Forgiveness is not a pardon. But it is a refuge.

August 24, 2019, 10:39 am

“The last time I’d touched Conor, my daughter was alive. I wanted my hug to convey my forgiveness and my love for him. I was immensely sad for this young man whose previous life was over. Everything he could have been, he now had no chance to become. But I wanted him to know that we believed in redemption for him….Forgiveness is not a pardon. But it is a refuge: a place where broken people can come for healing, where the guilty can come for relief, where the wronged can come for hope.”

These touching words were spoken by Kate Grosmaire, whose daughter Ann was killed by her boyfriend, and friend of the family, Conor. She tells her compelling story, with all of its visceral emotion, in her book Forgiving My Daughter’s Killer. In the midst of their tragedy and deep grief over the loss of their daughter Ann, Kate and her husband Andy chose forgiveness. Inspired by their faith and their love for Conor and his family, Kate and Andy discovered restorative justice and chose to forgive Conor. 

As I have written before, forgiveness is a deeply personal and very difficult subject, especially when it involves tragedy and loss. Despite my own growing faith, I find it difficult to comprehend how a mother (and father) could forgive someone who killed their child. I’d like to have a faith that strong, to show the same kind of grace I’ve been given. I hope I never have to face that challenge. 

When I heard that Kate Grossmaire was slated to be the keynote speaker at this year’s annual Restorative Justice Conference, I was thrilled. Forgiveness is a difficult thing for many of us, so who better to hear speak on such a difficult subject than someone like Kate who is walking that impossible path already. She will be joined by other speakers, and panel discussions. Although I’ve never met Kate, and I won’t be able to attend the conference (prison officials frown on those sorts of requests), I hope that you’ll be able to make it. If you support restorative justice, are curious about it, or even oppose it but are open to hearing more, please register and attend (it’s free!). The details for the conference are below. If you’d like to attend, register by October 5, 2019 (and find more details) at: grdiocese.org/ministries/prison-and-jail-ministry/

Date/Time: Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 – 9AM-3PM. 
Location: 
Cathedral Square Center
360 Division Ave. S. 
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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Author: hopeontheinside.blogspot.com
The opinions expressed within posts and comments are solely those of each author, and are not necessarily those of Women Against Registry.

The opinions expressed within posts and comments are solely those of each author, and are not necessarily those of Women Against Registry.