Paths Large Group Presentation
“23 Years in Prison for a Crime he Didn’t Commit”
January 12, 2020
Parish Center Gym
On Sunday evening January 12, 2020, Paths will host Jacques Rivera as its keynote speaker for our first and second year students and parents. Mr. Rivera spent 23 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He was released from prison due to the work of a lawyer at Northwestern University’s Center for Wrongful Convictions October 4, 2011. In the course of his incarceration, Mr. Rivera experienced a profound religious conversion that offered him hope in a place where hope simply doesn’t have much room—a maximum security prison.
Our presentation has much relevance for our confirmation candidates who are seeking to follow Jesus, another man who was falsely imprisoned, but who was never released from prison. He was executed on a cross by the Romans. In Jesus’ trial, as in Jacques’, witnesses came forward to lie about the actions of Jesus that eventually brought about his imprisonment and death. Yet in both of these men’s lives, redemption and forgiveness were thematic. In the end, love prevailed.
This is bound to be both an interesting and inspiring story for all of those attending. Sometimes bad things do happen to good people. This is the greatest challenge to faith for most of the world—if God is good, why do bad things happen to so many good people, whether through starvation, war, natural disasters and in this case, an innocent man imprisoned for 23 years for a crime he didn’t commit. For our confirmation candidates, your decision to be confirmed means that you are to follow Jesus when things go your way and when things do not go your way. Are you willing to still follow him if that happens? Mr. Rivera will talk about the difficulty of that choice.
Parishioners are welcome who are not a part of the Paths Confirmation Program.