Dominicans Give Sanctuary and Support to Trafficking Victims
AMITYVILLE, NY --- June 9, 2008 -- A call comes in from Charities, “We
found some people in deplorable condition. Can you extend hospitality?” First,
one group from South America, the next ones come from Asia. These
folks are so beaten down and frail, just longing for a safe space.
The door opens and they enter as have refugees, orphans and homeless
over the years. God has given us much to share. And in return God
opens our eyes to the wider needs. God opens our minds to
tales of unspeakable horror of inhumanity to the vulnerable.
The sisters at the Motherhouse embrace the pain of these special
guests. Many sisters come to spend nights, meals, weekends of accompaniment.
We hold this all in our hearts as we strive to keep these brothers
and sisters safe from harm, from the prying eyes of the media and
those who would demean their stories.
After our latest sanctuary victims, our justice and peace committee
made available extra material and videos to show the congregation
the expanse of this problem. Many times we come to face justice
issues from exposure to the written word or to visages from the
media. Then, maybe we experience persons first hand who have lived
the pain. In this case the congregation came face to face with
flesh and blood brothers and sisters in great difficulty. To embrace
this cause and to voice a corporate stance was not difficult.
The vote was taken and our commitment to share our first hand experience
with all we meet in and through ministry was made.
“There can be no question about our response to such
issues. The gospel compels us to open our doors, feed the
hungry, shelter the homeless, and protect the innocent. Such
responses are an integral component of our preaching.” Mary
Hughes OP, Prioress
We, the Dominican Sisters and Associates of the Congregation
of the Holy Cross of Amityville, New York, hereby state our
objection to and condemnation of all trafficking of persons
for the purpose of sexual exploitation and/or any coerced commercial
or other activity. We condemn the actions of those who
promote all activities which violate fundamental human rights
and Federal and State laws which prohibit such trafficking.
The Sisters and Associates will continue to be part of efforts
to give voice to the voiceless, hope to the hopeless and comfort
to those whose lives are affected by societal ills.
Margaret Briody, OP (Amityville)
Director of Communications