.  She considers herself a southern storyteller.

Speaker

Dale Recinella, author of When We Visit Jesus in Prison: A Resource Guide for Catholic Prison Ministry (ACTA Publications, 2016)Now I Walk on Death Row: A Wall Street Finance Lawyer Stumbles into the Arms of a Loving God (Chosen Books: April 2011) and The Biblical Truth about America’s Death Penalty (Northeastern University Press: 2004), "Ending the Death Penalty: What One Catholic Supreme Court Justice Could Do," America, April 28, 2008, and "Why American Catholics Must Say 'No' to the Death Penalty," Ame

Speaker

Dr. Susan Ward Recinella, awarded her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) at Nova University, School of Psychology, Fort Lauderdale, FL (1986), is licensed in Florida and Georgia with a specialty in working with the severely mentally ill. She currently serves as a Senior Psychologist and Director of Psychological Internship Training at Northeast Florida State Hospital, Macclenny, FL. Dr. Recinella has been a fellow in private practice (Tallahassee, FL) working with children, adolescents and adults, and is a member of the Florida Psychological Association.

Speaker

Vicki Schieber is co-founder of Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights and is a noted advocate for death penalty repeal. Vicki daughter, Shannon, was raped and murdered on May 7, 1998 while finishing her first year of graduate school on a full scholarship at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Since this tragic incident, Vicki and her husband, Sylvester, have dedicated their career and lives to a moratorium on the death penalty. In addition to teaching many high schools and university classes on abolition, Vicki runs workshops for state conferences, is a published author, and served on the 2008 Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment.

Speaker

Terri Steinberg is a member of Virginians for Alternatives for the Death Penalty, Journey of Hope from Violence to Healing and is proud to be a part of Catholic Mobilizing Network Speakers Bureau.

Speaker

Celebrated Catholic media personality, Msgr. Stewart Swetland, hosts the EWTN television show Catholicism on Campus and Go Ask Your Father on Relevant Radio. He is also the seventh President of Donnelly College in Kansas City, KS, a Professor of Leadership and Christian Ethics, and a contributing author to CMN’s Where Justice and Mercy Meet.