Today Joanne Nattrass, executive director, Commonwealth Catholic Charities (Richmond, VA) spoke at a Congressional Briefing sponsored by the Interfaith Criminal Justice Coalition entitled Faith Voices Speak Out on Criminal Justice Reform. Ms. Nattrass shared both the experience of her agency in Richmond, and more broadly the work being done by the Catholic community to promote justice, healing and restoration for both victims and offenders.
She reminded participants of Pope Francis’s words: “God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else-God is in this person’s life.” In addition, Pope Francis has called for a Jubilee Year of Mercy beginning in December. In response, Christians will pray, reflect and make greater efforts to be witnesses of God’s mercy especially where brokenness and harm have affected people’s lives.