We were at Boston College's School of Theology and Ministry. The major speaker was Father Greg Boyle, sj. He spoke in the morning about Home Boys. Fr. Greg works with gangs in Los Angeles. He's written a couple of books. Tattoos on the Heart is the famous one.
Father G is an entertaining speaker. He's quite funny.
After lunch, Sister Maureen Clark, CSJ, from the women's prison in Framingham, MA, spoke. She talked with riveting seriousness. She spoke of the heart rendering separation of women from their families. Sister Maureen has started many programs to help the women, one of which was a reading program. Moms read a story to their children. This was put on DVD and the DVD and the book were sent to the child.
Both Father G and Sister Maureen spoke of the value of support, after an offender leaves prison. Without a job, there's no way the ex-con can avoid going back to prison. Ex-prisoners need support, a job, and a home.
These concerns were emphasized by Carlos, who had served over 17 years. When he was released, he had nobody. Luckily he connected with Bethany House Ministries. They were his life-line. They helped him find a job and a place to live. Carlos is one of the lucky ones.
Other speakers were Janet Connors, who lost her son to violence, and Leo Vercollone, who offers jobs to many prisoners. All were powerful speakers. However, Carlos was my favorite.