“Pray consistently for an end to all forms of slavery and for victims and perpetrators.”
This is the first element of the Daughters of Charity Corporate Stance against human trafficking.
When I first considered this commitment, I thought of gathering various prepared prayers that can be used as part of our daily prayers.
But, as I reflected further it occurred to me that putting a face on the potential victims and perpetrators could make more of an impact. And I thought of all the various ministries in which our Sisters serve. Who are the vulnerable that could easily be exploited and used?
In the school setting: the bullied child at recess, the shamed child, the child who is excluded and teased. All of which could make them an easy mark for someone who would shower them with attention, affection and affirmation for the purpose of using them, exploiting them.
In parishes: children and women who are in ‘at risk’ families because of poverty, domestic violence, addictions.
In social service agencies: the day care mother who is desperate to make money to meet her bills, buy food, pay rent – tempted by ‘easy’ money to sell herself or her child for sex.
In clinics, hospitals, social service centers, emergency rooms, homeless shelters, centers serving immigrants, programs that serve released prisoners, agencies serving people with addictions…and the list goes on.
Might we pause daily and reflect on the people we have encountered in our ministries and reflect on those whose vulnerability might make them most easily exploited? And pray for them by name. And pray for anyone who would exploit that vulnerability for financial gain.
Keeping our eyes and our hearts open while serving, while shopping, while traveling and having a prayer on our lips.
It’s more than reciting a prepared prayer – it’s having a stance of vigilance and moving from prayer to action, when needed.
Written by Sister Mary Walz, D.C.