PJM Newsletter
May/June 2023
Dear Volunteers and Friends,

It was wonderful to see many of you on Saturday, April 22 for the Restorative Justice Conference planned by the men at Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility (MTU). It was a powerful, inspiring and transforming day beginning with our keynote presenter James Wahlberg, for Radical Mission: Inspiring collaborative action through restorative culture. During Jim’s visit to Michigan, I had the opportunity to bring him to MTU to share his journey with over 130 of our incarcerated friends, and how a chance encounter with Mother Teresa while incarcerated, changed his life.

While in prison we also watched Mother Teresa: No Greater Love. This was the first time Jim had shown the movie in prison. As it began, he leaned over and whispered to me, "she would be so happy," and I am certain she was! We closed our time together by circling up, (yes, all 130 of us) holding hands while we prayed The Lord's Prayer. It was a powerful night for all who participated...we truly were on holy ground. If you have not already done so, read Jim’s book, "The Big Hustle, A Boston Street Kid’s Story of Addiction and Redemption" and watch "Mother Teresa: No Greater Love." You will be better for it! We still have a few copies of Jim's book available for you to purchase for $25. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact me soon.

During the conference, attended by more than 150 people, we listened and were inspired by Jim's journey through addiction and incarceration to redemption. We also listened to powerful stories from our incarcerated friends during Bridging the Gap, Shaping the Restorative Narrative. Through their stories, our incarcerated friends shared how various programming has been restorative, transforming and has radically changed them. It is their hope that these stories will inspire and encourage you to begin implementing restorative practices in your home, schools, churches, community and prison. I encourage you to listen to each of their stories until the final and very impactful story. I am certain you will be grateful you did!

Caitlin Morneau from Catholic Mobilizing Network spoke to us live virtually for Harm, Healing, and Human Dignity: The Invitation to Restorative Practices for Individuals, Churches, and Communities. We were inspired by her work and challenged to continue to look for more ways we can live restoratively and implement these practices in our every day lives.

During the afternoon panel discussion, Mobilizing Restorative Justice: Enacting the paradigm for healing and human dignity, with Nathan Johnson, the Honorable Joseph Rossi, and Angie Sprank, we learned how each one of us has the opportunity to ignite change through restorative encounters while they answered questions prepared for them from the men in prison.

In addition, we had the opportunity to answer questions from the men at MTU and, during a silent auction, individuals had the opportunity to bid on artwork created by our incarcerated friends. We ended the day hearing once again from the men at MTU during their closing remarks and the presentation of an unexpected gift from the Restorative Justice Club at MTU. Mark Hartman, former MTU Restorative Justice Club member presented me with a beautiful hand-crafted mission award which left me speechless, in tears and overwhelmed with gratitude for all of you and this beautiful work we are blessed to do. Bishop Walkowiak then sent us forth on this mission with a prayer and a blessing. Below are a few photos from the day's events.
Into the Mystery: A Day of Eucharistic Renewal, Unity, and Adventure
This event will serve as a sort of mini-Eucharistic Congress for the diocese, gathering Catholics for a daylong celebration of our unity in faith and sacrament as we transition to the parish year of the national Eucharistic Revival. The day will include Mass with Bishop Walkowiak; talks by Father Jonathan Kelly, rector of St. John Vianney College Seminary, and Missionary Meg Hunter-Kilmer; along with a Eucharistic procession to publicly witness to our faith. Join us on Saturday, June 10 at Aquinas College for this eucharistic gathering. Review the event web post to learn more and to register.

Informational Sessions
We are seeking more volunteers to help us offer weekly Catholic services within 21 correctional facilities across our 11-county diocese. Join Bishop Walkowiak and more than 50 active volunteers in this vital ministry to the incarcerated. If you or someone you know are interested in learning more, please attend:
When: Monday, June 26
Two identical sessions, come to either one: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. or 6 - 9 p.m.
Where: Cathedral Square Center, 360 Division Ave. S., Grand Rapids, MI

Offender Success Re-entry Summit 2023
On Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023, Prison and Jail Ministry will again host and sponsor the Michigan Department of Corrections Offenders Success Annual Re-entry Summit. This summit offers individuals on parole and probation the opportunity to meet with over 20 support service providers and includes a free raffle, breakout sessions and a keynote speaker. In the past, over 100 individuals attended this event. Prison and Jail Ministry is seeking the following donations to be given to the summit attendees and to include in the raffle:
New or gently used adult bikes
New Chromebooks
Backpacks for men and women containing some or all of the following items:
·       shampoo
·       conditioner
·       body wash
·       razors
·       razor blades
·       feminine hygiene products
·       deodorant
·       body lotion
·       wash cloths
·       hand towels
·       bath towels
Wallets containing gift cards to:
·       restaurants that do not sell alcohol (Subway, McDonalds, Panera Bread)
·       barber shops/hair salons
Donations are being accepted now through Monday, July 10. All donations can be delivered, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. to Cathedral Square Center, 360 Division Ave S., Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

If you are interested in collecting these items or perhaps leading a service project at your parish or school to benefit those returning from incarceration, please contact program director, Tricia Worrell, 616-475-1255 tworrell@grdiocese.org
Don't Forget!
This newsletter contains all ministry information, updates, schedules and resources. Program volunteers, please be sure to read it in its entirety. You may also locate all volunteer information and resources on our page on the diocesan website at anytime.

May the peace, joy, and love of Christ live in your heart today and always!

Tricia Worrell
Director, Prison and Jail Ministry
Communion Service Sheets