About the Conference

Restorative justice is a way of understanding crime and harm in terms of the people and relationships impacted, rather than the law or rule that was broken. Restorative practices seek to repair harm through transformative encounters that model Jesus’ reconciling way.

A lived expression of Catholic Social Teaching principles, restorative justice offers a framework for transforming relationships and systems that values human dignity, accountability, healing, and racial equity.

Held in October 2020, the Harm, Healing, and Human Dignity Conference came at a critical moment in our Church and nation.

With interest and engagement in restorative justice continually growing, the conference brought together impacted persons, experienced practitioners, ministry leaders, and advocates from across the country to enliven Catholic engagement with restorative justice in the United States. It invited a renewed exploration of the vital intersections between Catholic Social Teaching and restorative justice practices, and created opportunities for life-giving responses to harm and injustice to flourish.

The conference supported a diverse and inclusive environment that reflected the richness of racial and cultural identities in and beyond our churches. Speakers and workshops highlighted local and national examples of restorative practices applied in criminal justice ministry, Catholic education, and parish/diocesan life.

Informed by faith-based, secular, and collaborative efforts, the conference fostered formation, story-sharing, and network-building among Catholic individuals and institutions.