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The new story goes to jail with Mary Nerney, CND


How did an Earth Hope program get into a California county jail and Rikers Island Jail, in New York?

In August 2006, Cece Gannon participated as an adult moderator in Camp Earth Hope, a retreat for high school students based on the Universe Story and held at San Benito Monastery in Dayton, Wyo.. An educator, therapist and long time volunteer in California’s Sonoma County jail, she grasped the healing and liberating potential of the Universe story for prisoners. Together we designed a 13 week syllabus. Each class included listening to world music, guided imagery, study of an era of the Story, personal reflection and collaborative work on art panels that would depict that era.

Within weeks of the first class the program is at capacity. Cece asks for feedback. She gets statements like:

“I come because for two hours I don’t feel locked up...
I’m in this class because I’m learning good stuff about myself.
It makes me think I can do something different and good with my life.”

Two years later when Sr. Mary Nerney, CND, Rikers Island volunteer and counselor, learned about the program, she launched it there for women.

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