Death Penalty

Following a consistent ethic of life principal, the Church has changed her stance on the death penalty. Due to available incarceration, the need for the death penalty no longer exists to protect society.

The Office of Human Life & Dignity promotes collections of toiletries as well as letter and card writing throughout the diocese to provide more human treatment, and offers an extension of Project Rachel for inmates in need of healing after abortion.

Cities for Life Event

Cities for Life is an international movement that was started by Sant’Egidio, a Rome-based group, in the year 2002, whose goal is to establish a universal moratorium on capital punishment worldwide.

The Diocese of St. Augustine has been participating since 2015, rallying against capital punishment by ringing church bells in solidarity and lighting candles to represent the men and women on death row.

The event happens every year on November 30, which commemorates the first abolishment of the death penalty in a European state, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1786. For more information visit


Pastoral Letter – “Standing Up for the Dignity of All Human Life: A Pastoral Letter on Capital Punishment in Florida” Bishop Felipe Estévez, April 2020

Click here to read the bishop’s pastoral letter.

Diocese of St. Augustine Prison Ministry – The diocese has an active prison ministry and is involved daily in cell front ministry to death row inmates. For more information contact John Chick, Director at (904) 293-3807 or visit

Catholic Mobilizing Network – This is a national organization that mobilizes Catholics and all people of goodwill to value life over death, to end the use of the death penalty, to transform the U.S. criminal justice system from punitive to restorative, and to build capacity in U.S. society to engage in restorative practices. For more information visit