Virtual Conference to Expand Catholic Engagement with Restorative Justice

image of computer portraying conference website, dove in backgroundFor Immediate Release: October 1, 2020
Contact: Katlyn Toelle at (443) 417-5383
Website: Twitter: @CMNEndtheDP

Virtual Conference to Expand Catholic Engagement with Restorative Justice 

(Washington, DC) Catholic Mobilizing Network is pleased to announce a first-ever 3-day event, Harm, Healing, and Human Dignity: An All-Virtual Catholic Conference on Restorative Justice, to take place on October 27, 29, and 31 in collaboration with the University of San Diego Center for Restorative Justice and the Catholic Diocese of San Diego. More than 300 Church, ministry, and restorative justice leaders from across the country are expected to attend.

“Catholic interest in restorative justice is clearly growing, and transformative responses to harm and injustice are needed more than ever,” said Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, Executive Director of CMN. “Catholic Mobilizing Network is eager to create this highly-interactive virtual conference experience where participants will learn, network, and explore new and vital ways of enlivening Catholic engagement with restorative justice nationwide.”

A lived expression of Catholic Social Teaching principles, restorative justice approaches crime and harm in terms of the people and relationships impacted, rather than exclusively a law or rule that was broken. Restorative practices — such as peacemaking circles and community conferencing — seek to repair harm through transformative encounters that model Jesus’ reconciling way. 

Conference participants will have the opportunity to explore the philosophy and practices of restorative justice in a variety of contexts, including: criminal justice; academics and education; parish and diocesan ministry; racial justice; and faith-based and community collaboration.

An extraordinary lineup of speakers and presenters are confirmed:

  • Most Rev. Robert W. McElroy, Bishop of San Diego
  • Fr. David Kelly, C.PP.S, Founder and Executive Director of Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, Chicago, Illinois
  • Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ, Renowned anti-death penalty visionary
  • Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, Founder of Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles, California
  • sujatha baliga, Restorative justice practitioner and 2019 MacAurthur Fellow
  • Howard Zehr, Respected “grandfather of restorative justice” and Co-director of the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice, Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • David Karp, Professor and Director of the Center for Restorative Justice, University of San Diego
  • Leonard Rubio, Executive Director of Insight Prison Project, San Francisco, California
  • Maka Akan Najin Black Elk, Executive Director for Truth and Healing, Red Cloud Indian School, Pine Ridge, South Dakota
  • Kate and Deacon Andy Grosmaire with Julie and Michael McBride, Participants in a historic restorative justice process as told in Kate’s book, Forgiving My Daughter’s Killer: A True Story of Loss, Faith, and Unexpected Grace

Conference registrations will be accepted through Friday, October 16. The cost for individual attendees is $99/person; group rates of $35/person are also available. 

Members of the media are invited to register for the conference at a discounted rate. Please contact Katlyn Toelle at to receive your discount code.

To be put in contact with additional conference organizers and collaborators, please email


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

CMN works in close collaboration with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and is a founding member of the Congregation of St. Joseph Mission Network.