From death TO life
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“From Death to Life” is an organization dedicated to ending violence through healing and reconciliation between families of victims and those who have caused harm. We offer support groups empowering parents to come to terms with the impact of homicide through emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical healing.

In addition to healing groups, From Death to Life sponsors an annual prayer walk, community gatherings that celebrate life, and talks that invite others to witness the healing power of forgiveness and use that vision to heal in their own lives.

From Death To Life was founded by Mary Johnson in 2005, shortly before she came to forgive Oshea Israel, the young man who took her only son’s life 12 years earlier. She now claims Oshea as her “spiritual son” and together they share their inspiring story of healing and reconciliation in the community.

We are most grateful to the Visitation Sisters of Minneapolis for generously offering the St. Jane House as a home base for our organization.

Our Mission
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From Death To Life is an entirely volunteer run organization. 100% of donations are used to share our message of hope with families impacted by homicide, make the healing groups available, provide care baskets for families immediately following a tragedy, and host community events promoting peace and reconciliation. We are also providing grief counseling training to community members and have a goal to create a grief center in North Minneapolis. We are grateful to the Basilica of St. Mary for generously offering to be our fiscal agent. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you!

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An inspiring Christmas story!

View photos and read about this inspiring Christmas story that made the front page of three local newspapers. Here is Ruben Rosario’s account that appeared as the top story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Dec. 24, 2010.

On May 20, 2011 National Public Radio’s Morning Edition aired a powerful three-minute interview between Mary Johnson and Oshea Israel produced by StoryCorps. Click here to read the article and listen to the StoryCorps interview that was heard by an estimated 14 million NPR listeners.

Mary & Oshea’s StoryCorps Interview

Mary & Oshea are featured in Risking Light, a feature length documentary showcasing powerful stories of reconciliation around the world.

Risking Light: Journeys of Forgiveness

On June 7, 2011 CBS Evening News featured Mary and Oshea in an Assignment America piece produced by correspondent Steve Hartman. Here they are seen with Steve and photographer Bob Caccamise at Alafia Place, their home in North Minneapolis.

CBS Evening News Story
Oshea Israel and Mary Johnson

Learn more about Mary and Oshea’s inspiring story of forgiveness and the healing work of From Death To Life through the lens of filmmaker Dawn Mikkelson’s camera.
Click to view.

From Death To Life Video

Portrait of Mary’s son,
Laramiun Byrd.

In September of 2011, Mary and Oshea appeared in the Heroes Among Us section of People Magazine. Following that story, they were interviewed on ABC’s The View by Sherri Shepherd and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

The View & People Magazine