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. Echoing principles of Catholic Social Tradition, it offers a framework for transforming relationships and systems that values human dignity, accountability, healing, and racial equity.
This conference comes at a critical moment in our Church and in our nation. Interest and engagement in restorative justice is growing among Catholics. This conference brings together impacted persons, experienced practitioners, ministry leaders, and advocates from across the country to enliven Catholic engagement with restorative justice in the United States.
Speakers and workshops will highlight 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 will foster peer-to-peer learning, story-sharing, and networking among Catholic individuals and institutions.
Most Reverend Robert W. McElroy – Bishop of San Diego, President of the California Catholic Conference, and member of the USCCB committee on domestic justice and committee on international affairs.
Christina Swarns – Nationally respected lawyer and criminal justice advocate. Attorney-In-Charge at the New York Office of the Appellate Defender (OAD) and member of Catholic Mobilizing Network's board of directors.
Sheryl Wilson – Director of Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution and President of the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice.
Kate & Deacon Andy Grosmaire with Julie & Michael McBride – Parents of Ann Grosmaire and Conor McBride, who engaged in a restorative justice process following Ann's death in 2010.
David Karp – is a professor and director of the Center for Restorative Justice in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. He is also a member of the planning team for the Restorative Justice Network of Catholic Campuses.
Stay tuned for additional speakers to be announced.
The conference planning committee invites workshop proposals that highlight examples of restorative justice practices applied within or in collaboration with Catholic institutions and ministries. Additional information about selection criteria can be found on the application form.