Catholic Organizations, Texas Advocates to Unite in San Antonio for World Day Against the Death Penalty

Free, public events will amplify Catholic anti-death penalty teachings and lament the Oct. 10 execution of Jedidiah Murphy

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN), in partnership with the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW), Pax Christi Texas, and the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (TCADP), announces a series of free, public events in San Antonio, Texas to mark the annual World Day Against the Death Penalty on October 10, 2023. Titled “United to End the Death Penalty,” the events include a prayer vigil, dinner, and speaker panel that will promote the Catholic Church’s anti-death penalty teachings, amplify voices of those adversely affected by this unjust system, and lament Texas’ impending execution of Jedidiah Murphy.

“We look forward to gathering in Texas as a Catholic community on World Day Against the Death Penalty to bear witness to the sanctity of all life, including the life of Jedidiah Murphy, who is scheduled for execution that very same day,” stated CMN Executive Director Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy. “We pray that Mr. Murphy’s life will be spared, and that hearts and minds will be opened to our Church’s teaching that capital punishment is unacceptable in all cases.”

The “United to End the Death Penalty” events are part of a three-leg Catholic college speaking tour organized by CMN to amplify Catholic opposition to capital punishment. Known as “Next Gen for Justice,” the tour included a stop at Loyola University New Orleans in September and an upcoming visit to Xavier University in Ohio in October. 

“We are delighted that the Catholic Mobilizing Network selected San Antonio as one of the sites for its ‘Next Gen for Justice’ tour of college campuses,” said Kristin Houlé Cuellar, Executive Director of TCADP. “We need the next generation of Texas leaders to stand with us in advocating for an end to the death penalty!”

The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, the founders of UIW, experienced the murder of one of their members, Sister Patricia Ann Kelley, in 1987. Realizing that the death penalty seemed incompatible with the Gospel, they took a corporate stance against the death penalty and continue to work for its abolition with both Catholic and humanitarian groups.



A public vigil will be held outside the San Fernando Cathedral (115 Main Plaza, San Antonio, TX 78205) for Jedidiah Murphy, who is scheduled for execution by the state of Texas on the evening of October 10. The vigil will provide an opportunity for attendees to express solidarity and opposition to the death penalty. Additional details can be found here.

DINNER | 6:15-8:30 p.m. CT:

A casual buffet meal will be held in the UIW Student Engagement Ballroom (4301 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209). This gathering will offer an opportunity for participants to connect, share experiences, and join together in the fight against the death penalty. Dinner is free. Registration required.


Three exceptional panelists will present their personal testimonies and research on the death penalty in Texas. The panel, hosted in the UIW Student Ballroom (4301 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78209), will provide a platform for discussion, education, and raising awareness about the need to end capital punishment.

The panelists include:

  • Monique Coleman: Sister of a death row exoneree who tirelessly advocated for his liberation and reintegration into society
  • Mitesh Patel: A San Antonio resident who passionately advocated against the execution of the man responsible for his father’s murder
  • Dr. Doshie Piper: Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of the Incarnate Word

About Catholic Mobilizing Network

Catholic Mobilizing Network is a national organization that mobilizes Catholics and all people of goodwill to value life over death, to end the use of the death penalty, to transform the U.S. criminal legal system from punitive to restorative, and to build capacity in U.S. society to engage in restorative practices.

About University of the Incarnate Word

With over 135 years of tradition, the University of the Incarnate Word is committed to educational excellence in a context of faith in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God. UIW is the largest Catholic university in the state and the fourth-largest private university in Texas. UIW is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.

About Pax Christi USA

Pax Christi Texas is a fellowship of Pax Christi groups in Texas, a regional branch of Pax Christi USA, and affiliated with Pax Christi International Catholic peace movement. Steeped in the Catholic tradition, Pax Christi’s advocacy for peace and justice is based on the Church’s social teaching and on Jesus Christ’s lived example of prayer, nonviolence, and solidarity with the poor. 

About Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is the only statewide grassroots advocacy organization dedicated solely to ending the death penalty in Texas. Led by staff in Austin and Dallas and a statewide Board of Directors, TCADP has more than 13,000 supporters and 37 organizational affiliates. TCADP collaborates with local, state, and national partners to reduce the use of the death penalty and advocate for change at the county and state level.