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Formerly Incarcerated Share Their Stories of Incarceration and Re-Entry with Members of Westbank Catholic Church

Loyola press release - October 9, 2018

On Wednesday, October 10, the Catholic faithful from St. Martha Parish and surrounding Catholic parishes in both Orleans and Jefferson, will gather to learn about the realities of Mass Incarceration and our broken Criminal Justice system directly from the individuals most affected—formerly incarcerated women and men who have served time in our state’s vast prison system.

The program will begin with prayer, background information on the causes of mass incarceration, and a discussion of how Catholic Social Teaching can guide one’s understanding of criminal justice reform — to be led by Rev. Fred Kammer, S.J., Executive Director of the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans. Then parishioners will gather in small listening circles to hear the life stories of formerly incarcerated persons, including Kaven Donald, a graduate of Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans Cornerstone Builders Program, and Rhonda Oliver, founder of Women Determined, a local nonprofit whose mission is to secure housing for women returning from prison. The event is free and all are welcome.

Said Sue Weishar, Policy Fellow at JSRI and lead organizer for the Catholic Teach-In on Mass Incarceration, “For decades Louisiana’s criminal justice system has been held hostage to ‘tough on crime’ policies that have ruined lives and decimated communities. It is important that people of faith have an opportunity to listen and learn from people whose lives have been harmed by such policies and then discern how their faith is calling them to respond to our local, state, and national mass incarceration crises.”

Major event sponsors: Jesuit Social Research Institute/Loyola University New Orleans, St. Martha Catholic Church Parish, Cornerstone Builders/Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, and Women Determined.

What: Catholic Teach-In on Mass Incarceration

When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 pm.

Where: St. Martha Parish Hall – 2555 Apollo Drive, Harvey, LA 70058

Media are encouraged to attend. For more details, please contact Sue Weishar, PhD: sweishar@loyno.edu / 504-864-7749.

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