JANUARY 24, 2016 - DOORS OF MERCY BLESSED AT BARRY J. NIDORF JUVENILE HALL IN SYLMAR, CALIFORNIA
Yesterday, Sunday, January 24, 2016, was a very special day for the JRJI Community at Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar, California. Archbishop José H. Gomez, of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, visited our facility and extended Pope Francis's Year of Mercy to the young boys and girls. He declared the doors to the chapel and several units as "Doors of Mercy". In addition to celebrating mass at the chapel, the Archbishop, accompanied by Father Mike Kennedy, S.J. and Arturo Lopez, co-chaplains at the facility, as well as several volunteers, visited with many of the youth incarcerated here. Each young person told the prelate their name, how long they had been at Sylmar, and the possible sentence they face. Many exclaimed that they faced life sentences at 15, 16, and 17 years old. A poignant moment occurred when a young man read a letter he received directly from the Pope himself. The young person had sent a letter to his Holiness recently asking for his prayers in this year of "Mercy." The Pope answered and not only told the young people that he was praying for them, but he asked for their prayers as well. Yesterday we felt the goodness of the Holy Spirit in our JRJI ministry at Sylmar, California.
We wish to give thanks to Archbishop José H. Gomez for bringing hope, peace and blessing to the youth at Sylmar Juvenile Hall!
READ PRESS COVERAGE:
For incarcerated Sylmar youth, a 'door of mercy' opens
By Brenda Gazzar, Los Angeles Daily News
Door of Mercy opened at Sylmar Juvenile Hall
By R.W. Dellinger, Angelus News, The Tidings Online
VIEW PHOTO GALLERY OF ARCHBISHOP GOMEZ'S PASTORAL VISIT, HERE.
VIEW SHORT VIDEO SEGMENT VIA UNIVISIÓN LOS ÁNGELES, HERE.
RECENT PRESS COVERAGE ON POPE FRANCIS’ ADDRESSES TO PRISONERS
DECEMBER 15, 2015 - VIA HUFFINGTON POST
Pope urges Holy Year amnesty for prisoners in peace message
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is urging governments to consider granting a Holy Year amnesty to prisoners, find alternatives to incarceration and at the very least abolish the death penalty, in his annual peace message released Tuesday.
[ Read more ... ]
SEPTEMBER 27, 2015 - VIA CNS TOP STORIES
Visiting prison, pope says all people need forgiveness, cleansing
By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — While pilgrims in Philadelphia put up with a long weekend of lines and security checks at the papal venues, the pope reached out to a group of people whose lives are lines and security checks for years at a time.
[ Read more ... ]
2016 UPCOMING RETREATS AND EVENTS
February 5: Retreat at Kern Valley State Prison
February 10: Ash Wednesday
February 15: Retreat at Ironwood State Prison
February 23: Retreat at Calipatria State Prison
Take a ride with Fr. Michael Kennedy, SJ, the Executive Director of the Jesuit Restorative Justice Initiative in Culver City, CA and learn the way JRJI operates in order to restore relationships broken as a result of gang violence and incarceration. Filmed by The Ignatian News Network (2012).
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