Forgiveness News

Mother of Murdered Daughter Makes the “Most Gracious” Statement Ever

Leslie Sheppard Doame was a gentle woman who lived a “life full of love and sweetness and kindness” but spent her final moments pleading for her life, her mother told a Rankin County court.

But, facing the man who killed her 37-year-old daughter, Teresa Sheppard said she forgave him.

Before sentencing a man for murder, a judge said that the statement just made by the deceased’s mother was “the most gracious” he has ever heard in a courtroom. The mother proclaimed forgiveness for the murderer. Full story here.

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Former Philippines President Calls for National Forgiveness to Heal Disunity

MANILA, Philippines – Former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wished for healing and forgiveness for the nation this Holy Week and for her birthday tomorrow.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, called on her nation to unite in healing and forgiveness. Where there is now disunity, there can be political harmony if the people resolve to move together toward a brighter future.

In a statement issued from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City where she is detained on charges of electoral sabotage before the Pasay City Regional Trial Court, she also prayed that the country be protected from disasters.

“To our countrymen, let us pray for forgiveness this Lenten season and continue to be inspired by the love bestowed on us by Jesus and the sacrifice He made to redeem our sins,” Arroyo said. “I wish that the turmoil and sadness caused by disunity would end.”

Full story here.

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Man’s Family Killed by Intoxicated Driver; Forgiver Wants World to Know the Other Is “Not a Monster”

Gary Weinstein, a jeweler in the Detroit area, recently met the man who was convicted of driving while intoxicated and killing Mr. Weinstein’s wife and two sons. The convicted man is now in a jail north of Detroit. Mr. Weinstein has asked to speak with the man’s children in the hope of bringing some healing to them. He wants to interact with the man “…so that the world will know he’s not a monster.”

Fifty-one weeks after Tom Wellinger killed Gary Weinstein’s family, the jeweler decided to accompany his attorneys to a meeting with Wellinger at the Oakland County Jail.

“They did preliminary questions, and then my attorney said, ‘You got any questions for him?’ ” Weinstein recalled. “I hadn’t really prepared.”

So he asked the only thing that mattered: “How’s your kids?”

And in that moment, they were what they were: two family men who lived within a mile of each other, whose names were on the same page in the Farmington Hills phone book, two fathers whose children attended the same schools — until Wellinger took Weinstein’s away forever.

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“I Knew I Was Going to Live:” NYPD Officer on Forgiving His Assailant

New York Daily News – Steven McDonald, a New York City Police Officer, addressed a group of students in a Staten Island elementary school yesterday with a message to forgive those who offend. McDonald was shot three times in Central Park in 1986 and now is confined to a wheelchair. He explained to the students that he not only forgave but also became friends with his assailant. His forgiveness, he says, saved his life.


An NYPD hero left quadriplegic after being shot by a teenager now fights bullying in city schools with his incredible story of forgiveness.


Det. Steven McDonald, who breathes through a tube and is paralyzed from the neck down, told rapt Staten Island elementary students Tuesday to forgive their tormentors.


“The boy that shot me, he and I became friends,” he told more than 100 astonished kids who crowded the gym of St. John’s Lutheran School.


“As soon as I forgave him the pain went away and I knew I was going to live.”

Full story here.

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Restorative Justice Program Helps Mother of Deceased to See Killer’s Humanity

The Mirror newspaper of London – Grace Idowu lost her son to a knife-attacker in South London and as part of a restorative justice program, she recently visited in prison the teenage boy who took her son’s life. Mrs. Idowu reported that she was surprised to see a remorseful, sobbing boy in front of her. She was able to see his deep regret and when he asked her to forgive him, she did.

She imagined he would be a monster. Most parents would never want to take a second look at the person who took their precious child away from them. But Grace, 52, made the bold decision to go and visit Elijah Dayoni in prison after he brutally knifed her 14-year-old son David to death.

And today she insists she has totally forgiven Dayoni for what he did… and wants to help him become a better person.

Full story here.

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