“I was in prison and you visited me . …I tell you whenever you did this for one of the least important of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me!”— Matthew 25:36, 40
The mission of Restorative Justice Ministry is to provide a Catholic pastoral presence to the over 4,500 men, women and children incarcerated in the Diocese of San Jose in our county jails, juvenile facilities and prisons that reflects a sensitivity to the ethnic and cultural differences and needs of this special population.
Restorative Justice seeks also to provide a healing service to victims, families of victims, offenders, families of offenders and to all who are affected by the criminal justice system.
The primary focus of Restorative Justice is to communicate the GOOD NEWS of God’s unconditional love for all.
Restorative Justice is an approach that addresses the various needs of people impacted by crime and conflict that are created when a person has been harmed or treated unfairly. Restorative Justice processes, in response to crime and conflict, are highly adaptable to different people, environments and systems as the identified needs of the people involved help formulate the unique response that can contribute to a person’s sense of safety, justice and well-being.
Through the work of trained volunteers and facilitators, the Diocese of San Jose is now ready to invite any person who has been impacted by violence or has lost a loved one through violence to become part of a forum where each one can share his/her story in order to move toward wholeness and healing. If you would like to be part of such a group, please contact Sister Maryann Cantlon at (408) 983-0131.
New! Support Group for Family Members of Incarcerated Persons
If you have a loved one in one of our detention facilities, we now have a monthly support group for family members to gather with others in a similar situation. Please contact Merylee Shelton at (408) 218-1928.
Ministry to the Incarcerated
We do not give up on those who have lost their way. Most offenders will walk among us again, and despite their many public sins, our faith affirms that the Lord does not ever abandon anyone but calls us all to repentance. The mission of Jesus, who was himself a prisoner, began with proclaiming “good news to the poor and release to captives” (Luke 4). In light of this, the Diocese of San Jose has one hundred volunteers, both ordained and lay, who minister to the spiritual needs of the inmates in the Santa Clara County jails.