Marcelo Maiorano

CITY/TOWN: São Paulo
FOCUS: Communication, Prison Ministry, Restorative Justice
PEOPLE SERVED: Imprisoned men and women, Men experiencing homelessness, the Community-at-Large
PROJECTS and PROJECT GOALS: Vozes da Migração, Pastoral Carcerária, Arsenal da Esperança


Marcelo received a BA in International Studies from Loyola University Chicago.  He spent a year with Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Alaska working with a group that worked to prevent and end domestic violence.  He studied in Italy during college.  He has recently volunteered as a soccer coach and firefighter, and he has worked in mental health and youth support.  He is originally from Fraser, MI, and his mother is originally from São Paulo, Brazil.  Marcelo enjoys running, cooking, playing soccer, and playing music.

Marcelo is in mission with his wife, Kathleen Maynard, and their two children, Cecilia and Maelle.


Vozes da Migração;
A weekly interview-format radio program in Portuguese, produced at community station Radio Cantareira ( and also broadcast through Web Radio Migrantes en español ( I conduct and record interviews with immigrants here in Brazil, learning about their journey, their past, their arrival, their hopes and dreams, and their culture. The programs feature music that is chosen by the interviewee and local to her or his country of origin. The goal of the program is to share the realities and motivations of those coming to Brazil.

Pastoral Carcerária:
Weekly visits to the Hospital Center of the Penitentiary System for the state of São Paulo. Provide spiritual support and accompaniment to men and women receiving short- or long-term medical treatment for wide range of health issues. These women and men are transferred from prisons throughout the state of São Paulo to the Hospital Center for the duration of their care, and in many cases do not receive visitors outside of the Pastoral team.

Co-facilitate Foundations of Restorative Justice with men in prison. The course is based on the methodology of Schools of Forgiveness and Reconciliation (ESPERE) of Bogotá, Colombia, and focuses on transforming conflicts and preventing and overcoming violence. The course discusses the concepts of justice, truth, punishment, empathy, forgiveness, and assertive communication. After I completed 40 hours of training in the Foundations module followed by 40 hours of training in the Practices module in my first months after arriving in Brazil, I co-facilitated my first course Foundations course beginning in October 2017 at a prison in Parelheiros, located in the extreme south of the sprawling city of São Paulo.

Arsenal da Esperança
Administered by the Italian organization SERMIG (Youth Missionary Service) and hosting 1,200 men, the Arsenal is much more than a “shelter” for men in the situation of the streets. Beyond providing clean beds, laundry services, and healthy and hearty meals, the Arsenal offers medical treatment, a library, courses in literacy and Portuguese language (for those refugees who are hosted), and professional certifications. I have served as a volunteer with the Floresta que Cresce program that seeks to stimulate individuals’ desire to engage with their community and feeling the good that comes from doing good for another. I have also volunteered within programs of A Praça, a project outside the walls of the Arsenal seeking to to engage youth with each other and their community, to build a more just and compassionate city.