The Grace Project: An Invitation to Participate

Our emerging juvenile justice ministry began taking root in the fall of 2013. Our goals have been defined by our desire to seek restorative justice in our local community and by the needs of the at-risk high school youth with whom we work to re-envision their future and transform their lives. Our program is unique in that we work with youthful offenders both while incarcerated and after their release.

Over the past several weeks The Grace Project has aimed to encourage the young men with whom we work to think about who they are and what they would like the community in which they live to know about them. Through a process of self-reflection and writing each of the young men were invited to developed a six-word memoir which offered insight to how they see themselves or the world in which they live. These memoirs were intended to encourage the young men to claim a piece of their humanity while housed in an otherwise inhumane environment.

You are invited to help complete their project by bringing their words to life by adding color—using only magazines and glue sticks; no scissors! Each six-word memoir has been stenciled onto a large poster board. There are National Geographic magazines and glue sticks available for you to use during coffee hour hour, you may choose to take a memoir home along with a few magazines and glue sticks and work on the project at your leisure during Holy Week. Of course, if you have a wonderful selection of magazines at home you would like to use, that would be fine! Working on the memoirs is a perfect time to pray for all those incarcerated in our jails and prisons and to connect, in some small, way with them.

On behalf of those working with The Grace Project, thank you for your participation. We look forward to displaying the memoirs in our parish hall as they are completed. Our hope is that they will eventually be placed on display around Syracuse where others may see and experience them.