Updated: November 07, 2013 06:55 PM GMT
Picture: Canossian Sisters Singapore
After Pope Francis entrusted two Vatican academies to study the problem of human trafficking, a group of women religious asked the pope to raise greater awareness in the church about the issue by establishing a worldwide day of prayer and fasting.
"The pope was very interested in our suggestion and asked us what date we would like the day to be," Consolata Sr. Eugenia Bonetti told Catholic News Service.
"We told him Feb. 8 -- the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita," a Sudanese slave who found freedom in Italy and became a nun in the late 19th century.
She said the idea for a worldwide day of prayer came from "the need to do something that joins us together" to tackle the global problem; some dioceses and parishes are active on the issue while others are unaware or indifferent, she said.
Bonetti, a leader among religious women in Italy working against human trafficking -- particularly women and young girls forced into prostitution -- was one of about 80 people attending a Nov. 2-3 working group on trafficking at the Vatican.
Source:National Catholic Reporter
….As we enter the first months of 2022, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.