Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Chance to Ice Skate

We have had an unusually warm winter in Wisconsin so we haven't had a chance to do wintry activities like sledding. However, this past Sunday Regina asked me and the other novices if we wanted to try out ice skating. We were happy to oblige! It was 50 degrees fahrenheit, but there were a lot of ice fishermen on the lake and none of them were falling through. We found a good area without any fishing holes, and then we had a great time skating around! 

I also used the opportunity to take pictures for my digital photography class. I edited my favorite one today in the "digital darkroom" via GIMP. I didn't have to do much editing, just sharpening in some areas, blurring in others, a tiny bit of burning, and some work with the histogram. GIMP is can do anything that Photoshop can do, only it is free. I actually prefer it.  Here's the picture- I think it's cute: 
Left to right: Sr. Leslie, Sr. Regina Rose, and Regina.
Tonight is a quiet night, so I am going to eat dinner and after that I'll lay low and pray. I hope that you are having a wonderful start to your Lenten practices!

P.S. We also had a great discernment retreat last weekend! To the young women who came, know you are in my thoughts and prayers!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Slavery Has Not Ended. It Just Has a Different Name.

This post is in honor of a very brave woman. Thanks for your nice message and you are in my prayers.

Our Community (the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity) is a member of the Franciscan Federation. At their annual conference last July, the representatives made a resolution that we would work to eliminate human trafficking, for the rescue and safety of the victims, and prosecution of perpetrators (2011 Resolution).

Fact: There are more slaves now than at any other time in history. It just has a different name: human trafficking. It is illegal under both US and International Laws.

There is something that we can do about it.

According to the Polaris Project,
  • "Human trafficking is a crime that often goes underreported due to its covert nature, various misconceptions about its definition, and a lack of awareness about its indicators on the local level
  • "Human trafficking is a market-based economy that exists on principles of supply and demand. It thrives due to conditions which allow for high profits to be generated at low risk.
  • "Human trafficking is prevalent in many countries around the world
  • "Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all fifty states of the United States
  • "Victims are trafficked for a wide variety of purposes, such as commercial sex, agricultural work, or housekeeping, yet they all share the loss of one of our world’s most cherished rights—freedom.
  • "There is no one consistent face of a trafficking victim. Trafficked persons can be rich or poor, men or women, adults or children, and foreign nationals or US citizens.
  • "There is no one consistent face of a trafficker. Traffickers include a wide range of criminal operators, including individual pimps, small families or businesses, loose-knit decentralized criminal networks, and international organized criminal syndicates." ((
There are misconceptions about trafficking. Here's the truth:
  • It does not only happen to immigrants.
  • It does not always involve physical force.
  • Consent of the victim is not important to perpetrators. Neither is payment.( 
Click here to view online or download a PDF of how to identify human trafficking victims.
To understand the mindsets of trafficking victims, click here to view online/download a PDF.
Click here to view online/download a PDF of key numbers to call in the United States if you suspect that someone is being trafficked.

One final thing. I believe in the power of prayer, and I want to provide some prayer resources for you:

We can also pray for the intercession of St. Josephine Bakhita. A group in Oregon, USA, is seeking Vatican approval for her to be patron saint of slavery and human trafficking victims. Click here to read about the cause.