PJM Newsletter
September/October 2023
Dear Volunteers and Friends,

I hope and pray you are enjoying your summer and staying cool during the very warm and humid days. On September 5, we celebrate the feast of St. Teresa of Calcutta, patron of World Youth Day, the Missionaries of Charity, and co-patron of the Archdiocese of Calcutta. After her visit to a Massachusetts prison in 1988 she stated, "They are our brothers. They need tender love and care in spite of what they have done. I want to help these people make use of their prison sentence to come closer to God. God gave them this time to think and to pray and return back to Him."
St. Teresa reminds us how important all of God’s children are. We are reminded by her words, encounters, witness, and faithful service, that God is crazy in love with each one of us and desires that all return to him. When we encounter the incarcerated in Jesus’ name, the Jesus in us meets the Jesus in them and the world is set on fire with his love. Thank you for your daily witness and encounter with all God’s children! 

Michigan Restorative Justice Council Meeting in Prison
On Thursday, Aug. 3, the Michigan Restorative Justice Council held its quarterly meeting at Richard A. Handlon prison with more than 15 members of the Restorative Justice Club. During the meeting, we discussed ideas and began preparing for their next Restorative Justice Conference. We also discussed the current work of the council regarding the creation and implementation of restorative practices within our communities and in the criminal justice system. During the conversation with council member the Honorable Joseph Rossi, Kent County 17th Circuit Court Judge, a Restorative Justice Club member stated, "This encounter and discussion has changed my perception about officers, judges and lawyers. I now see them in a different way, a positive way, individuals who want the best for their communities. I never have thought positively about a judge before." Another Restorative Justice Club member shared, "Because of this discussion, I am now more aware that our crimes not only affect those we have harmed, but also the lawyers and judges, they are victims too."

"Behind Our Walls" Documentary Premiere
On Saturday, July 29, I had the opportunity to attend the sold-out premiere of “Behind Our Walls” a documentary film directed by Nate Roels which shares the stories of transformation that have taken place in the lives of Calvin Prison Initiative students. Many of these students also attend our Catholic services in prison. Following the premiere, I also facilitated a panel discussion with Mark Hartman, president for Humanity for Prisoners, Nate Roels, Dewayne Burton, former warden at Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility, and Todd Cioffi, director of the Calvin Prison Initiative. After numerous film festivals in which the documentary will be featured this fall, it will be shared more broadly. For more information and upcoming screenings visit Behind Our Walls.
Pictured are panelists: Mark Hartman, Nate Roels, Dewayne Burton, and Todd Cioffi
Resource Summit
On Wednesday, Aug. 2, Prison and Jail Ministry hosted the Michigan Department of Corrections Kent County Justice Involved Resource Summit for returning citizens. This annual summit offered more than 65 individuals, on parole or probation, the opportunity to meet with 28 support service providers. The event also included a free raffle, breakout sessions on higher education, and presentations by special guest speakers Nathan Johnson, advocacy and engagement strategist with Fresh Coast Alliance, and William Kitchen, returned citizen and college student. Prior to the summit, we collected raffle donations. The large number of donations from parishes and individuals in our community allowed us to give away the following items:
·      25 backpacks filled with various items for men and women
·      5 bikes
·      35 gift cards
·      6 Chrome books  
Support Service Providers
Special Guest Speakers, Nathan Johnson and William Kitchen
Free Raffle Winner
Officer Ray Erickson and Ross Hayes, CLEAR Group Leaders
Diocesan Assembly 2023
Catholics across the diocese are invited to participate in “Diocesan Assembly 2023: Share Your Encounter” from 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 at Cathedral Square Center, 360 Division Ave. S. The conference will be offered in person and online. Registration is now open. We hope to see you there! 

Christmas Drive
This year, we are collecting, travel size body wash, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizing lotion, and chapstick. We are also collecting new plastic reading glasses (see flyer for strengths needed), new women's underwear and new women's shoes. We will not collect socks. Sock donations were so abundant last year, we have enough for this year's Christmas packages. Please share our Christmas Drive Flyer with your friends, family and parish staff as appropriate. If you would like printed copies, contact me and I will be happy to mail them to you. All donations need to be delivered to Cathedral Square Center no later than Friday, Dec. 9. 

Save the Date - Annual Appreciation Dinner
Join us and Bishop David Walkowiak on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, for our annual appreciation dinner. Look for more information and registration details coming soon.
National Catholic Conference on Restorative Justice
Join me October 5 – 7 for the bi-annual National Catholic Conference on Restorative Justice. Co-hosted by Catholic Mobilizing Network and the Initiative on Restorative Justice and Healing on the campus of University of St. Thomas School of Law, this year’s conference takes on the theme of “Journeying Toward Restoration.” Ever aware of past and ongoing violations of dignity and relationships, “Journeying Toward Restoration” signifies renewed promise for restorative justice as an instrument for human flourishing both within and beyond the institutional Church. Speakers include Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of “Ministry Against the Death Penalty;” Most Rev. Bernard Hebda, Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and Father Daniel Griffith, founding director of the Initiative on Restorative Justice and Healing.

I will offer a workshop at the conference on Restorative Leadership from Inside. In Michigan, our incarcerated friends have been the leaders in transforming our criminal justice system and communities to one that is restorative. During my workshop you will hear powerful stories of restoration from our incarcerated friends and learn ways you can be the bridge to help accomplish these restorative goals. If you are interested in attending this important conference, register soon!

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


*the Communion service format used in our service sheets is liturgically accurate
for a lay volunteer leading a Communion service in places other than a church

*Communion Service sheets in Spanish are available upon request

Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"