Monthly Reflection

July, 2024 Monthly Reflection

Faith and Action in Ending Human Trafficking

Sally Duffy, SC

As I write this reflection today, the Catholic Church is celebrating the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The first reading is from the book of Wisdom (1:13-15; 2:23-24), “God did not make death, nor does God rejoice in the destruction of the living. For God fashioned all things that they might have being, and the creatures of the world are wholesome. And there is not a destructive drug among them nor any domain of the netherworld on earth, for justice is undying. For God formed humans to be imperishable; the image of God’s own nature God made them. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who belong to the devil’s company experience it.”

The Gospel reading from the fifth chapter according to Mark begins with Jairus, a synagogue official falling at the feet of Jesus, pleading earnestly that his daughter is at the point of death. Jairus asks Jesus to “please come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live. Jesus went off with Jairus and a large crowd followed and pressed upon Jesus.
Then we have the story of the woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. Suffering and with no helps from doctors, she believes if she can just touch Jesus cloak that she will be cured and so she did touch Jesus cloak and she was healed immediately.

Simultaneously Jairus is told, “Your daughter has died, why trouble the teacher any longer.” Jesus said to Jairus, “Do not be afraid, just have faith.” When they arrive at Jairus’ house, there is commotion and wailing. Jesus says, “why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep. And the people ridiculed Jesus.” Jesus then cleared the house of everyone except the mother and father, and Peter, James and John.

Taking the twelve-year-old child be the hand, Jesus said to her, “Talitha Kum.” Which means, “Little girl, I say to you arise!” The girl arose immediately and walked around. The story concludes, “At that they were utterly astounded. Jesus gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.”

The Alliance to End Human Trafficking is the United States representative to the Talitha Kum International Network of Consecrated Life (Catholic Sisters), Against Human Trafficking.

Talitha translated from Aramaic is little girl. Human trafficking is life threatening and can occur in every country, neighborhood and is contrary to raising the dignity of human life because we are all created in the image and likeness of God. The Alliance to End Human Trafficking (AEHT), a network and a community, calls all of us to end human trafficking, prevent the conditions that facilitate human trafficking such as stopping the demand and to ensure that all victims “arise” and become not just survivors but also thrive. We do not write persons off or just weep but we are called to believe and act in prophetic hope daily that, “God did not make death, nor does God rejoice in the destruction of the living.” Jesus the teacher is calling us to heal, to restore, to ensure Life-giving conditions and systems.

There is so much we can do all do individually and collectively. A Sister contacted me in late May who is a close friend of Sister Margaret Nacke, one of the founders of the Alliance to End Human Trafficking, who died on Holy Saturday. She is praying daily to end human trafficking. You could designate a day like the eighth day of every month, in honor of St. Josephine Bakhita’s feast day on February 8, to pray to end human trafficking and to support survivors through prayers and/or a donation. You could join a local coalition that provides education and awareness on the signs of human trafficking and ways to prevent human trafficking. Local coalitions often are addressing the demand side of both sex and labor trafficking through local policy and legislative changes. You could accompany a victim of human trafficking by writing letters or volunteering with an organization. Volunteers are often needed by organizations providing trauma informed care and evidence-based interventions. Volunteers are needed to provide education in art, meditation, nutrition, reflective writing, and yoga with the women or to cook a meals, join an activity planning team, property cleaning and beautification, organize and sort donations or hosting a collection drive (pantry items, feminine products, cleaning supplies, etc.). Please contact your local organization providing services to find out specifically the volunteer opportunities.

Through AEHT you can participate in advocacy opportunities such as our current campaigns. There are also local and statewide coalitions addressing legislative and policy priorities to prevent human trafficking and/or to support survivors.

Please consider if your personal or congregational investments support ending human trafficking and preventing the conditions that facilitate human trafficking. AEHT has persons serving on the Advocacy Working Group who are very resourceful.

You can continue to educate yourself on human trafficking especially by participating in AEHT’s webinars and their conference scheduled for February 5-7, 2025 in Baltimore, Maryland. Please read the Stop Trafficking Newsletter that has plenty of timely and pertinent information.

Thank you in advance for doing your part to heal by committing to the power of community and collaboration that acts together to form a network of compassion and grace. Our Scripture readings for today, our faith and our spirituality remind us of the power of God to transform even the most hopeless situations and to raise to new life what seems to be dead, even when ridiculed.

Thank you for praying for everyone served and connected with the Alliance to End Human Trafficking.

Sister Sally Duffy, SC

Monthly Reflections Archive

Faith and Action in Ending Human Trafficking Sally Duffy, SC As I write this reflection today, the Catholic Church is celebrating the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The first reading is from the book of Wisdom (1:13-15; 2:23-24), “God did not make death, nor does God rejoice in the destruction of the living. For God ... ...

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Reflecting on Progress: AEHT’s Latest Initiatives Katie Boller Gosewisch, Executive Director This past month and a half, I have had two very unique opportunities to take part in building our institutional memory as we work to end human trafficking. In May, seven delegates from the United States traveled to Sacrofano, Italy, attending the 15th anniversary ... ...

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Cling to the Vision: A World without Human Trafficking Anne Victory, HM Since I began working to end human trafficking in 2007, I admit there have been many moments when I’ve felt overwhelmed, discouraged, weighed down with the enormity of this complex, horrific “scourge on the body of Christ,” as Pope Francis named it. Sometimes ... ...

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What We Can Learn from Child Abuse Prevention Month Laura Krausa April is a sacred month to me. It is a time when I, like many of us, wait with great anticipation, ready to see the signs of a natural world on the verge of blossoming. And it is also time to reflect on the ... ...

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Alliance to End Human Trafficking: March Reflection Bridget Bearss, RSCJ   Jim Burg is a very successful business leader in Southeast Michigan, but I knew him as the father of two amazing young children at the Michigan school where I served as Head of School. Jim and I often found ourselves at the same tables, ... ...

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What I Learned from January Human Trafficking Awareness Month, now that it’s February! By Judy Molosky, CSJ For me, the month started out reading that our own President Biden proclaimed January 2024, as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. He reminded us that more than 27 million people around the world “endure the abhorrent abuse of ... ...

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January 2024 is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, as decreed by presidential proclamation. Sister Michelle Loisel, DC While we like to think of slavery as a relic of the past, we know that it is not. Today, it looks different and is often referred to as modern-day slavery or human trafficking. While slavery ... ...

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As We Prepare Our Hearts to Receive Jesus, Let’s Not Forget His Children Who Are Exploited for The Goods We Consume Christine Commerce This Christmas season, many children may find holiday chocolates in their stockings and dream of a new iPad or bicycle. Similarly, a little boy in Africa also had a dream of owning ... ...

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Human trafficking and migration—Contemporary forms of slavery Sister Michelle Loisel, DC  Global Estimates of Modern Slavery demonstrates that migrant workers are three times more likely to end up in forced labor exploitation in the private sector, than local workers. Migrants are also particularly vulnerable to trafficking on their migration journey. While migration, smuggling and trafficking are separate phenomena, ... ...

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Mercy Walks With Trafficked Women Jeanne Christensen, RSM Where do I walk? With whom do I walk? My answers may vary from yours, but we Sisters of Mercy walk with those who are most vulnerable and wounded in some way by contemporary society. I walk with others who care, many of whom are my colleagues. ... ...

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Healing Through the Body Kathleen Bryant RSC Have you ever  smelled something and your whole being takes you immediately back to a memory? Or you are touched in a certain way and memories flood back. Maybe you feel anxiety  growing in a particular situation as your body tries to get your attention with body tension ... ...

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World Day Against Trafficking In Persons Michelle Loisel, DC On July 30th we celebrated World Day against Trafficking in Persons. The event created by the United Nations is to raise awareness and increase prevention. The theme of World Day Against human trafficking 2023 is “Reach every victim of trafficking, leave no one behind.” Global crises, conflicts, ... ...

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What is another form of enslaved labor? By Maria Elena Perales How often do we stop to check the tag of the t-shirt or blouse we wear? Do we have any idea of where it was made? Do we ever wonder who made it or how much the garment worker was been paid to make ... ...

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Incarcerating Human Trafficking Victims is an Injustice Sister Sally Duffy, SC In August of 2018 Sasha Naiman, deputy director of Ohio Justice and Policy Center (OJPC), contacted me asking if I would write a letter to Governor John Kasich. I agreed to also engage other Women Religious Communities in Ohio to write similar letters. There ... ...

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Human trafficking and homelessness Sister Michelle Loisel, DC We know that sex trafficking is the crime of using force, fraud, and/or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or to induce another individual to sell sex. Labor trafficking is the crime of using force, fraud, and/or coercion to induce another individual to work or provide ... ...

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The Real Cost of Migrant Labor in the U.S. By Christine Commerce When we think of child labor, do we conjure up images of children in India working 12-hour days making rugs? Do we have images of youth who are supporting their families by farming the land in some far-off country? Do we consider the ... ...

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How many slaves work for us? By Maria Elena Perales Do we, as consumers, know how we contribute to forced labor? For example, the clothes we wear, the coffee we drink, and the fish and chocolate we consume all contribute to our slavery footprint. Have we ever considered how many slaves work for us? Find ... ...

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Freedom Is Coming Judy Molosky, CSJ February 8th is the Feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita (ca.1869-8 February 1947). All who work to end Human Trafficking take Josephine as our model of how to live in hope while in bondage. We pray for the same energy and vision that Josephine had as we work for ... ...

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May Justice Flourish Jeanne Christensen, RSM In our day may justice flourish and peace abound throughout all the nations! (Psalm 72: 7) We must pray for our brothers and sisters throughout the world for whom justice is simply an illusion. Among these are persons traumatized by the evil of human exploitation, in particular the tragedy ... ...

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Lights of Hope in the Darkness Anne Victory, HM The time has just changed from daylight savings to standard time for many across the world, and in the northern hemisphere, the days are shorter, darker, and in some regions, colder. World, national and local events seem to add to the darkness and cold as we ... ...

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TACTICS SIMILAR TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING Sally Duffy, SC Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently began bussing immigrants to places such as New York City, Chicago, and Washington DC to draw attention to more traditional cities governed by Democrats. Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida financed the flying of immigrants, many from Communist Venezuela, from Texas to Martha’s ... ...

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How Bad Can a Chocolate Pumpkin Be? Jeanne Christensen, RSM The Catholic Health Association has a spring campaign called “How Bad Can a Chocolate Bunny Be?”  Let’s plagiarize and ask “How bad can a chocolate pumpkin be? Or a chocolate turkey? Or a chocolate Christmas tree?” How bad? The main ingredient in chocolate is cocoa; ... ...

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Why not use the word “slavery” when referring to trafficking? Sister Michelle Loisel, DC Over the past few months, there have been several articles written and discussions at webinars I have attended on the words “slavery” and “trafficking.” It is common in the anti-trafficking field (either in campaigns or in policy) to link colonial slavery ... ...

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Land of the Brave? Yes. Home of the Free? Not really. Theresa Flores July has always been one of my favorite months. My family always held our annual Family Reunion on the 4thof July in Indiana and got together each year with those with whom we shared a blood bond. It felt safe, you didn’t ... ...

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“That they all may be one.” John 17:21 By Margaret Louise Brown Christ’s Farewell Discourse, as written in the Gospel of John, shares His final request.  That humans live together as one. At the same time, the Bible reminds us that humans are easily distracted by their desire for worldly values: power, money, status, possessions, ... ...

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Words Survivors Want to Hear Kathleen Bryant RSC We have so much to learn from the soulful stories of victims, survivors, and thrivers from their experience of being trafficked. We have even more to learn from their collective wisdom and resilience. I invited survivors/thrivers to share the words they most wanted to hear when first ... ...

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The Journey Makes Us One By Sr. Judy Molosky, CSJ My Lenten readings from Pope Francis to Olga Segura have all repeated the same prophetic call to “build communities of care,” and it’s not just an Easter or Earth Day call. It’s a survival imperative whether we’re praying for Ukraine or vulnerable women and children ... ...

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A Century Later Human Trafficking Activists Continue Her Work By Sr. Maryann Mueller, CSSF Women’s History Month was first observed in Sonoma, California, in 1978 as Women’s History Week. Nine years later, after petitioning from the National Women’s Project, Congress extended the observance of Women’s History to a month. Today, Women’s History Month has evolved ... ...

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Let Us Celebrate Courage, Resilience and Compassion By Jeanne Christensen, RSM February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita. Why do we celebrate her? Because she is the patron saint for persons who are trafficked and exploited. Human trafficking is an insidious, violent, demeaning and exploitative tragedy. A tragedy where human persons are ... ...

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Connecting the Dots By Sister Anne Victory, HM Remember those childhood puzzles and exercises of “connecting the dots?”  By following the numbered sequence, an image would emerge that was not apparent at the start. What looked like a random scattering of numbers and dots was transformed into a lovely flower or panda or tree or ... ...

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Embracing the Radical Hope of Advent By Jennifer Reyes Lay, Executive Director of AEHT Focusing on the reality of human trafficking and working to end it as my full-time job, I am frequently asked by people, “How do you do it? How are you able to face such evil every day and not grow hopeless ... ...

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The Beauty and Challenges of the Autumn Season By Kathleen Coll, SSJ The autumn season is a favorite of mine. Usually, the weather here in the mid-Atlantic is mild with cool evenings, Autumn can also bring cold rainy days with colder days ahead. We need to remain open to what the season holds. Yes, the ... ...

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Preying on the Vulnerable……Let Us Pray and Advocate by Sally Duffy, SC Labor trafficking advocacy can often get overshadowed by sex trafficking in discussions with state and federal legislators. This is not an either/or but rather a both/and when meeting with legislators. The U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline learned about 1,236 situations of labor trafficking ... ...

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By Maryann Agnes Mueller, CSSF “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandala As we approach the beginning of a new school year, it is important to remember that aside from children, teachers, and staff, human traffickers can be found near schools, playgrounds, and other venues where ... ...

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SIMPLE YET COMPLICATED Sister Michelle Loisel, DC “Kaleidoscope” by docoverachiever is licensed under CC BY 2.0 When I was a little girl, I loved kaleidoscopes. I was fascinated by the colors and patterns. I loved how each time I turned the cylinder, the pattern would change. Sometimes, the patterns were quite beautiful; sometimes, not as ... ...

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Compassion and empowerment are at the heart of relationships with survivors of human trafficking. They are essential elements for building trust and restoring one’s sense of self and dignity.  From my years of working with survivors, it is my privilege to share with you the incredible story of Ansa who lived in a LifeWay Network ... ...

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May – The Month Honoring Mothers Jeanne Christensen, RSM May…the month of mothers. Some we remember with fondness and affection, others we prefer to forget and some we have never known. For some of us the mother we remember is one who did not birth us but gave us fullness of life as adoptive parent, ... ...

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Read, Weep, Pray, then ACT! Judy Molosky, CSJ Want to know about how to start a non-profit supporting women and children? Ask Judy Vaughan, CSJ in Los Angeles! In 1996 Judy launched Alexandria House with the generous help of the Immaculate Heart Community of L.A., Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and many supportive friends. ... ...

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“They were driven by an abhorrence of the idea that one individual could own another.” By Maryann Mueller, CSSF Several years ago, I read Sue Monk Kidd’s book The Invention of Wings. I was halfway through the book when I realized that it was based on the lives of two real-life women, Angelina and Sarah ... ...

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Human Trafficking: What Can We Do About It? Where Is God in This Tragedy? How Can We Find the Courage to Fight This Indignity? By Mary Anne Silvestri, Co-Founder of ESTHER Ministry (End Slavery, Trafficking Humans and Effect Rescue), St. Joseph Church, Long Beach CA In 2014, after attending a meeting of the Long Beach ... ...

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A New Year: Making Resolutions By Jean Schafer SDS Yes, most of us make them, but 40% of us don’t keep them. We can find many suggestions for resolutions online – to promote health or wellbeing, to advance personal growth or peace of mind. Check online and you will find links to: 29 Ideas; the ... ...

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Happy, Joyous, Free by Ann Marie Jones This year of 2020 can actually bring some very good news! The following is a tale of a life that moved from chaos and darkness to freedom and shining light. Once, I was not the happy person that I now am. Trauma led me to leave the life ... ...

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Childhood sexual violence on the reservation: It has to stop! by Sister Teresa Ann Wolf, OSB  To Avina it was part of her job; she had been requested to demonstrate how to make dream catchers to a women’s group. While she waited her turn on the program, she listened, at first curious and then stupefied ... ...

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“Charity is directed at the effects of injustice, its symptoms. Charity addresses problems that already exist. Justice is directed at the root causes of social problems. Justice addresses the underlying structures or causes of these problems.” ...

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Words Do Make a Difference By Kris Wade, Executive Director of The Justice Project KC, and Member of The Alliance Survivor Services Working Group.  As awareness of present-day slavery expands, more attention is being given to human trafficking through prostitution. Prostitution is often viewed as a “victimless crime.” Nothing could be further from the truth. ... ...

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The Nexus Between Covid-19 and Human Trafficking By Jeanne Christensen, RSM Justice Advocate – Human Trafficking Sisters of Mercy of the Americas West Midwest Community This was originally written for and published in the July Mercy Now eNewsletter The Alliance to End Human Trafficking’s Advocacy Committee has been exploring, writing about the nexus of human trafficking, ... ...

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Human Trafficking: The Legacy of 400 Years of Racism and Colonialism By Jennifer Reyes Lay, Executive Director of AEHT As we approach the annual World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30th, it is important to reflect not only on the present reality of human trafficking in our communities, country, and the wider world, ... ...

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Refugees and Human Trafficking in the Context of a Pandemic by Kathleen Bonnette, Th.D. Globally, there are more than 70 million displaced people who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution. A refugee is an officially recognized and vetted displaced person, who cannot return home and has some legal right ... ...

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May, 2020 The Value of Community During the Covid-19 Pandemic Joan Dawber, SC  It is springtime. I look out of my window and see the beauty of a flowering pear in full bloom. Each day I go for a solitary walk and I end the walk by picking daffodils from our front garden to spread ... ...

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What Does Earth Day Have To Do With Human Trafficking? by Maryann Mueller On April 22 people around the world will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day to demonstrate their support for protecting our environment.  But what does protecting our environment have to do with human trafficking?  According to the Office of United States ... ...

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Pathway to a Better Life by Jeanne Christensen, RSM in collaboration with Dale Jarvis, RSM The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas formed Mercy Focus on Haiti as a ministry initiative and one response to our 2011 Chapter Declaration that calls us to a new consciousness and to strengthen our advocacy for the intrinsic value ... ...

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Dignity: A Grasp For The Enslaved By Margaret Nacke, CSJ The largest single sale of enslaved persons in U.S. History, the Great Slave Auction called the Weeping Time, was held in 1859 at the now-defunct Ten Broeck racetrack in Savannah, Georgia. Men, women, children, and infants were sold in the course of two days bringing an estimated ... ...

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Who is God? By Jeanne Christensen, RSM In my city, there is a woman of great courage, resilience, and dedication. Her name is Kris. She is a survivor of human trafficking who broke free, put herself through college and graduated with a degree in criminal justice. Today, several years later, she ministers among women on ... ...

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Moving Into Mutuality By Kathleen Bryant, RSC As women religious accompany and listen to people at the borders, we discover relationships of trust among asylum seekers, migrants, and ourselves. The same trust has been building steadily between survivors of trafficking and women religious over the last 20 years. In the last few years, I have ... ...

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Sex Trafficking in Native American Communities By Sister Teresa Ann Wolf The elementary teacher welcomed me warmly and said she regretted that she could not attend my presentation on sex trafficking to the Native American parent group. “It is so much needed, she commented, and no one wants to talk about it.” She continued, “I’m ... ...

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The Dangerous World of Electronic “Babysitters” By Sister Margaret Louise Brown, D.C. With the advent of personal electronic devices, we are becoming an imploded society. They are everywhere and used by younger and younger children. I heard recently about a mother who had to put controls on a cell phone being used by her four-year ... ...

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Those Who Don’t Survive. . . And Those Who Do By Marlene Weisenbeck, FSPA Most often we speak about the “survivors” of human trafficking when we reference people who have escaped the violent control of their perpetrators. Less often do we talk about those who do not survive, those who have died at the hands ... ...

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Better Companies, Better World Linda Haydock, SNJM To change corporate business practices on human trafficking is a long-term, demanding, and often daunting task. Let us celebrate the progress we have made. A powerful alliance is formed when religious women and men, ecumenical and interfaith groups, and non-profit partners bring their faith to bear in the ... ...

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New Resources Available From IJPC and FADICA by Sally Duffy, SC The deeper and thicker the mud, the more beautiful the lotus flower. The cover of the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center’s (IJPC) new Anti-Human Trafficking Toolkit is a lotus flower. IJPC is located in Cincinnati, Ohio and the founding sponsors were five women religious ... ...

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Are Migrant Children Welcomed in Jesus’ Name? by Jeanne Christensen, RSM World Refugee Day is June 20. On that day, people all around the world will remember those refugees and immigrants who have been lost as well as those who have survived. According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, a refugee is one who “owing to ... ...

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The Power of Why?: Addressing the Root Causes of Human Trafficking  by Ann Scholz, SSND, Associate Director for Social Mission, LCWR There is an old, and perhaps over-used story, about a village on the edge of a river and babies. Perhaps you’ve heard the parable of the “Baby in the River.” It goes something like ... ...

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A Season of New Life and Hope  by Sister Kathleen Coll, SSJ Spring 2019, a season of new life and hope, is not disappointing us. Everywhere we look, Earth broke through the winter-hardened soil with crocus and daffodil’s tender shoots. Glorious colors and sweet-smelling flowers greet our senses and lift our hearts for a welcome ... ...

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March: A Month to Speak Out for Trafficked Victims Everywhere by Sister Jean Schafer Among the many international days of remembrance and action in the month of March, there are several that can inspire us to reflection and action on behalf of those trafficked: March 8th– International Women’s Day, advocating for women’s full equality in ... ...

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A Reflection On The Intersection Of Racism And Human Trafficking By Sister Maryann Mueller, NA  As we celebrate Black History Month, it seems appropriate to reflect on the intersection of racism with human trafficking.  Almost anywhere in the world, victims of trafficking are disproportionately racial and ethnic minorities.1 African-Americans make up about 12.7 of the total ... ...

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Study, Pray, Act By Carol Davis OP “Everybody knows about human trafficking, you don’t need to do so much education.” She said. “Really,” I responded. “Then why do we still have millions still victimized? Why are there so many innocents lured into the commercial sex exploitation and trapped into endless labor?” The conversation was unfinished. ... ...

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Passionate and Alive by Kathleen Bryant, RSC Borders were definitely not barriers to communication, sharing of passion and collaboration when we came together in Cleveland.  Imagine throwing a party and inviting people you had never met from a variety of cultures, languages, countries and backgrounds. What would make that gathering a success?   We have the recipe!  After ... ...

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Take Off Your Shoes. Get Your Feet Wet. Anne Victory, HM My favorite place for reflection is the beach. Every year I look forward to the annual trek with friends to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for vacation. The experience never fails to inspire and refresh me, and this year was no exception. We ... ...

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A Second Chance For Alexis: A Call To Action For Women’s Religious Communities In Ohio by Sally Duffy, SC A recent legislative victory in Ohio will allow survivors of trafficking to expunge their records of most crimes that can be linked back to trafficking. This clarifies opportunities the Safe Harbor Act intended to grant survivors when it ... ...

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Recognizing the Humanity of Traffickers by Sister Maryann Mueller, CSSF Several months ago on a retreat with other social justice coordinators I participated in an exercise that had a profound impact on me. We were asked to find a partner we did not know and then sit facing each other, holding each other’s hands. We ... ...

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Developing Survivor Advocacy Training for Trafficked Persons by Marlene Weisenbeck, FSPA After more than a hundred presentations designed to raise awareness about human trafficking in western Wisconsin, various professionals and community organizations are now pondering how to develop a survivor advocate training program that is solely focused on the needs of trafficked persons. A natural ... ...

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Join the Movement, Create a Tipping Point to End Human Trafficking by Sister Linda Haydock, SNJM On first every Sunday of the month for ten years we Catholic Sisters and our companions stand and pray to end the trafficking of over of over 40 million women, children and men. It’s said that statistics are faces ... ...

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The Path Chosen for Me By Janus Small My personal belief is that there is a reason for everything that happens in your life – sometimes revealed immediately, sometimes later, or not at all.   My journey to becoming a part of the Alliance to End Human Trafficking Ministry started when I became a part ... ...

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St. Josephine Bakhita: A Journey Many Know Today Elizabeth Murphy, Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center We have come to know Saint Josephine Bakhita to be a symbol of hope in the work against human trafficking. Although she died in 1947, her story is still relatable for an estimated 40 million people in forced labor, sexual ... ...

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“Look at me! See who I really am.” by Jeanne Christensen, RSM My name is Emma and I am living a nightmare. Someone said it is Lent. What does that mean? I think it’s something about God being tortured and dying so I can be saved. I can tell you that I have been tortured ... ...

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“In God’s will, there is great peace” by Carol Davis, OP The title of this reflection is a direct quote from Saint Josephine Bakhita, a courageous woman of faith who suffered brutality for years at the hands of her captors who enslaved her, who stole her from her loving family in the Sudan when she ... ...

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Forced to Seek Safety in a Foreign Land: The Plight of Those on the Move By Jean Schafer SDS As we think of the Holy Family during the Advent/Christmas season, we often forget their need to flee their homeland shortly after the birth of their child, Jesus, because of a very jealous King Herod. Herod was ... ...

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Hope is a Way of Life by Anne Victory, HM With all of the recent crises—multiple hurricanes leaving millions without the basics of life, earthquakes killing thousands, devastating forest fires, senseless gun violence, reckless political maneuvering—I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, drained, exhausted. Add to that the fact that these disasters are likely to make the vulnerable ... ...

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Breaking the Cycle of Violence by Sister Kathleen Coll, SSJ The month of October is a favorite one of mine. Usually, the weather here in the mid-Atlantic is mild with cool evenings. The burst of color surrounding us is amazing! Everywhere you look the trees adorn themselves with beautiful shades of red, orange, brown and ... ...

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A prayer for the ones left behind By Michele Morek, OSU On May 25, International Missing Children’s Day, I was reading a Prayer for Missing Children by Jane Deren (Education for Justice) when I was struck by a thunderbolt of conscience. It was a lovely prayer, praying for missing children, including those kidnapped, trafficked, lost ... ...

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Traffik 2017: A New Art Exhibit about Human Trafficking Marlene Weisenbeck, FSPA On May 11-12, 2017 Mayo Clinic-Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse, WI held its 20th annual conference on Child Maltreatment with support from the Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center, Coulee Region Child Abuse Prevention Task Force, Family & Children’s Center – Stepping Stones, ... ...

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By Sister Carol Davis, OP On the 4th of July in the United States we celebrate Independence Day. In 1776 John Adams wrote an historic letter to his wife Abigail telling her that from one end of this continent to the other there would be future annual celebrations, shows and parades celebrating what he called ... ...

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Are We Living Too Fast? By Sister Jean Schafer SDS Summer time! For some of us around the country that season is long in coming and often too short. For most of us we want to make the most of summer: enjoy a bit more leisure, travel, read a good book, wear those new summer ... ...

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What Does It Mean to be Safe? by Sister Kathleen Bryant, RSC Neurologists say that our brains are always scanning for information, for danger, for distraction like a vacuum cleaner! The stressful lives that we lead are not healthy for our brains. We all need time and space to just be, and to awaken to ... ...

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Human Trafficking Survivors: Leaving Their Tombs Behind by Sister Maryann Mueller, CSSF As we celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, we may be reminded of another Gospel story where Jesus affected the resurrection of a little girl, the twelve year old daughter of Jairus. In Mark’s Gospel we read: He ... ...

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The Tenth Station – Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments (John 19:23-24) by Jeanne Christensen, RSM Contemplation During Lent this year, I was asked to reflect on the tenth station – Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments (John 19:23-24). While it is not the Lenten season, I encourage you to become acquainted with Daia, who ... ...

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St. Josephine Bakhita: A Saint For Our Time By the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center During the month of February, we commemorate St. Josephine Bakhita, who has come to be known as a symbol of hope for Catholics in the anti-human trafficking movement. St. Josephine was sold into slavery as a young girl in her ... ...

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Do my actions and beliefs reflect Redemption? by Sister Sally Duffy, S.C. A pattern of behaviors and conditions exist at the intersection of many issues, such as human trafficking, immigration and the need to migrate for asylees and refugees, poverty and inequity, domestic violence, treatment of prisoners and the racial disparity in our criminal justice ... ...

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Pray, Love, Act by Carol Davis, OP Globally, there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking, with hundreds of thousands in the USA, per the International Labor Organization. Human trafficking occurs in every state and in Washington, DC. There is no single profile, no single way traffickers recruit. There is no single group being targeted; ... ...

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Who Is God For Victims And Survivors Of Human Trafficking? By Jeanne Christensen, RSM As persons of faith, our prayer calls us to respond to the needs of the world and our response in ministry leads us back to God. We are called to integrate contemplation and action. Who is God for each of us? Who ... ...

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Collaboration: Ending Human Trafficking by Working Together by Anne Victory, HM Work on the issue of human trafficking can be taxing, even overwhelming at times for so many reasons. The complexity of the crime, the extent to which it pervades our society, the ways in which we are all unknowingly complicit, the myriad faces of ... ...

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Contemplative Sustainability by Sister Kathleen Bryant, RSC For those of us involved in the multiple facets of fighting human trafficking, it has a price. We hear painful stories while growing in sensitivity and compassion for the suffering of victims. Listening to the horrendous stories, up against systemic injustice and organized crime, and fighting for benefits ... ...

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