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May 23 is National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea May 20th, 2016

Ninety percent of the world’s goods are transported by sea and the waterways. There are approximately 1.2 million seafarers worldwide in 10,000 commercial ships and maritime vessels. 

The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea will be celebrated on Monday, May 23. The day is observed in conjunction with National Maritime Day in the United States, which has been celebrated since 1933, to recognize merchant mariners and others in the maritime industry.

The US Bishop’s Conference is encouraging dioceses and other ministries to mark the national day by remembering the men and women of the sea in homilies and by including special petitions during Mass. 

The Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking has provided a resource on human trafficking in the Maritime Industry. Download the resource here.

Pope Francis’ recent homily at Vatican City reminded those present that the exploitation of laborers is mortal sin, citing the Apostle James: ““Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.” The Holy Father went on to say that:

“When riches are created by exploiting the people, by those rich people who exploit [others], they take advantage of the work of the people, and those poor people become slaves. We think of the here and now, the same thing happens all over the world. “I want to work.” “Good, they’ll make you a contract, from September to June.” Without a pension, without health care… Then they suspend it, and in July and August they have to eat air. And in September, they laugh at you about it. Those who do that are true bloodsuckers, and they live by spilling the blood of the people who they make slaves of labor.”

Visit the Vatican Radio site to read about Pope Francis’ homily.

2016 Lenten Reflection on Climate Change February 12th, 2016



Our faith calls us to pray, fast, and give to charity during Lent. As we look inward and spiritually reflect on our own lives, let us also remember our struggling brothers and sisters around the world and even people right in our backyards. To help support your Lenten devotion, Missionary Oblates JPIC is pleased to offer weekly resources centered on a justice theme.

WEEK III — The environment/climate change is this week’s focus. 2015 was the year for global action on the environment with several significant happenings, including the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home, and huge rallies for the environment held around the world.  Download the resource here.

lWEEK II — This second week we focus on the global occurrence of modern day slavery, also known as human trafficking. An estimated 30 million people worldwide are trafficked at any given time. Please feel free to share this resource with your congregations, communities and use during your prayer time. Download the resource here.

WEEK I — This week’s focus is migration, a pressing global issue that affects us all. Please feel free to share this resource with your congregations, communities and use during your  prayer time. Download the resource here.

Pope Francis Takes Strong Action to End Slavery December 3rd, 2014

VATICAN CITY As Pope Francis and leaders of other churches and religions signed a declaration pledging to work together to help end modern slavery in the world by 2020, he urged governments, businesses and all people of good will to join forces against this “crime against humanity.”

Tens of millions of people are “in chains” because of human trafficking and forced labor, and it is leading to their “dehumanization and humiliation,” the pope said at the ceremony Dec. 2, the U.N. Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

Every human person is born with the same dignity and freedom, and any form of discrimination that does not respect this truth “is a crime and very often an abhorrent crime,” the pope said.

Inspired by their religious beliefs and a desire “to take practical action,” the pope and 11 leaders representing the Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox, Anglican, Buddhist and Hindu faiths made a united commitment to help eradicate slavery worldwide.

Read the full article at National Catholic Reporter online

And here is something to put on your calendar: 

February 8th, 2015

National Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Human Trafficking

On February 8th, 2015 the USCCB will observe the National Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Human Trafficking. February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering.

Last February, Catholics throughout the country observed the national day of prayer through Masses, prayer vigils, and other events to raise awareness about human trafficking in their parishes and communities. This coming February, we encourage you to do the same. Through prayer, we not only reflect on the experiences of those that have suffered through this affront to human dignity, but also comfort, strengthen, and help empower survivors.

Please visit to download prayers, intercessions, a toolkit and other resources to help you host a human trafficking event locally. Visit for more information about human trafficking and to download flyers for the National Day of Prayer including a Mass that will be held on Sunday, February 8th at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.

In the words of our Holy Father Pope Francis, may we be “slaves no more, but brothers and sisters.”

Slaves No More… December 1st, 2014

Francis-slaveryOn January 1st 2015, Pope Francis will commemorate the World Day of Peace with the theme “Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters.” In alignment with this message for the new year, the Coalition of Catholic Organizations Against Human Trafficking invites you to join in efforts to eliminate the scourge of human trafficking by making a personal commitment in 2015 to resolve to fight human trafficking. Click here to find out more and commit to the resolutions today.


Covenant House Report on Youth and Trafficking August 19th, 2014

"Covenant House 43 10 jeh" by Jim.henderson - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication via Wikimedia Commons -

“Covenant House 43 10 jeh” by Jim.henderson – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication via Wikimedia Commons

Covenant House, a nonprofit charity serving homeless youth with a network of shelters across the Americas, issued a report in May 2013 on youth and trafficking. Titled “Homelessness, Survival Sex and Human trafficking: As Experienced by the Youth of Covenant House New York”, the report offered a window into often invisible problem faced by homeless youth in America. The report includes a Human Trafficking Interview and Assessment Measure, an instrument which has been shown to be highly effective in identifying trafficking victims, and which can be used by others.

The report notes in conclusion that the “HTIAM-14 has been proven to be a useful and effective tool in identifying trafficking victims that would have otherwise been overlooked. However, identification is only the first step in helping a survivor to heal and reach his or her full potential. It is important that all survivors are provided with the vast array of social services needed to rebuild traumatized lives.”

The report continues: “As agencies learn more and begin to identify larger numbers of victims, policy makers, the private sector and non-profits need to work collaboratively to ensure that there are comprehensive and holistic services, including long-term shelter, psychological and medical services, and job training for all those who need them. It is also essential that we work together to reduce the contributing factors outlined in this report to prevent the trafficking of our most vulnerable youth.”

Download a copy of the report here…

For more information on what you can do to help trafficking victims, please see our resource page on human trafficking.


August Issue of Stop Trafficking! August 11th, 2014

masthead-blankRead the latest issue of Stop Trafficking!, the anti-human trafficking newsletter of a broad coalition of national and international congregations of women religious and their partners.

The August 2014 issue (Vo. 12, no. 8) highlights the plight of children in the US and those seeking asylum because of violence and sexual exploitation.


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