White Collar Week with Jeff Grant
It’s the Isolation that Destroys Us. The Solution is in Community.
Podcast Ep. 10: The Ministers, with Guests: Father Joe Ciccone & Father Rix Thorsell
Today on the podcast, we have two of my dearest and closest friends and colleagues, Father Joe Ciccone and Father Rix Thorsell of Saint Joseph Mission Church in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. Both Fr. Joe and Fr. Rix were classmates of mine at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
Both were convicted of white collar crimes. And both are members of our online White Collar Support Group that meets on Monday evenings.
Fr. Joe was the County Sheriff of Bergen County, New Jersey, one of the highest-profile positions in one of the most affluent counties in the United States. Joe was elected and served on this position until he pled guilty for campaign funds violations. His case and face were splashed across newscasts and newspapers in the greater New York area.
Fr. Rix, on the other hand, moved from seminary to become the youth pastor at a parish church where his gambling addiction caught up with him. He was prosecuted and lost his position for stealing $300 worth of gift cards from the church.
From the lowest moments of their lives, both Fr. Joe and Fr. Rix grew and evolved to become ordained reverends, healers devoted to serving others.
So coming up, The Ministers. On White Collar Week. I hope you will join us. – Jeff
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If you have a friend, family member, colleague or client with a white collar justice issue, please forward this email; they can reach us anytime – day or night! Our contact info: http://prisonist.org/contact-us.
Guests on this Episode:
Rev. Dr. Joseph Ciccone: Father Joe is a Priest in the Order of Franciscan Servants and a graduate of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York with a Master of Divinity Degree in Ministry and Pastoral Care. Fr Joe is currently assigned to Saint Joseph Mission Church, bringing the Gospel to those in the margins and to people in need wherever they may be. He has just completed his 6th year of CPE (Chaplain Program) at the Jewish Theological Seminary in NYC. Before that, I spent four years at a Friary in PA where he was ordained. Fr Joe holds a doctorate in Education and is a retired Police Commander in addition to his vocational call that specializes in traditional and non-traditional Catholic, Christian, and Interfaith services and ceremonies. The Saint Joseph Mission on the Move began in New Jersey in 2016, thus far has married over 400 couples, Baptized so many of the children and some of the couples we have married. We make countless hospital visits and give the anointing of the sick, bring the sacraments to the homebound, the lost and broken, and those who need God’s love but have been hurt by the traditional church. Fr Joe also is teaching for the Jesuit Refugee Mission in Africa online – it has been an amazing experience helping those across the globe, we are indeed a mission moving everywhere. I have loved every minute of the past decade and looking forward to doing God’s work in serving all of God’s people for many years to come. Speaking of that – come to one of our mass or call if we can do anything sacred for you! All of God’s love, Fr Joe
Father Rix: Rev. Rix Thorsell is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York with a Master of Divinity Degree in Ministry and Pastoral Care (MDiv 2010), and Drake University (BA in Political Science & Religious Studies) and a Priest in the Order of Franciscan Servants. After working for various church communities to create and develop ministry programs from high school through college, Fr. Rix entered formal ministry in 2013 as an Associate Pastor for Youth and Young Adults in the suburbs of Chicago. After leaving his previous denomination in 2015, Fr. Rix joined the Progressive Catholic Church and has continued his ministry to both bring younger voices into the Church as well as facilitating the transition to new technological mediums for various non-profits. Rix currently works for Saint Joseph Mission Church as a pastoral liaison and manages various podcasts and educational forums, including “From Police to Priest” and “Stream of Thought” by VNR Media.
You can find all episodes of our podcast “White Collar Week with Jeff Grant” on our website prisonist.org, our Facebook page, Podbean, YouTube (video), SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
Louis Reed/Babz Rawls Ivy PSA:
Some very kind words from my dear friends Louis L. Reed and Babz Rawls Ivy in this brief PSA. Thank you Louis and Babz! – Jeff
Link here to Podcast Ep. 10: The Ministers, with Guests: Father Joe & Father Rix
Link here to Podcast Ep. 09: Small Business Edition, with Guest: Taxgirl Kelly Phillips Erb
Link here to Podcast Ep. 08: The Academics, with Guests: Cathryn Lavery, Jessica Henry, Jay Kennedy & Erin Harbinson
Link here to Podcast Ep. 07: White Collar Wives. with Guests: Lynn Springer, Cassie Monaco & Julie Bennett. Special Guest: Skylar Cluett
Link here to Podcast Ep. 06: Madoff Talks, with Guest: Jim Campbell
Link here to Podcast Ep. 05: Trauma and Healing when Mom goes to Prison
Link here to Podcast Ep. 04: One-on-One with Tipper X: Tom Hardin
Link here to Podcast Ep. 03: Compassionate Lawyering: Guests, Chris Poulos, Corey Brinson, Bob Herbst & George Hritz.
Link here to Podcast Ep. 02: Substance Abuse & Recovery During COVID-19: Guests, Trevor Shevin & Joshua Cagney
Link here to Podcast Ep. 01: Prison & Reentry in the Age of COVID-19: An Evening with Our White Collar Support Group.
Link here to Podcast Ep. 00: White Collar Week with Jeff Grant: What is White Collar Week?
What is the White Collar Justice Community?
Welcome to White Collar Week with Jeff Grant, a podcast serving the white collar justice community. It’s the isolation that destroys us. The solution is in community.
If you are interested in this podcast, then you are probably already a member of the white collar justice community – even if you don’t quite know it yet. Our community is certainly made up of people being prosecuted, or who have already been prosecuted, for white collar crimes. But it is also made up of the spouses, children and families of those prosecuted for white collar crimes – these are the first victims of white collar crime. And the community also consists of the other victims, both direct and indirect, and those in the wider white collar ecosystem like friends, colleagues, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, law enforcement, academics, researchers. Investigators, mitigation experts, corrections officers, reentry professionals, mental health care professionals, drug and alcohol counselors, – and ministers, chaplains and advocates for criminal and social justice reform. The list goes on and on…
In this very eventful summer 2020, our mission is to introduce you to other members of the white collar justice community, to hear their very personal stories, and hopefully gain a broader perspective of what this is really all about. Maybe this will inspire some deeper thoughts and introspection? Maybe it will inspire some empathy and compassion for people you might otherwise resent or dismiss? And maybe it will help lift us all out of our own isolation and into community, so we can learn to live again in the sunshine of the spirit.
Along the way, I’ll share with you some of the things I’ve learned in my own journey from successful lawyer, to prescription opioid addict, white collar crime, suicide attempt, disbarment, destruction of my marriage, and the almost 14 months I served in a Federal prison. And also my recovery, love story I share with my wife Lynn Springer, after prison earning a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in NYC, pastoring in an inner city church in Bridgeport CT, and then co-founding with Lynn in Greenwich CT, Progressive Prison Ministries, the world’s first ministry serving the white collar justice community. It’s been quite a ride, but I firmly believe that the best is yet to come.
So I invite you to come along with me as we experience something new, and bold, and different this summer – a podcast that serves the entire white collar justice community. I hope you will join me.
Rev. Jeff Grant, J.D., M.Div. (he, him, his)
Co-founder, Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc., Greenwich CT & Nationwide
Co-host, The Criminal Justice Insider Podcast
Host, White Collar Week
Mailing: P.O. Box 1, Woodbury, CT 06798
Donations (501c3): http://bit.ly/donate35T9kMZ
Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/jeff-grant-woodbury-ct/731344
not a prison coach, not a prison consultant
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Host: Jeff Grant, J.D., M.Div.
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It’s the Isolation that Destroys Us. The Solution is in Community.
Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. is the world’s first ministry supporting the white collar justice community. Founded by husband and wife, Jeff Grant and Lynn Springer in Greenwich CT in 2012, we incorporated as a nonprofit in Connecticut in 2014, and received 501(c)(3) status in 2015. Jeff has over three decades of experience in crisis management, business, law (former), reentry, recovery (clean & sober 17+ years), and executive and religious leadership. As Jeff was incarcerated for a white-collar crime he committed in 2001, he and Lynn have a first-hand perspective on the trials and tribulations that white-collar families have to endure as they navigate the criminal justice system and life beyond.
Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. is nonsectarian, serving those of all faiths, or no faith whatsoever. To date we have helped over three hundred fifty (350) individuals, and their families, to accept responsibility for their actions and to acknowledge the pain they have caused to others. In accordance with our commitment to restorative justice, we counsel our members to make amends as a first step in changing their lives and moving towards a new spiritual way of living centered on hope, care, compassion, tolerance, empathy and service to others. Our team has grown to over ten people, most with advanced degrees, all of whom are currently volunteering their time and resources.
Progressive Prison Ministries’ goal is to provide spiritual solutions and emotional support to those who are feeling alone, isolated, and hopeless. We have found that these individuals are suffering from a void but are stuck, and don’t know what to do about it. Our objective is to help them find a path to a healthy, spirit-filled place on the other side of what may seem like insurmountable problems. Many of those we counsel are in a place where their previous lives have come to an end due to their transgressions. In many cases their legal problems have led to divorce, estrangement from their children, families, friends and support communities, and loss of a career. The toll this takes on individuals and families is emotionally devastating. White-collar crimes are often precipitated by other issues in the offenders’ lives such as alcohol or drug abuse, and/or a physical or mental illness that lead to financial issues that overwhelms their ability to be present for themselves and their families and cause poor decision making. We recognize that life often presents us with such circumstances, sometimes which lead us to make mistakes in violation of the law.
All conversations and communications between our ordained ministry, and licensed clinical relationships, and those we serve fall under state privilege laws. This is one reason that attorneys often allow and encourage their clients to maintain relationships with us while in active prosecution or litigation situations.
If you, a friend, family member, colleague or client are suffering from a white collar criminal justice issue or are experiencing some other traumatic or life-altering event, and would like to find a path to a healthy, spirit-filled place on the other side of what seems like insurmountable problems, please contact us to schedule an initial call or appointment.
Copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved, Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc.