The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter: No. 157, February 16, 2020

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being  a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter:

Teaching in Conversion

Converting criminals from a criminal/carceral world view to a Catholic communal one is essentially an act of teaching, and this excerpt from an article I’m reading is appropriate.

Here it is:

“Now, the act of teaching is properly unveiled out of this original belonging together of the teacher and the object in what Ulrich calls the “we-space” (Wir-Raum) of personal freedom (“I-Thou-We”), in which the concrete Thou, as the other that faces me, now explicitly steps forth as student. At this point, Ulrich both accompanies Thomas and goes beyond him at the same time: The student is not only presupposed as a natural being with a specific capacity for knowledge, who—in analogy to health—presents himself as one “to be treated” in an external sense; instead, the true teacher not only presupposes the nature of the student and his or her native intellectual capacities, but also presupposes the student as concrete, historical, unique, and personal freedom—in other words, the genuine teacher presupposes the student as a Thou, and for that very reason as personal self-relation (in the sense that he or she is an “I who am given to myself”). This opening up toward the Thou at the same time enables the teacher not only to direct the student in a merely “external” sense, so that the student can at the same time go on to find his way into the movement of knowing on his own, in an “interior,” which is to say, “natural,” sense. Instead, according to Ulrich, the good teacher is also the one who affirms the student not simply “in accordance with his nature,” but also as a whole person. And the teacher does this by communicating himself along with the content that he is teaching, but in such a way that, on the one hand, the teacher disappears behind the matter he is presenting. In other words, he becomes transparent in his self-expression so that the matter itself is able to shine forth of its own accord. And, on the other hand, he also communicates himself to the student in such a way that, in the act of teaching, he directs himself in what he teaches entirely to the particular student. Indeed, he does so in such a way that he not only allows the matter itself to shine forth in itself, but he also transforms the thing that he knows, the matter that he explains, into a gift that is communicated to the student. The true teacher gives this gift to the recipient in a manner that enables and empowers the student at the same time to enter into his own ability-to-understand. In other words, the teacher, as one who freely gives, does not only give some thing, but through his engagement he at the same time gives himself, and he thus, in his giving, reinforces and brings to perfection the act of receiving. The teacher, as Ulrich understands him, does not simply remain an external, and thus in scholastic terms an “artificial,” support of the student’s own capacity to learn on his own, but he enters so fully into the place of the other, into his “interior” space, that he is able to awaken this other into his own ability-to-understand.” (pp.17-18)

Stefan Oster. (2019). Freely to Give: Ferdinand Ulrich as Teacher and Spiritual Father. Communio: International Catholic Review. (pp.11-26) Volume XLVI, Number 1, Spring 2019.

A marvelous excerpt from a great journal!

____________________

David H. Lukenbill, President, The Lampstand Foundation

Post Office Box 254794   Sacramento, CA 95865-4794

Website: https://davidhlukenbill.wordpress.com/

Blog: www.cathliceye.wordpress.com

E-Mail: Dlukenbill@msn.com

With Peter to Christ through Mary

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter: No. 156, January 16, 2020

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being  a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter:

No. 156, January 16, 2020

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Marxism & Catholic Progressives

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An excellent description in a wonderful book I am reading and the reason I refer so much to Marxism/Communism/Socialism is that they are the biggest enemies of the Church and through their inspired movement, Liberation Theology, have entered the Church, and unless you can discuss them intelligently, you will have poor luck with converting criminals:

An excerpt.

“Fr. Messineo moreover lucidly described the drift towards Marxism in Catholic progressives:

“Not least among the features that characterize modern progressivism is its remarkable sympathy towards communism and Marxism in general. It is led to this not only by the irenicism that was mentioned earlier, and the resulting desire to enter into conversation with all the modern currents of thought, but also by an at least partially positive evaluation of the Marxist ideology. The eye of the progressive is invariably turned toward the left, because in the approaches of the currents that are aligned on that side, due to a visual handicap (deformazione) that has been confirmed in his mind, he believes that he is discovering contacts and resemblances with the approaches of his own religious creed and of his moral and social convictions.

“With regard to communism, the progressive deplores the materialistic substratum of the ideology on which its logically consistent atheism is based, but, having made this reservation to is indispensible in order to salvage the Christian faith, he accepts its postulates and makes them his own, not ruling out a possible collaboration in order to carry them out. Communism, he asserts, is from now on a force, a movement in history, a mainspring propelling modern society, and therefore it is necessary to value it for what it is and to reconcile Christian thinking with it. The Manichaean division, as it is called, between a world that is entirely bad and a world in which only good is to be found, must be overcome through mutual understanding, so as not to place ourselves outside the cycle of history and in order to smooth differences with peacemaking. The encounter is possible, he adds, around the nucleus of Christian values that communism also supposedly conveys, although they are deformed by its ideological superstructures.

“Therefore the progressive is the man of détente, a convinced supporter of the outstretched hand, a promoter of dialogue with Marxist currents of thought, when he is not an outright follower or supporter thereof, without however adhering to them as a fellow traveler, on account of some remaining split between his vision of the world and the one propagated by communism. Sometimes he does not dare to press on to those limits, but, while he rejects communism as such, in front of which he finds a barrier set up by the explicit teaching of the Church, he does not hesitate to regard other Marxist currents of thought as welcome allies, with which he would gladly walk together on the political and social plane.

“The strange thing is that, while progressivism claims to overcome the Manichaean distinction between communism, Marxism, and Christianity, by way of understanding and coexistence based on détente, it introduces this selfsame irreconcilable opposition between Christianity and those currents of thought that it brands with the contemptuous name of the reactionary right. In its view the principle of evil has been concentrated in the right, a dark pit of reactionary forces lying in ambush, into which he throws, with an irrevocable judgment, whatever is contrary to progressive ideas and tendencies.” (pp. 70-71)

Roberto de Mattei. (2012). The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story. (Translated by Patrick T. Brannan, S.J., Michael J. Miller, and Kenneth D. Whitehead, Edited by Michael J. Miller). Loreto Publications; Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire.

____________________

David H. Lukenbill, President, The Lampstand Foundation

Post Office Box 254794   Sacramento, CA 95865-4794

Website: https://davidhlukenbill.wordpress.com/

Blog: www.cathliceye.wordpress.com

E-Mail: Dlukenbill@msn.com

With Peter to Christ through Mary

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter: No. 155, December 16, 2019

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being  a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

Lampstand Foundation E-Letter

The Criminal Child

One of the major problems with virtually all criminal rehabilitative efforts is the lack of understanding of the criminal/carceral narrative deeply embedded within the professional criminal culture.

Jean Genet’s influence within American prisons started several decades ago with the publication and deep reading by prisoners of the 1963 book by Jean Paul Sartre, Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr.

I read it in McNeil Island Federal penitentiary in the late 1960’s and immediately formed a study group around the ideas—all of which glamorized the criminal/carceral life—in it.

This excerpt in Harper’s Magazine gives a hint of those ideas, which find their fullest expression in Genet’s book, The Thief’s Journal.

An excerpt.

“From The Criminal Child: Selected Essays, published this month by NYRB Classics. This text is an abridged version of the essay “The Criminal Child,” which was commissioned in 1947 by the national French radio program Carte Blanche. The show’s producers requested that Genet write on the topic of criminal justice. Genet submitted, in his own words, “not a criminal’s complaint, but rather his exaltation.” The text was rejected. Translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman.

“Scattered throughout the French countryside, often in the most elegant locales, there are several places that have never ceased to fascinate me. These are correctional facilities that now bear the official and officious titles Moral Rehabilitation Facility, Reeducation Center, Home for the Rectification of Delinquent Youths.

“One time, a director at one of these institutions showed me, in his desk, a collection he took pride in: some twenty knives belonging to the kids.

“Monsieur Genet,” he said, “the administration requires me to take away these knives. I do so accordingly. But look at them. Are you going to tell me they’re dangerous? They’re tin. Tin! You can’t kill anyone with tin.”

“Didn’t he realize that when an object is removed from its practical purpose it becomes a symbol? Even its form changes sometimes; it becomes stylized. And so it acts silently; it carves ever more deeply into children’s souls. Buried in a straw mattress at night, or hidden in the folds of a jacket, or rather of some pants—not for convenience but to lie nearer the organ it thoroughly symbolizes—it is the very sign of the murder the child will never carry out in reality; instead, it impregnates his dreams and drives them, I hope, toward the most criminal acts. What use is it, then, to take these knives away? The child will choose another, seemingly more benign object to signify murder, and if that, too, is taken away from him, he will guard carefully the object within himself, the image of the weapon.

“I apologize for using language as seemingly imprecise as mine. But weren’t you the first ones to speak of the “power of shadows,” of “the dark power of evil”? You don’t shy away from a metaphor when it can convince. I find metaphors more effective for talking about this nocturnal side of man that can only be explored, that can only be understood once armed and armored and adorned with all the accoutrements of language. When you endeavor to accomplish Good, you know where you’re headed. When it’s Evil, you won’t know what you’re speaking of. But I know that Evil is the only thing that can spark enthusiasm when writing with my pen, a sign of my heart’s allegiance.

“Indeed, I don’t know any criterion for beauty in an act, an object, or a being, other than the song that it rouses in me, that I translate into words to share with you: this is lyricism. If my song were beautiful, if it affected you, would you dare to say that the man who inspired it was vile? You could claim that there are words that have long been charged with expressing the most exalted stances, and that it is those words I use so that the least thing might seem exalted. I could answer that my emotion rightly called forth these words and that they naturally come to serve it. And so, if your soul is low, call it recklessness, the movement that carries the fifteen-year-old child toward offense or crime; I call it by another name. Because it takes some nerve—great courage—to rebel against a formidable society, against the harshest institutions, against laws upheld by the police whose force is in the legendary, mythical, amorphous fear they instill in children’s hearts.

“What drives these children to crime is romantic belief, which projects them into the most magnificent, audacious, and ultimately dangerous of lives. I am translating for them because they have the right to use whatever language allows them to venture. . . Where? you might ask. I do not know. Nor do they, even if their dreams purport to be precise, but certainly it’s outside your homes. And I wonder whether you aren’t pursuing them out of spite, because they sneered at you and they’re abandoning you.

“I won’t make any recommendations. I have been talking not to the educators but to the criminals. And I don’t want to invent any new plan for society to protect them. I trust society; it knows how to ward off the amiable danger that is a criminal child. These children are the ones I’m talking to. I ask them never to feel shame at what they’re doing, to keep intact the rebelliousness that has made them so beautiful. I would hope that there is no cure for heroism. Whoever seeks, out of benevolence or privilege, to attenuate or abolish rebellion destroys any chance of salvation for himself.

“Since we are divided between you who are not guilty and we who are guilty, remember that it’s a whole life that you’re leading on the side of the bar where you believe you have power, are free from danger, and enjoy moral comfort, and we hold out our hands to shake. As for me, I’ve made my decision: I’m on the side of crime. And I’ll help these children, not to return them to your houses, your factories, your schools, your laws, and your sacraments, but to steal them.”

Retrieved December 15, 2019 from https://harpers.org/archive/2020/01/the-criminal-child-jean-genet/

Have a very Merry Christmas!

____________________

David H. Lukenbill, President, The Lampstand Foundation

Post Office Box 254794   Sacramento, CA 95865-4794

Website: https://davidhlukenbill.wordpress.com/

Blog: www.cathliceye.wordpress.com

E-Mail: Dlukenbill@msn.com

With Peter to Christ through Mary

 

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter: No. 154, November 16, 2019

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being  a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

E-Letter #154, Month of the Dead

November is the month of Holy Souls, or, as the title of this article from Catholic Lane notes, the Month of the Dead.

I have not thought about praying for the dead since being baptized in 2004, but lately have begun to realize how important it is; especially considering hardly anyone I’ve known was Catholic.

After coming to know the deep treasures of Catholicism, I want to share them with everyone who has passed through prayer, including those who I’ve cared about and even some I’ve not cared about.

An excerpt from the article.

“November: Month of the Dead, by Rev. Tucker Cordani

“Vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!” (Eccl 1:2).

“So says Qoheleth, the Preacher, the protagonist of the Book of Ecclesiastes, the most unique book in the portion of the Old Testament classified as wisdom literature. As “king of Jerusalem,” the Preacher imparts to the reader his musings on life and death, which to him are the same. “One generation passes and another arrives, but the world remains the same” (1:4). His book is concerned with the purpose and value of human life. A natural pessimist, the Preacher expresses the supreme degree of futility and the emptiness of human existence. Who could not relate to that?

“Although the book is canonical it does not express the core truth of the Roman Catholic Church regarding the living and the dead. In our Creed we pray that Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead and that “his kingdom will have no end.”

“In the Roman Catholic Church the month of November is the traditional time to visit the graves of loved ones, as is the anniversary of their deaths. Autumn is the dying season, when the trees shine like rainbows in September and October until November arrives and the leaves pass away and the tree trunks and branches are shellacked black by chilly rains.

“Recently I visited St Peter’s Cemetery where my mother and her parents are buried in plots overlooking pumpkin patches and blueberry fields. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the death of my mother, Sylvia, from lung cancer. The previous year her parents, Conrad and Alice, also died from lung cancer within two months of each other. Sylvia—Latin for “garden served as a nursemaid to them and when she died shortly afterward I convinced myself that there was no such thing as a loving, merciful God. Who would care and what did it matter? Qoheleth was right about that: all is vanity and a chase after the wind. A live dog is better than a dead lion, so sayeth the Preacher.

“The Book of Wisdom, written about 100 years before the birth of Christ, offers an alternative to the Preacher’s point of view on life and death. The anonymous author writes: “The souls of the just are in the hands of God, and no torment shall touch them. The seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought to be an affliction, and their going forth from us utter destruction. But they are at peace” (3:1-3). These verses are typically applied to martyrs and used frequently in the Mass of Christian Burial. Veneration of the dead is a time-honored tradition in our Church. On All Saints Day we honor the holy men and women who have bushwhacked through the trappings of life to unite themselves with Christ. On All Souls Day we commemorate the faithfully, or not so faithfully, departed who pray for us beneath the purifying light of purgatory as we pray to hasten their entrance into the eternal realm of the Trinity, Mary, the angels, and the saints.

“At the cemetery I knelt by the graves and cleared away the mud and the dead leaves covering their footstones. I couldn’t understand, wouldn’t accept, why my three favorite people in the world suffered so much as they lay bedridden in hospice beds beneath crucifixes hanging above them on the wall. They could not see the crucifixes but I imagined that it offered some comfort by knowing they were there. My mother helped to care for her parents and heard my mother and father talking about them, using the words biopsy, malignant, radiation, and chemotherapy. My mother couldn’t smoke in their apartment because of the oxygen tanks. The pill bottles covered the tables by their beds and their skin was scorched from the radiation treatment. Mercifully my grandparents passed away, but the images of their suffering were reinforced the following year when my mother got sick and died two months after her diagnosis.

“I have worked hard to supplant the grim reality I witnessed with recollections of the good moments my family shared with my mother before she died. Sylvia was an interior decorator and an antique dealer. She could be described as the worthy wife in the Book of Proverbs. “She picks out a field to purchase out of her earnings, and she plants a vineyard. … She enjoys the success of her dealings. … She reaches out her hands t the poor and to the needy.” (31:16, 18, 20). Sylvia devoted herself to making our home welcoming, warm, and inviting, the kind of home displayed on the pages of House Beautiful and Better Homes and Garden.

“In my mid-30s I returned to the Church and felt called to be a priest. I studied the Scriptures and the Catechism and my perspective on Christian death changed. Qoheleth had his point of view. I came to understand that, though my mother and her parents suffered terribly I understood that they obtained the desire of the Christian: to be tried like gold tested by fire in purgatory and to be raised on the Last Day. Their deaths were not in vain and I allowed myself to make peace with God.

“The Church established the month of November for the soul as a perpetual commemoration in the 10th century, during the Dark Ages. As Catholics we celebrate the birth into eternal life of our beloved dead, the birthright of the Christian received at Baptism. We can communicate with loved ones beyond the grave through Scripture, the sacraments, and through prayer. The perpetual light of the Lord shone upon the souls of the just even during the Church’s darkest moments, in an era when it seemed that the world was ending because of the marauding barbarian tribes. Gregory the Great convinced Attila the Hun to spare the city of Rome, and the pope preserved the Christian heritage and the advancement of art, liturgy, and education. A great light shone on the Church even in the darkness.

“As a boy I liked to visit cemeteries. My parents worked at city hall, a block from the parochial school I attended. After school I waited for my parents to finish work and walked through the cemetery between the city hall and the school. I read the names and the dates on the headstones, some dating back to the 18th century, and the iron-clad crypts bearing family inscriptions. I found comfort and grace meditating upon the lives of the dead. What were their lives like? How did they spend their days? Did they die in a state of grace? Were they in heaven or waiting it out in purgatory? The gravestones told the story of who they were but only God knows the state of the soul at death.

“These supernatural destinations don’t have zip codes and can’t be located on Google Maps but they are real. Purgatory is the state of cleansing a soul undergoes when they have died in God’s friendship. The Church encourages the faithful on earth to assist these souls through prayer and penance. We can pray the souls out of purgatory into heaven and they pray for us while they await the Beatific Vision. Heaven is a state reserved for those who, having attained salvation, enter into the glory of God.”

To read the rest of this article, retrieved November 8, 2019, go here; http://www.catholiclane.com/49865/

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter: No. 153, October 16, 2019

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being  a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

E Letter #153, Discerning the Church’s Truth for Ourselves

For most things we can accept the truth directly from the Church, but when the Church seems uncertain or presents doctrine from a secondary source perspective, dramatically incongruent with primary sources; then we are obliged as part of our baptism to seek out the truth for ourselves.

One I was compelled to take on was woman’s priesthood, which the Church has denied for centuries.

The primary source of Galatians appears to allow it for we “are all one in Christ Jesus.”

3: [26] For you are all the children of God by faith, in Christ Jesus. [27] For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ. [28] There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. [29] And if you be Christ’s, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise.”

I wrote a book with this as the central issue, Women in the Church, St. Catherine of Siena, Fr. Teilhard de Chardin, & Criminal Reformation, in which I write in the Preface:

For this book, a quote from Groppe (2009) frames the over-arching theme:

“In a culture that systematically denigrates, commodifies, and violates women’s bodies in advertising, film, and pornography, it is imperative that the church bear public and symbolic witness to the mystery that women and men alike can serve as an icon of Wisdom made flesh.” (p. 171) Groppe, E. (2009).

Women and the persona of Christ: Ordination in the Roman Catholic Church. In Abraham, S. & Procario-Foley, E. (Eds.) Frontiers in Catholic feminist theology: Shoulder to shoulder. (pp. 153-171), Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Another was capital punishment, which the Church allowed for centuries but recently has moved to disallow.

Here the primary source is clear: “Genesis 9: [6] Whosoever shall shed man’s blood, his blood shall be shed: for man was made to the image of God.”

I also wrote a book about this, Capital Punishment & Catholic Social Teaching:

A Tradition of Support, where I write in the Prologue:

This book is a defense of the scriptural and traditional Catholic position of support for capital punishment—as expressed in the two universal catechisms, the Catechism of the Council of Trent, published by Pope Pius V in 1566, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, published by Pope John Paul II in 1997 (Second Edition)—in response to calls for its abolition.

Based on tradition, calls for abolition are premature, though the call has generated a renewed focus on not only the magisterial history of this most ancient of teachings, but also its theological resonance within the expression of that teaching by the Fathers of the Church—ancient and modern—who most deeply reflected on it.

Capital punishment as a way of protecting the innocent, is one of the central issues in the social teaching of the Church, but the ambiguity about it—particularly in the United States—over the past several decades, after two millennia of certainty, places the credibility of the teaching itself at risk; and that negatively impacts the Church’s social teaching as an effective tool for criminal transformation, further risking the immortal souls of those who are lost and whose being found partially relies on the constancy of the teaching of the Catholic Church, on eternally walking the eternal talk. (pp. 9-10)

I love our Church and try to stay on the path I learned from studying the works of St. Josemaria Escriva: “With Peter to Christ through Mary.”

____________________

David H. Lukenbill, President, The Lampstand Foundation

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter: No. 152, September 16, 2019

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/
Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.
________

E Letter: Converting Criminals during Tough Times

While this is a tough time to convert criminals to the Catholic faith it can also—because of the uncertainty—be a good time to do so.

What is crucial is to stick to the basics and this excerpt from an exceptional article I read recently reminds us of them.

An excerpt.

“We can still love the Church.

“We must love the Church.

“Those who truly love the Lord Jesus will not fail to love the Mystical Body of which He is the Head, the Bride for whom He offered Himself up on the Cross. It would be ingratitude to Him if we refused His gift of the Church as Mother and Teacher. We are members of the Church, yet she is greater than we are, and is eminently worthy of our trust. The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church will never let us down. She is “the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (I Timothy 3:15)

“But surely, when we remember the sexual crimes of some of the clergy, we cannot love the Church. How is she to be trusted when so many of her bishops, even when not guilty of perversion themselves, have practiced deception and covered up the evils of others? Surely we cannot love a Church led by bad shepherds.

“But no, we can and must love the Church. The wickedness of which we have heard so much in this last year is the work of churchmen, not of the Church herself. The visible, hierarchical Catholic Church remains immaculate in the beauty of holiness, and in the splendour of truth. She is holy because of Christ, her divine Head, and by the working of the Holy Spirit, who fills her with His grace, gifts and fruits.

“Despite our own sins, and those of our pastors, the Church is holy in the sacred doctrine of her faith, and in her Sacraments, which impart the grace of Christ for the sanctification of our souls. She is holy in the saints in heaven, and above all in the Immaculate Mother of God, the Queen of All Saints. She is holy in the poor souls in purgatory, for whom the remains of sin are being burnt away. She is holy in the humble Catholics on earth who love Jesus and Mary, trust in God and not in themselves, who strive to keep the commandments, avoid the occasions of sin, pray without ceasing, and fight courageously against the world, the flesh and the Devil. When we say in the Apostle’s Creed that we believe in the Holy Catholic Church, we are not deceiving ourselves.

“The Church’s integrity is undiminished even when one of her prelates departs from her faith and presents his own strange opinions as if they were orthodoxy. Think of those who fell into Arianism, of Nestorius in the See of Constantinople, or of Thomas Cramer, Archbishop of Canterbury. The faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3) remains invulnerable despite the depredations of the heretics. This or that cleric may lose his faith, and make himself a slave of the world, but the Church our Mother remains divinely free; she is a virgin, and keeps the faith pure and intact. Even when a pope falls into heresy, as Honorius I and John XXII apparently did, Peter’s voice still resounds with all its original clarity in the teaching of his orthodox predecessors, and indeed in all those bishops, priests and lay people who hold and foster the Catholic and Apostolic faith. Sacred Tradition is immortal by the gift of the risen Christ.” (p. 36)

Fr. John Saward. (2019). Love in a time of crisis. Catholic Herald. August 2, 2019.

Also, prison conversion is helped by using the already enumerated tools I have mentioned in the Lampstand book on prison ministry:

Four reference books which Lampstand suggests would be very important for the ministry group to read and discuss before beginning outreach are (1) Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Updated Edition. Stanton E. Samenow. Ph.D. (2004) (2) Criminal Justice and the Catholic Church. Fr. Andrew Skotnicki, O. Carm. (2008) (3) The two volume work of Fr. Rodger Charles, SJ, Christian Social Witness and Teaching: The Catholic Tradition from Genesis to Centesimus Annus, (1998) (4) H. W. Crocker III, Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church, A 2,000 Year History, (2001).” (pp. 44-45)

David H. Lukenbill. (2011). The Lampstand Prison Ministry: Constructed On Catholic Social Teaching & the History of the Catholic Church. Lampstand Foundation: Sacramento, California.
____________________
David H. Lukenbill, President, The Lampstand Foundation
Post Office Box 254794 Sacramento, CA 95865-4794
Website: https://davidhlukenbill.wordpress.com/
Blog: http://www.cathliceye.wordpress.com
E-Mail: Dlukenbill@msn.com
With Peter to Christ through Mary

Lampstand E-Letter, No. 151, August 16, 2019: Sensus fidei (Sense of the Faithful)

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.
________

Sensus fidei (Sense of the Faithful)

With all of the turmoil in the Church right now—has it not always been so—a reminder of the role of the laity is reassuring and it comes to us from the sensus fidei (sense of the faithful), as noted by Cardinal Brandmueller in a recent talk:

An excerpt.

“As the faith teaches, through the Sacrament of baptism a person is infused with sanctifying grace, which is a supernatural ontological reality that renders man holy, just and pleasing to God. Through sanctifying grace — one could also say justifying grace — the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity are also infused. Faith, hope and charity are a habitus, a predisposition of the soul that make the latter capable of acting, of behaving accordingly.

“One way the theological virtue of faith becomes efficacious, among other things, is through the sensus fidei of the faithful. This effectiveness can, positively, enable a deeper vision of revealed truth, a clearer understanding and a stronger profession. Negatively, however, the sensus fidei acts as a sort of spiritual immune system, which enables the faithful instinctively to recognize and reject any error. Leaving aside the divine promise, the passive infallibility of the Church, i.e. the certainty that the Church in its totality can never slip into heresy, also rests therefore on this sensus fidei.

“In fact, in number 12 of the constitution Lumen Gentium, the Second Vatican Council teaches: “The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One (cf. 1 Jn 2:20 and 27), cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole peoples’ supernatural discernment in matters of faith when ‘from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful’ they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth. […] Through it, the people of God adheres unwaveringly to the faith given once and for all to the saints, penetrates it more deeply with right thinking, and applies it more fully in its life.”

“Therefore, the consensus of the faithful and manifestation of the same have a significant importance.”

Retrieved July 13, 2019 from https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-brandmueller-talk

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter: No. 150, July 16, 2019

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

 Lampstand E Letter,

Crime Fighting & Criminal Rehabilitation

There is a new article from the Wall Street Journal noting the beneficial impact of cognitive behavioral therapy and targeted police work which makes several good points.

Here is an excerpt.

“Hospital emergency rooms run on the principle of triage. Patients with life-threatening injuries get immediate attention, while those in less grave danger wait their turn. Doctors and nurses routinely treat deadly gunshot and stab wounds first—but as a society, we don’t do the same for urban violence.

“Since Sept. 11, 2001, hundreds of Americans have died in terrorist attacks and mass shootings, but more than 100,000 have perished on the streets of our cities. Urban violence accounts for most murders in the U.S., but politicians focus on everything except the violence itself, instead issuing sweeping calls to ban guns, legalize drugs or end poverty.

“In a 2016 paper, my colleague Christopher Winship and I analyzed reviews of more than 1,400 studies on anti-violence programs around the world. We discovered that urban violence is sticky, meaning that it tends to cluster among a surprisingly small number of people and places. In New Orleans, for instance, a tiny network of less than 1% of the city’s population accounted for more than half of its lethal incidents between Jan. 1, 2010, and March 31, 2014. In Boston, more than 70% of all shootings between 1980 and 2008 were concentrated in less than 5% of the city’s geography. In almost every city, a few “hot people” and “hot spots” are responsible for the vast majority of deadly violence; the key to addressing the problem is to pay close attention to them.

The surprising good news is that if we focus on urban violence, we can have peace in our streets in a matter of years, without waiting for sweeping new laws or massive budget hikes. Targeted programs can produce transformative results.

“Consider Oakland, Calif., where analysts in 2012-13 reviewed 18 months of homicide data and discovered that only some 400 individuals—about 0.1% of Oakland’s population—were at the highest risk for violence at any particular time.

“Knowing this, a group of community members, social-service providers and law-enforcement officials began meeting in small groups with these individuals, telling them that their community wanted them to stay alive and keep out of prison but that the shooting had to stop. These interveners followed up by providing life coaching, job training, educational opportunities and other forms of assistance, along with narrowly targeted investigations, arrests and prosecutions for those who persisted in committing violent offenses. Last year, independent evaluators from Northeastern University determined that the initiative—called Oakland Ceasefire—had cut the homicide rate in the city nearly in half since 2012, when the effort was launched.

“Oakland Ceasefire is modeled on Operation Ceasefire, a 1990s Boston police initiative also known as the Group Violence Reduction Strategy. The approach was credited at the time with reducing youth homicides in Boston by more than 60% in just two years. It has since lowered group-related or total homicides in Indianapolis, New Haven and Cincinnati by more than a third.

A 2018 paper in the journal Criminology & Public Policy found that the strategy has produced positive results in all of the 12 cases where it has been rigorously studied. Each time, partnerships between the police and the community confronted those at the highest risk of violence with a double message of empathy and accountability—saying, in effect, “We are here to help you. If you won’t let us, we are here to stop you.”

“In Chicago, the “Becoming a Man” program run by the nonprofit Youth Guidance combines sports, training in the values of responsible manhood, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help at-risk young men achieve their full potential. Between 2009 and 2015, researchers from the University of Chicago pored over data to identify almost 5,000 middle- and high-school students in some of the city’s toughest schools who were missing or flunking classes, being suspended or getting held back. Once a week, these young men were excused from classes to participate in group CBT counseling sessions. For one group of 2,740 students, arrests for violent crime fell by 44% after one year; for a second group of 2,064, violent arrests were reduced by 50% after two years, according to a 2017 study in the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

“Cognitive behavioral therapy has been used for decades to help patients with addiction, anxiety and depression, but applying it to criminality and violence is new—and promising. The premise: If flawed thinking leads to aggressive or antisocial behavior, then changing that thinking can prevent it. A systematic review by the Campbell Collaboration, a social-science research group, indicates that CBT treatment can reduce criminal recidivism by as much as 50%, especially for the few individuals most likely to commit a crime.

“Another promising approach can be seen in Camden, N.J., once ranked as the country’s most dangerous city. In 2013, the overwhelmed police department was disbanded and rebuilt. Since then, Camden’s police have reduced violence while building trust—embracing community engagement, conflict de-escalation and a “scoop and go” policy that requires officers to drive gunshot victims to the hospital themselves if an ambulance will take too long. In a major cultural shift, Camden’s cops are focused on being “guardians, not warriors” to better serve their community. In 2012, the city suffered 67 murders, an all-time high; last year, there were 22—less than a third of the 2012 total.”

Retrieved July 7. 2019 from https://www.wsj.com/articles/to-reduce-the-bloodshed-in-u-s-cities-focus-on-the-violence-itself-11562171994

____________________

David H. Lukenbill, President, The Lampstand Foundation

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter: No. 149, June 16, 2019

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

The Lampstand Foundation E-Letter:

No. 149, June 16, 2019

Magisterial Teaching, Slavery & Women Priests

The Church uses the narrative of the unchangeable nature of magisterial teaching to deny women the priesthood, but magisterial teaching has been changed often, notably concerning slavery, which these excellent articles (Part I & Part II so far) by Katy Grimes at Women in Theology note.

It’s embarrassing that someone has to remind our Church of her own history.

Part I

“I tell my students that the Catholic church used to think about slavery the same way most of us think about incarceration today: it’s good as long as long as the person deserves it.

“Put another way, earlier magisterial judgments about slavery were not an all or nothing affair. Just as we today believe it is wrong to imprison an innocent person, so magisterial authorities thought it was wrong to enslave an individual without just cause.

“But, just as our collective outrage at unjust incarceration does not automatically indicate support for prison abolition, so magisterial condemnations of certain instances of enslavement did not evidence opposition to slavery itself.

“For most of the church’s history, the magisterium asked not whether slavery itself was wrong, but when and under what circumstances it was right.

“Augustine, for example, thought that slavery was a just punishment for original sin. Original sin brought slavery into the world because it brought disobedience in too. Enslaved people earned their fate due to their disobedience.

“But while we would blame slavery on the sinfulness of slave masters, Augustine blamed it to the sins of enslaved people themselves.

“For Augustine, slavery was theological in another sense. He argued that, although Jewish people had descended from the free woman Sarah “in the flesh,” they were still slaves due to their spiritual attachment to the Old Testament.

“And, even though they lacked a servile attachment to the Old Testament, Augustine’s pagan Arab contemporaries were slaves too (136-137). As the descendants of Abraham’s enslaved concubine Hagar, they had inherited their servile status through not the spirit, but the flesh.

“Christians of course were free in both senses.

“What about Aquinas? Modern interpreters often point to his belief that slavery was unnatural as evidence that Aquinas somehow opposed slavery.

“But this misinterprets his work. As used in reference to slavery, the term “unnatural” did not operate as a category of moral condemnation. He deemed slavery unnatural only in the sense that it was not a part of God’s original plan for creation.”

Retrieved June 9, 2019 from https://womenintheology.org/2019/06/09/catholic-teaching-changes-slavery-part-i/

Part II

“Magisterial authorities would continue to endorse real world practices of slavery throughout the medieval era.

“In this vein, magisterial authorities recognized four legitimate reasons-then called “titles”-for which one person could enslave another:

“1.As punishment for a capital crime.

“2.As a result of capture on the battlefield while fighting an unjust war.

“3.As repayment for debt.

“4.Through purchase from a slave trader who acquired the slave legitimately.

“5.In the case of the centuries’ long battle between Christian and Muslim kingdoms for control of the Iberian peninsula: for being a foreign Muslim.

“These titles may seem random and arbitrary to us, but each followed the logic of slavery.

“Enemy soldiers and capital convicts alike both deserved death but were mercifully allowed to live. Since they lived because of their masters, they therefore lived for them. Put another way, a master owned a slave’s life because a slave owed him her life.

“What about the Muslims? More than simply generic religious bigotry positioned them as especially enslaveable. Purportedly descended from apostate Christians, they were engaged in theological rebellion simply by existing. They were theologically what enemy soldiers and capital convicts were sociopolitically.

“Informed by this traditional Catholic teaching about slavery, in the fifteenth century, Pope Alexander VI gave all of Africa to Portugal and America to Spain with the explicit command to enslave all those who didn’t bow down to Iberian authority.”

Retrieved June 9, 2019 from https://womenintheology.org/2019/06/09/catholic-teaching-changes-slavery-part-ii/

 

Lampstand E-Letter: No. 148, May 16, 2019

This website is the home site of my criminal reformation apostolate; here you can find details about the Lampstand Foundation which I founded as a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation in Sacramento, California in 2003.

I have written twelve books, one being about Lampstand and each one of the other eleven being a response to a likely objection to Catholicism that will be encountered when doing ministry to professional criminals; and for links to all of the Lampstand books which are available—free to members—and at Amazon, go to http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=david+h+lukenbill

I also maintain a daily blog, The Catholic Eye, https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/

Lampstand also keeps track of rehabilitative programs that fail, and the one or two that appear to work, with the findings available at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/

The work connected to the apostolate is listed under the home page categories (to your left) which I will be expanding as needed.

________

Lampstand E Letter: Delancey Street Foundation & Homeboy Industries

Both are truly outstanding rehabilitation programs, and the core of each of their work is entrepreneurial.

Delancey Street was started by ex-felon John Maher in 1971, and their story is online.

An excerpt from their story:

“In 1971 Delancey Street began with 4 residents, a thousand dollar loan, and a dream to develop a new model to turn around the lives of people in poverty, substance abusers, former felons, and others who have hit bottom, by empowering the people with the problems to become the solution.

“We began by taking residents into a small apartment in San Francisco, run by an ex-felon, John Maher, a visionary, fiery orator and charismatic leader. Rather than following the traditional non-profit model of hiring a staff and procuring funding, we chose instead to follow an extended family model. Those of us who could work did traditional jobs and contributed our salaries. (Mimi Silbert, for example, had a doctorate in Criminology and had numerous consulting, teaching and other professional experiences. She worked and contributed her salary.) Everyone did something to contribute to our community. Someone who could cook became our “head chef”. Someone who knew how to hold a hammer became the “head of construction”. Whoever could read tutored those who could not. We pooled our talents and our funds and within 2 years, we purchased our first building and had 80 residents, all learning, teaching and helping each other.

“The first home we bought was the former Russian Consulate located in San Francisco’s poshest neighborhood, Pacific Heights. It was also our first “Not In My Backyard” battle. Our two young pro bono attorneys, Mike Berger (who incorporated our organization in 1971, and Danny Weinstein (now a retired Judge and founder of JAMS – The Resolution Experts) formulated innovative legal arguments; Maher developed brilliant political strategies; Silbert brought residents around to neighbors to volunteer services. We knew that neighbors were worried that crime would go up and property values would go down because we were in the neighborhood. So we patrolled the neighborhood and crime went down; our construction department renovated the mansion to ensure that property values would go up. Residents like Abe Irizarry (then a “graduate” of every prison in California and Mexican Mafia gang member, now our Vice president and Maitre’ D’ of our restaurant), and Joanne Mancuso (then an addict and now a college instructor and a trainer for the judiciary in the federal court in computer programs), and Mike Boris (then a heroin addict, now a Certified Public Accountant), sold raffle tickets where the most coveted prize was the promise “not to move next door to you”. Slowly the neighborhood battle was being won by being good neighbors, by solid legal arguments and political negotiation, by humor and by the good will of everyone involved. Dianne Feinstein, our neighbor in Pacific Heights, then a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, was the first key vote in our favor. By 1977, the battle was finally settled. When we moved from Pacific Heights to our newly self-built home on the waterfront (almost 20 years later), our Pacific Heights neighbors reported they were upset to see us leave.”

Retrieved May 9, 2019 from http://www.delanceystreetfoundation.org/ourstory.php

Homeboy Industries started in 1988, led by Jesuit priest Fr. Gregory Boyle and their story is also online.

An excerpt from their story:

“What began in 1988 as a way of improving the lives of former gang members in East Los Angeles has evolved into the largest gang intervention, rehab and re-entry program in the world.

“Each year we welcome thousands of people through our doors seeking to transform their lives. Whether joining our 18-month employment and re-entry program or seeking discrete services such as tattoo removal or substance abuse resources. Our clients are embraced by a community of kinship and offered a variety of free wraparound services to facilitate healing and growth. In addition to serving almost 7,000 members of the immediate Los Angeles community in 2018, our flagship 18-month employment and re-entry program was offered to over 400 men and women.

“History

“In 1986, when Homeboy Industries’ founder, Gregory Boyle became pastor of Dolores Mission Church, it was the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles. The parish included Aliso Village and Pico Gardens, then the largest public housing projects west of the Mississippi. They also had the highest concentration of gang activity. That was saying something, given Los Angeles’ reputation as the gang capital of the world.

“At the time, law enforcement tactics of suppression and criminal justice policies of mass incarceration were the prevailing means to deal with gang violence. But where others only saw criminals, Father Greg saw people in need of help. Today, Homeboy Industries is the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world, welcoming thousands through our doors each year.”

Retrieved May 9, 2019 from https://homeboyindustries.org/our-story/about-homeboy/

I am partial to each, Delancey Street because it was developed and started by a former criminal, John Maher, who, sadly, died (obituary here) https://www.nytimes.com/1988/12/06/obituaries/john-maher-48-dies-helped-drug-addicts.html and his former partner, who still runs it.

She is a good leader as this excerpt from their website notes:

“The dynamic force behind Delancey Street is its President & CEO, Dr. Mimi Halper Silbert. Although she does not share the same background as her fellow residents, she lives at Delancey Street and abides by its rules.”

Retrieved May 9, 2019 from http://www.delanceystreetfoundation.org/president.php

Homeboy Industries because it was developed and started by a Catholic priest, who still runs it with major input from transformed criminals who are part of the organization.

Fr. Greg is pretty awesome as this excerpt notes:

“Father Greg is the author of the 2010 New York Times-bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. His 2017 book is the Los Angeles Times-bestseller Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship.

“He has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2014, the White House named Father Boyle a Champion of Change. He received the University of Notre Dame’s 2017 Laetare Medal, the oldest honor given to American Catholics.”

Retrieved May 9, 2019 from https://homeboyindustries.org/our-story/father-greg/

Heartening to know that there is good work being done out there by transformed criminals and Catholics.