Human trafficking topic for women religious on retreat

Sisters of the Good Shepherd take human trafficking to heart and do something about it through their ministries. Two Good Shepherd Sisters joined other women religious for a three-day retreat in May at Bon Secours Conference Center in Marriottsville, Maryland. Sisters Stella Mangona and Gayle Lwanga Crumbley attended the retreat to strengthen ties between Catholic Sisters who serve victims of human trafficking. They attended as representatives of Leadership Conference for Women Religious (LCWR) and U.S. Catholic Sisters Against 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 and engaged in prayerful discernment. Retreat participants also discussed their missions and explored ways to find witness in local parishes.

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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Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette is the Communications Coordinator for Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America. She is a career photojournalist who has served in various capacities of print, broadcast, and corporate communications. Jeanette is devoted to creation and is particularly focused on saving pollinators and other wildlife species and their habitat. She is an ethical vegan and created the website veganstoryteller.com