Our Mission & Values

Our Mission is specifically to provide strong Catholic community to individuals returning from incarceration or who simply have a criminal history. They need only be repentant and willing. We work to provide all a person needs in body and soul to be rebuilt, repaired, and restored in Christ.


If a person feels called to this spirituality for a day, a year, or the rest of their life — the Serenelli Project community will walk with them the whole way, if God wills it.

   

Our values are faith, forgiveness, grit, accountability, and prayer and work.

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Who was Serenelli?

Alessandro Serenelli was an Italian man who, on July 5th, 1902, at the age of 20 attacked 11-year-old Maria Goretti in revenge for her refusal to comply with his sexual advances. She said of Alessandro before dying the next day, “not only do I forgive him; I want him to spend paradise with me.”


Alessandro was neither repentant nor remorseful. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Six years into his term he had a dream in which he saw Maria in a garden picking flowers. She handed him 14 white lilies, one for each stab wound he had given her, representing her forgiveness. Each one burst into flames as he received it. From then on, he was transformed.


After his release, he was received into a monastery. He lived the rest of his life peacefully as a lay brother, answering the door and working as a gardener. He died on May 6th, 1970, at the age of 88.


We believe there are many more Alessandros in the world in need of that same kind of belonging in the Church, and so we are striving to be that community for them.


“Maria’s forgiveness saved me.”

— ALESSANDRO SERENELLI