CMN’s Spring Travel & Expanding Collaborations

Most often, CMN engages with our network of supporters virtually. From digital advocacy, to webinars, emails, blogs, and social media posts, this virtual engagement allows us to involve people all across the country in our mission. 

But our work to end the death penalty and promote restorative justice is a national effort that requires significant “on the ground” work as well. From presenting at conferences, to convening national or regional leaders, to meeting with strategic partners, and so much more, this work is animated by staff weaving webs of connection and collaboration across the country.

So we’ve gathered some photos that offer a glimpse of a few recent things the CMN team has been up to.

National Catholic Partnership Summit | March 2024 

Caitlin Morneau facilitates a synodal listening and dialogue process with co-facilitators during the Catholic Partnership Summit.

At the 2024 Catholic Partnership Summit, hosted by Leadership Roundtable in Washington, DC, ordained and lay leaders from ministries, schools, and dioceses from across the country took a particular look at the role of young adult leadership in the Church.

The gathering was inspired by the synodal listening and dialogue model, which is deeply rooted in practices of restorative justice. CMN’s Director of Restorative Justice, Caitlin Morneau, co-facilitated the process of reflection and sharing in small groups throughout the conference.

Bishops’ Trip to Montgomery and Selma, Alabama | March 2024

(From left) Bishop Joensen, Bishop Perry, Archbishop Fabre, Archbishop Gudziak, Archbishop Cordileone, Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy (CMN), Danielle Brown (USCCB), and Bishop Cantú pose in front of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

In partnership with the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, CMN facilitated a Lenten experience in Alabama for six U.S. Catholic bishops and USCCB staff members and committee consultants. Participants visited key sites from the Civil Rights Movement and encountered local leaders and community members.

The trip included a visit to the world-renowned Legacy Museum, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge.

CMN staff Lucie Martinot-Lagarde and Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy meet with Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative.

Participants had the unique opportunity to meet with Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) and widely acclaimed lawyer and author of Just Mercy. EJI provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. The organization challenges the death penalty and excessive punishment and offers re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people.

Diversity Day at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School | March 2024

Emmjolee Mendoza Waters presents at Georgetown Visitation.

CMN’s Director of Death Penalty Abolition Program, Emmjolee Mendoza Waters, shared the keynote for the “The Power of Storytelling: Diversity Day 2024” at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, an all-girls high school in Washington, DC. Emmjolee shared stories with the students about her personal experiences of service around the world, and her role advocating for the abolition of the death penalty at CMN.

“If all you do is for your own gain, the world is a scary and lonely place,” she said. “If you make decisions to intentionally help others, you will be a better person for your community, and your community will be better, too.”

Reception with Pastors from Faith Leaders of Color Coalition | April 2024

Pastors from the Faith Leaders of Color Coalition, CMN staff members, and local DC anti-death penalty collaborators gather for a reception.

The Faith Leaders of Color Coalition (flocc) is a multifaith national organization of Black and indigenous faith leaders dedicated to advocating for justice, equity, and interrogation in the American Capital Punishment system. Members of this coalition traveled to Washington, DC for meetings at the White House to urge for commuting the federal death row. CMN hosted a reception for flocc leaders and other local DC anti-death penalty collaborators.

Light of Life Award from Atchison, Kansas | April 2024

Vicki and Syl Schieber and Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy meet with Benedictine College president Steve Minnis.

Long-time anti-death penalty advocates Vicki and Syl Schieber were awarded the Lumen Vitae Award from St. Benedicts Abbey Atchison, Kansas, for their courageous efforts to abolish the death penalty. CMN’s Executive Director, Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, traveled with the Schiebers to Kansas to accept the award and conduct relational meetings with allies in Kansas.

CSJ Ministries Trip to Montgomery and Selma, Alabama | April 2024

Participants pose for a photo outside Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

CMN led members of the Congregation of St. Joseph Ministries to Montgomery and Selma, Alabama. Participants included leaders from CSJ ministries across the United States in the areas of education, nonprofit, and beyond. Participants visited key sites from the Civil Rights Movement and encountered local leaders and community members.

Shelter in Solitude Film Screening with Siobhan Fallon Hogan | April 2024

Siobhan Fallon Hogan and Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy

American actress and comedian Siobhan Fallon Hogan recently visited The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC to screen her new movie Shelter in Solitude. The movie tells the story of a singer who becomes the personal guard to a man on death row in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Siobhan shares how her Catholic faith plays a role in her career, which has included appearances on Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, Men in Black, Forest Gump, and now Shelter in Solitude — which she wrote, produced, and starred in.

Congregational Visits Across Iowa | April 2024

Sr. Eileen Reilly, SSND poses with Sisters of St. Francis in Clinton, Iowa.

CMN’s Religious Engagement Associate, Sr. Eileen Reilly, SSND, traveled across the state of Iowa to meet with several congregations of Catholic religious sisters. These sisters are all faithful supporters of CMN’s work and staunch advocates for the abolition of the death penalty. Pictured above are three sisters who have held a vigil on the day of every execution that has taken place since over the last two decades.

Where would we be without our religious sisters!

2024 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards

Caitlin Morneau and Aswad Thomas

CMN’s Director of Restorative Justice, Caitlin Morneau, attended the 2024 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards, a ceremony in Washington, DC that was held in commemoration of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Aswad Thomas, a panelist from CMN’s 2023 National Catholic Conference on Restorative Justice and a recent guest on Encounters With Dignity, a restorative justice podcast from CMN, was awarded the Survivor Voices Award.