Women religious join human trafficking foes at White House
Women religious tackling the scourge of human trafficking joined a White House summit on the issue. What the sisters saw at the summit Sept. 16 was a rising groundswell of support to restrict trafficking across the U.S. ,said Sister Margaret Nacke, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kan.
“There were people from all over the country who were in positions where they could make a difference in countering trafficking,” she told Catholic News Service.
With their presence, the sisters raised their profile among organizations working on trafficking concerns.
Following the summit, representatives of a dozen religious congregations and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious met for two days to update progress in education and awareness raising programs they have undertaken. They concluded their meeting with visits to representatives on Capitol Hill to push for two pieces of legislation in their fight.
One bill, Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act, would require the Department of Health and Human Services to develop guidelines for state child welfare agencies in identifying and treating young trafficking victims. Another bill would upgrade the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons to a bureau.
“I think we solidified what we were doing,” Sister Margaret said.
Fines, sentences in K.C. weapons plant protest
A Catholic priest was among a group of people who pleaded guilty to trespassing on the National Security Campus under construction in Kansas City, Mo., during a July protest.
Oblate Father Bill Antone, provincial of the U.S. province of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, entered a guilty plea through attorney Henry Stoever and paid a $250 fine.
He had joined the protest at the invitation of fellow Oblate, Father Carl Kabat of St. Louis, a veteran of protests at facilities involved in U.S. nuclear weapon production.
Father Kabat, 79, who has spent more than 17 years behind bars for his lifelong pursuit of ending nuclear weapon production and storage, pleaded not guilty and requested a trial. So did Jesuit Father Bill Bichsel of Tacoma, Wash.
Among others pleading was Christian Brother Louse Rodemann, a member of the Holy Family Catholic Worker in Kansas City, who was sentenced to 50 hours of community service.
The arrestees entered the campus by walking through a door brought to the site. It was emblazoned with a banner reading “Open the door to a nuclear weapons-free world.” In all, about 80 protesters organized by PeaceWorks, Kansas City joined the protest.
Resources for feast of St. Francis
The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change is focusing on the rapidly melting ice packs and glaciers around the world to help parish groups, schools and families celebrate the feast of St. Francis, Oct. 4.
Focusing on the theme “Melting Ice, Mending Creation: A Catholic Approach to Climate Change,” the coalition is distributing a packet of materials. In it are the Pontifical Academy of Sciences’ working group statement, “Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene,” a TED talk by science photographer James Balog, the force behind the documentary “Chasing Ice,” and an educational kit and discussion guide.
Materials are available through the coalition’s website.