The California Catholic Conference Office of Restorative Justice will be hosting “Bereavement Training in the Aftermath of Violence” at Villa Maria del Mar Retreat Center in Santa Cruz from April 10-12, 2018.
This training is intended for Parish Bereavement Ministry directors, ministers, and those who accompany the bereaved. Participants will learn how to more effectively minister to survivors of violent crime, particularly those who've experienced the death of a loved one to homicide.
Training, accommodations, and meals are provided free of charge. Transportation is not included.
Participants will also gain insight into and understanding of the impact of homicide on survivors, and explore concrete ways to minister to them. In addition, they will learn about the criminal justice system’s response to survivors and things to consider when developing opportunities for ongoing support.
In a statement last year, California Bishops of the Restorative Justice Committee of the California Catholic Conference wrote, “The effects of crime can linger long after a person’s physical wounds have healed. The people and families affected need to know that they are not alone, that someone will walk with them, and that they can turn to their Church and to their community for the help and support and the prayers they need.”
There is little spiritual support for survivors of violent crime. It is imperative that there be ministries in place to support these individuals when they are grappling with grief and likely struggling with profound questions of faith.
For those who have directly experienced violent crime, there are currently resources available on www.restorejustice.com.