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July 30, 2017 is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons July 27th, 2017

Every year, millions of children, women and men fall into the hands of traffickers, lured by fake promises and deceit. Human trafficking has become a global multi-billion-dollar enterprise, affecting nearly every country in the world. 

On the 2017 World Day against Trafficking in Persons, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) calls on all to ‘act to protect and assist trafficked persons.’ The theme highlights the impact of conflict and natural disasters and the multiple risks of human trafficking that many people face. It addresses a key issue concerning trafficking responses: that most people are never identified as trafficking victims and therefore cannot access most of the assistance or protection provided.

On the 2017 World Day against Trafficking in Persons remember the victims of this crime and show your support. 

Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Learn more about the issue at this anti-trafficking website.

In her book Stolen, Katariina (Kat) Rosenblatt, Phd, writes about her personal experience of being a survivor of sex trafficking, her escape and subsequent work with American children.  

Read a book review I Have a Voice – Trafficked Women – in their own words by Mary O’Herron

Visit the UN Office on Drugs and Crime for more information and ways to get involved


Missionary Oblates Join National Catholic Campaign To End The Use Of The Death Penalty July 18th, 2017

The Missionary Oblates JPIC office has joined and signed a Pledge to Educate, Advocate and Pray for an end to the use of the death penalty in the United States. The National Catholic Campaign To End The Use Of The Death Penalty calls on Catholic faithful and organizations to promise to Educate, Advocate and Pray for an end to the use of the death penalty. 

The pledge drive is organized by the Catholic Mobilizing Network as part of the United States Catholic Bishops Conference. Catholic Bishops were among the first to sign the National Catholic Pledge to End the Death Penalty during the launch in May 2017.

The Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty is part of the Missionary Oblates JPIC Consistent Life initiative. In this campaign, JPIC office provides resources and faithful action suggestions to Oblates and associates reflecting the teaching of the Catholic Church to end the use of the death penalty in the United States.

In response to Pope Francis’s call, pledge to educate, advocate, and pray for the end of the death penalty. Get more information at National Catholic Pledge to End the Death Penalty here:

U.S Oblate Novices Support Garden Fundraiser & Concert at La Vista July 18th, 2017

 Pictures from the 2017 Pollinator Garden Fundraiser/Concert, Godfrey, IL
(Courtesy of Fr. Jack Lau, OMI)

La Vista is a part of Oblate Ecological Initiative, a ministry of the US Oblates Province efforts on priority for the Integrity of Creation.

The pollinator garden is one of three restoration projects of La Vista. It aims to offset threats to the monarch butterfly migration, assure a diverse food source throughout the season, and provide herbicide-free nectar for a variety of pollinators.

The pollinator garden was created in 2014 in response to threats to the monarch butterfly migration and bee colony collapse. Volunteers weeded and seeded a 6,000 square foot area.  An Eagle Scout troop made four benches for the garden.  The garden continues to be developed each year.

Since pollinators are responsible for every third bite of food we eat, and because their disappearance creates a hole in the ecosystem, we consider this effort important in contributing to the integrity of creation. 

Monarch butterflies are migrants traveling from the North to Mexico and back yearly.

Read more about the work of the Oblate Ecological Initiative at

Action Alert: Urge Congress to Continue to Protect Trafficking Victims July 12th, 2017

The U.S. House of Representatives may be considering H.R. 2200, the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act of 2017. We urge you to voice your support!

H.R. 2200 would reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). The TVPA, the original foundational anti-trafficking legislation in the U.S., was created in 2000 and has been reauthorized four times by overwhelmingly bipartisan votes. H.R. 2200 was introduced by Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ-4) and Representative Karen Bass (D-CA-37) on April 27, 2017.

Supporting H.R. 2200 is an important step the United States can take to demonstrate our nation’s continued efforts to eradicate human trafficking and assist human trafficking victims. H.R. 2200 ensures critical funding for both domestic and international anti-trafficking programs. Reauthorizing the TVPA helps ensure that victims are able to continue to access programs and services that recognize the importance of dignified care.


Take Action by sending the following message:

Dear Representative,

As a concerned Catholic, I urge you to support H.R. 2200. I firmly believe in the dignity of the human person and this belief calls on me to protect the most vulnerable, including victims of human trafficking. H.R. 2200 is important, as it reauthorizes the TVPA, providing service provisions that will aid victims. Supporting H.R. 2200 will ensure that our nation’s efforts to eradicate human trafficking and assist human trafficking victims continue.

I thank Congress for its long-standing commitment to confront modern-day slavery. As a Catholic, I stand ready to support victims and appreciate your work to eradicate human trafficking.

Send the message from this link:

Click here to read the US Bishops’ letter of support for H.R. 2200.


Take Action to Oppose Senate Version of Better Care Reconciliation Act July 6th, 2017


The Senate has postponed its vote on the health care bill, the 2017 Better Care Reconciliation Act— but negotiations continue, and the bill could soon come to the floor. Please contact your Senators and urge them to vote against the bill as it stands and make changes in favor of the poor and vulnerable. This legislation takes funding for healthcare coverage from our most vulnerable individuals and families and uses it for tax cuts for some of our most wealthy citizens.

The US Bishops have expressed deep concern and are asking for changes to the bill before Congress votes. Visit USCCB’s action center to send a pre-written alert to your Senators or write your own. Ask them to act with compassion and draft a better health care bill.

Visit USCCB’s Action Center to contact your Senator:

Read a Catholic Health Association article about the healthcare bill.

Showing Solidarity with Refugees and Muslims July 5th, 2017

A report from the Denis Hurley Centre, Durban, South Africa

We had two opportunities this month to show solidarity with our neighbors, especially important since Refugees and Muslims are often groups who are kept at a distance and treated with suspicion.

June 20 was UNHCR’s World Refugee Day. The Denis Hurley Centre’s (DHC) Refugee Pastoral Care worked with other organizations in the Refugee Service Providers’ Network to offer a great day of activities in our Gandhi-Luthuli Peace Hall. Live music was provided by René Tshiakanyi a French-Congolese singer, songwriter and guitarist, who also entertained the crowds outside in the Mall. A film about corruption in Senegal was screened followed by a discussion and opportunities for people to get to know each other. Food was then served for hundreds. Pleasingly, the event was attended not only by refugees from many different African countries but also by South African nationals keen to break down barriers. 

(Members of the 3 Abrahamic religions breaking the Ramadan fast with dates. (From l to R) Sr. Cathy Murugan, HF, Sufiso Duma with Islamic Propagation Centre International (IPCI) and Ohad Rooiblatt, an Israeli volunteer with project TEN (Project TEN is an international development program that operates volunteer centers in developing areas).

The next day, being one of the last days of Ramadan, we encouraged non-Muslims to observe the fast as a way of joining in prayer with our Muslim brothers and sisters across the city and across the globe. Then at 5pm, as the rays of the sunset filled the upstairs room, we broke the fast accompanied by our Muslim partner organizations, Islamic Propagation Centre International (IPCI), Grey Street Mosque, South African National Zakáh Fund (SANZAF) and RAUF (Refocus and Upliftment Foundation).

A good conversation was held about Ramadan traditions and our healthcare team were able to find out ways to help the many Muslim patients who come to our clinic. Delicious snacks and drinks were then enjoyed by all.

Denis Eugene Hurley, OMI, was the South African Roman Catholic Vicar Apostolic of Natal and Archbishop of Durban, South Africa. He died in 2004. The Denis Hurley Centre is a community center created as a place of Care, Education and Community responding to the needs of people in the heart of Durban, South Africa. Visit the Center’s website:


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