As Catholics, we encourage the use of restorative practices because they make room for the Holy Spirit to do its transformative work in the world. We see them as life-giving approaches that can guide paths of renewed encounter.
Such practices include circle process, community conferencing, and truth and reconciliation processes.
Different situations may require different approaches. For example, a process used to examine and transform an individual harm or injustice may well be inappropriate at the institutional, historic, or systemic level.
Readers are advised to invest time and energy in training, study, and reflection on the type of practice that is most appropriate to your community’s need and type of ministry.
The application of restorative practices may vary depending on who is involved, the particular harms/needs at hand, the institution, and the geographic or cultural context.
Living the values and principles of restorative justice is not limited to utilizing formal processes. They do, however, invite us to “rehearse” healing ways of interacting with one another that can ripple out into our everyday relationships.