We, as members of the Marianist Family, because of our belief in the sanctity of all human life and in the dignity of all persons, pledge ourselves to prayer, education, reflection, and action to abolish the death penalty. The death penalty is unjust, inhumane and inconsistent with the Gospel message. We seek to change hearts and minds concerning this injustice. As a positive step, we promote restorative justice, a community-centered approach to justice which views crime as a violation of people and relationships, rather than simply a violation of law. Restorative Justice works to repair the harm caused when any offense is committed by focusing on the needs of the victims (including the community) and on the offender’s responsibility to repair harm, with the goal of fostering healing and restoring relationships.

Our Mission

Death Penalty Abolition and Restorative Justice Issue Team

Advocates for the abolition of the death penalty and the greater use of restorative justice processes.

The DP/RJ issue team has just published a discussion guide with the help on NACMS. The guide is designed to be used during a faith community meeting and is a great introduction to death penalty abolition and restorative justice practices! Find the guide for use here

Death Penalty and Restorative Justice Discussion Guide

Circle Process Training

Collaboration with Catholic Mobilizing Network 

Advocating for the Abolition of the Death Penalty Across the US

DEATH PENALTY AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE DISCUSSION GUIDE

In our home states, especially Ohio, Texas and Maryland, we have worked for many years to abolish the death penalty. That dream became a reality for Maryland in 2013, when the death penalty was officially abolished in the state. We are still actively working in Ohio and Texas by supporting local groups (Ohioans to Stop Executions & Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty) with financial donations and support for their legislative action. We continue to attend and support annual events that bring people together to highlight this issue on a national level including attending and supporting the Fast and Vigil in front of the Supreme Court in D.C. each summer (it is virtual for 2020) and working with Journey of Hope.

Advocating for the Abolition of the Death Penalty Across the US

Circle Process Training

Collaboration with Catholic Mobilizing Network 

Advocating for the Abolition of the Death Penalty Across the US

DEATH PENALTY AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE DISCUSSION GUIDE

We have been working closely with the Catholic Mobilizing Network, CMN, to be trained in restorative practices. We piloted their small group program titled “Restorative Justice, Restorative Living” and are working on adapting this for Marianist communities to use. If your community is interested in learning more about restorative justice, please reach out to us here so we can discuss using this program further!

Collaboration with Catholic Mobilizing Network 

Circle Process Training

Collaboration with Catholic Mobilizing Network 

Advocating for the Abolition of the Death Penalty Across the US

DEATH PENALTY AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE DISCUSSION GUIDE

All current members of this issue team have participated in a restorative justice training that introduced circle process. The circle process is a structured discussion process combining ancient wisdom and practices with our current complex multicultural societies. This process is meant to be used in difficult discussions and helps build understanding, strengths, safety, and authenticity within groups, even between those individuals who have been extremely hurt by the other. We support the use of restorative justice and circle processes in the criminal justice system, and also hope to see it used throughout communities for a variety of purposes. Our issue team continues to be trained in the circle process and hope to have more to offer directly to Marianists soon. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us. Catholic Mobilizing Network does have circle facilitator trainings throughout the year! 

Circle Process Training

Circle Process Training

Collaboration with Catholic Mobilizing Network 

Advocating for the Abolition of the Death Penalty Across the US

DEATH PENALTY AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE DISCUSSION GUIDE

Our Current Projects

Numerous principles of Catholic Social Teaching are inextricably intertwined with the movement to abolish the death penalty and promote restorative justice throughout our criminal justice system and society as a whole. The fundamental cornerstone of all Catholic Social Teaching is the sanctity of all human life and the belief that every human person is created in the image and likeness of God. This includes both victims and offenders alike. This core tenet of Catholic Social Teaching teaches us that grace can transform and restore even those who commit the most heinous acts. We must also stand with victims in their search for healing and true justice.

Why is the Marianist Family called to work on this issue?

These statements were primarily taken or adapted from the USCCB Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching and Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice.

Some of the personal and interpersonal skills needed for living and being in Marianist lay or religious community include communication, cooperation, mutual respect, courage, forgiveness, patience, and trust. This means appreciating the presence of a wide range of perspectives, opinions, and beliefs, as well as the diverse people who bring the various religious, cultural, and social elements of their lives to community. This also means collaborative decision-making and conflict resolution among the members of the community. We believe restorative justice practices can be used to offer healing in the hurt or brokenness of our communities. We believe these practices highlight the innate dignity in each person and will help us create stronger, more peaceful, more wholesome and enriching communities in our lives. 

The abolition of the death penalty and the support for restorative justice practices also has strong connections to our Marianist faith. For Marianists, community is one of the five pillars that define our charism to the world. All Marianists are part of a community greater than themselves. We strive for our communities to embody a family spirit, empower everyone within the community, build on each person's gifts and strengths, and provide a sense of belonging for all. 
The Marianist vision of community living is based in the conviction that every person has innate dignity because all are made in the likeness of God. Christ's call for us to love one another includes the particular challenge to love and to respect those who are different from us.

Marianist Connection

Interest form

Any interest in learning more about or joining this issue team?