Spiritus Est qui Vivificat: Mass Incarceration, Social Justice and the Spiritan Mission


  • The Elsinore Bennu Think Tank for Restorative Justice


This article explores the connection between the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) and the Elsinore Bennu Think Tank for Restorative Justice (EBTT).  The Spiritan’s historic involvement in the liberation, healing and restoration of enslaved men, women, and children in French colonies, as well as the establishment of local churches in Africa, inspires the human spirit to equitable relationships between peoples. Shifting from that global perspective, we consider their local efforts in founding Duquesne University as an institution of higher education for the children of immigrant steelworkers.  Moving to the present, we note the genesis of The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program at Duquesne, the formation of the EBTT at the State Correctional Institution in Pittsburgh. EBTT members are committed to collaborative community efforts as a way for people damaged by circumstance and systems of oppression to remake themselves, recognizing that remade people are needed to restore a broken society.