Human trafficking is a topic that Sisters of the Good Shepherd take to heart and do something about through their ministries. Sisters Stella Mangona and Gayle Lwanga Crumbley joined other women religious for a three-day retreat in May at Bon Secours Conference Center in Marriottsville, Maryland. The retreat was designed to strengthen ties between Catholic Sisters who serve victims of human trafficking.
Combatting human trafficking through best practices
Participants discussed challenges and best practices of their shared ministry. They learned strategies for self-care and the care of survivors. They offered support and renewal to one another, engaged in prayerful discernment about their missions and explored ways to find witness in local parishes. The Sisters participated in the retreat as representatives of Leadership Conference for Women Religious (LCWR) and U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking.
A national Christian organization called The Samaritan Women convened the gathering. For ten years they have provided residential care to individuals who have suffered the violence and traumas of human trafficking. The Samaritan Women hosted a luncheon in collaboration with local Catholic parishes on the final day of the conference. The luncheon allowed women religious to join with local parish representatives to share outcomes of their work and to create a plan of action moving forward. Ending human trafficking is a moral imperative for Sisters engaged in the work.
Pope Francis has addressed the scourge of human trafficking, stating that “Human Trafficking is a crime against humanity. We must unite our efforts to free victims and stop this crime that’s become ever more aggressive, that threatens not just individuals, but the foundational values of society.”
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