It was a whirlwind summer and fall for CMN. For the first time in many months, it seemed that in-person gatherings and national conferences were back in full swing. As travel became more feasible and CMN’s team continued to grow in number (click here to meet our current team), we quickly realized we could cover more miles than ever before.
All told, CMN visited ten different states between June and October. Some were high-use death penalty states, where CMN went to mobilize Catholics to oppose executions. Others were abolition states, where CMN worked to educate Catholics about the use of restorative justice.
Along the way, we gave presentations, attended demonstrations, and encountered thousands of Catholic advocates who share our commitment to transforming our broken criminal legal system.
Did you cross paths with CMN this summer or fall? Here are all the places you might have seen us.
CMN in the Mid-Atlantic
With its office based in Washington, DC, it wasn’t hard to find CMN staff out and about the nation’s capital.
If you walked by the U.S. Supreme Court building in early July, you might have seen CMN team members participating in the annual “Starvin’ for Justice” Fast & Vigil Against the Death Penalty. This four-day event brings together abolitionists from across the country on the anniversary of Furman v. Georgia to call for an end to capital punishment.
In August, CMN’s Executive Director, Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, presented at “Sharing the Joy of the Gospel and Seeking a Better Kind of Politics,” hosted by Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life. A few weeks later, Krisanne also spoke on a panel alongside fellow Catholic leaders at the Leadership Roundtable’s 2022 Catholic Partnership Summit.
The following month, on this year’s World Day Against the Death Penalty, CMN convened more than 200 people at its Justice Reimagined Awards & Celebration, hosted at the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See.
A bit further north, in Linthicum, Maryland, CMN’s Religious Engagement Associate, Sr. Eileen Reilly, SSND, attended the June convening of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests. In August, Sr. Eileen could also be spotted at Pax Christi USA’s 50th Anniversary National Conference in Arlington, Virginia, alongside CMN’s Director of Development, Jeff Sved, and board members Dick Dieter and Mary Novak.
When the GIVEN Institute, a network of young Catholic women leaders, announced their June reception in Philadelphia, CMN sent its Director of Community Engagement, Emma Tacke, to represent the organization.
CMN in the South
CMN’s on-the-ground presence in southern states is critical, as this region remains home to the majority of executions in the U.S. each year.
With this in mind, Emma Tacke made her way to Oklahoma in August, in the midst of the state’s ongoing, 25-person execution spree. Throughout her visit, Emma participated in a training for faith leaders about the death penalty, presented at a day-long grassroots activists training, and attended the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty’s annual awards dinner. The visit laid important groundwork for CMN to continue mobilizing Catholic Oklahomans to oppose the state’s death penalty.
In June, CMN Executive Assistant Fatima Torres traveled to Texas — an infamous death penalty state. Fatima worked on building relationships with Hispanic Catholic sisters at the Asociación de Hermanas Latinas Misioneras en América Conference in San Antonio.
CMN in the Midwest
Several members of CMN’s staff gathered in Chicago this July for the bi-annual conference hosted by the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice. CMN’s Director of Restorative Justice, Caitlin Morneau, gave a workshop during the conference and hosted a side meeting for fellow attendees.
After the event, CMN staff attended a special gathering hosted by Restorative Church, where faith leaders discussed the role of the Church in restorative justice and trauma-healing work.
Later in July, CMN hosted its annual Circle Keeper Training at Chicago’s Precious Blood Ministry Reconciliation. A total of 16 Catholic ministry leaders attended to learn how to facilitate restorative circles in their communities. (Click here to learn about CMN’s upcoming restorative justice events.)
As Ohio lawmakers consider two pending death penalty abolition bills, Sr. Eileen traveled to Cincinnati in September to attend the annual Conference of Communicators for Women Religious. The following month, Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy traveled to Cleveland to offer a keynote at the local First Friday Club’s monthly luncheon.
And in St. Louis, Missouri, Sr. Eileen and Krisanne jointly represented CMN at the annual Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) Assembly in St. Louis, Missouri. As in years past, they hosted a special gathering for Catholic sisters interested in learning more about restorative justice and anti-death penalty advocacy.
CMN in the Northeast and Northwest
Sr. Eileen continued her tour of the U.S. in August, as she made her way to Buffalo, New York to attend the annual gathering of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men. There, she built relationships with men religious who are interested in collaborating with CMN on anti-death penalty efforts.
In July, CMN Communications Associate Moira Greaney represented CMN at the annual Catholic Media Conference in Portland, Oregon. Moira connected with fellow Catholic communicators and journalists working for Catholic publications.
Where will you find us next?
To hear about the next time CMN travels to your area, sign up for our emails at catholicsmobilizing.org/join and be sure to tell us your zip code.
Want to invite CMN to speak at your parish or to visit your community? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our team will get back to you.