Cardinal Wuerl and Faith Leaders Unite to “Walk With Francis” and Advance Criminal Justice Reform

Faith Leaders Join Former Prisoner to Call for Restorative Justice

As preparations are underway for Pope Francis’ visit to Washington in just under two weeks, a group of faith leaders is gathering in Washington to bring attention to the issue of criminal justice reform. In an effort led by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, will be joined by Monsignor John Enzler, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington; Jonathan Reyes, executive director of Justice, Peace and Human Development for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Craig DeRoche, executive director of Justice Fellowship, the advocacy arm of Prison Fellowship; Rev. Maidstone Mulenga of the United Methodist Church; and former prisoner Rudy, who participated in Catholic Charities’ Welcome Home reentry program.

The leaders will commit to #WalkwithFrancis, an initiative of the Archdiocese of Washington to welcome the pope by committing to follow his example of prayer and service. Participants in this ecumenical event will commit to “Walking with Pope Francis” through their respective ministries.

“Shortly after being named pope, Francis washed the feet of incarcerated youth. Putting his faith into action again and again, he has inspired not only Catholics, but also the world. As a Christian organization, Prison Fellowship is passionate about the biblical mandate to ‘remember those in prison,’” said DeRoche. “But criminal justice reform is an issue for which every person in our country—regardless of faith or political affiliation—should advocate for. By standing together with the other faith leaders and remembering the lives of the millions behind bars today and the children growing up without them, we hope to inspire Washington and the rest of America to embrace a more restorative approach to punishment.


  • Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
  • Monsignor John Enzler, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
  • Jonathan Reyes, executive director, USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development
  • Craig DeRoche, executive director of Justice Fellowship
  • Rev. Maidstone Mulenga, United Methodist Church, Baltimore-Washington Conference
  • Rudy, returning citizen from the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington Welcome Home Rehabilitation Program who will share his experiences in trying to start life anew after serving his time.

WHAT:      Faith Leaders Unite for Restorative Justice

WHEN:      Fri, Sept. 11, 10 – 10:45 a.m. ET

WHERE:   Catholic Charities, 924 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20001
                 [Outside on the steps of Catholic Charities, a mult box will be available.]   

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: Advance and on-site interviews are available. Contact Anna Hutsell, 770.713.0923 or Katie Rouse, 678.410.9575.