Contact: Greg Entwhistle · 202-635-5828 ·

Setting the Captives Free: Embracing Christ in the Victim, Offender & Community

St. Louis – Catholic Charities Archdiocese of St. Louis will host the 28th annual Social Action Summer Institute (SASI) on restorative justice July 20-24, 2014 at Washington University. The five-day national conference is organized by the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors in partnership with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Offices of Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Justice Peace & Human Development, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services and JustFaith Ministries.

SASI offers education, professional development and advocacy training for diocesan and parish social action ministers. Rooted in the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, SASI provides a forum for people to explore social issues in the light of scripture, Church teaching and theology. The conference this summer focuses on themes in restorative justice. Participants from dioceses throughout the country as well as parishes in the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan regions will be visiting seven local agencies and prisons during “Immersion Monday” to witness restorative justice in action. They will also participate in diocesan and parish ministry workshops aimed at sharing best practices in social action ministry.

Most Reverend Ricardo Ramírez, C.S.B. Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico will preside over the opening liturgy and offer a reflection Tuesday morning on his experience visiting an immersion site. Mark Umbreit, Professor and founding Director of the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota will present an overview of restorative justice. Janine Geske, Director of the Marquette University Law School’s Restorative Justice Initiative will be presenting victim/offender dialogues in crimes of severe violence. Christi Griffin, founder of The Ethics Project will discuss findings from her new book: Incarcerations in Black and White: The Subjugation of Black America. Father Ron Chochol of St. Louis will lead tracks on Catholic Social Teaching and Restorative Justice. Father David Link, Dean Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame Law School, will be featured in the closing plenary.

Visit to register online, get more information and see a day-by-day schedule of the conference. Please direct any questions to Greg Entwhistle, Roundtable Coordinator, at 202-635-5828 or

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