I would like to dedicate this little article to Sr. Jean McLoughlin, a very special lady who passed away in 2021. She was a member of the SSND Trafficking committee for many years and also volunteered at a survivor trafficking shelter in the area where she lived. As an SSND associate, I first met Jean in the early 1990's and was inspired by her during the time she spent with us.
Sr. Josephine Bakhita was born in the Darfur region of Sudan in 1869. She was kidnapped and enslaved as a child. Eventually she was sold to an Italian diplomat and taken to Italy where she valiantly asserted her freedom with the help of the Camossian Sisters of Venice. Through her faith, Sr. Bakhita realized the promises of liberty inherent in the human spirit. She lived out the rest of her life as a Camossian sister,sharing her empowering testimony of human freedom and dignity. In 2000, Pope John II canonized Josephine Bakhita noting in this spirit, "we find a shining advocate of genuine emancipation".
Prayer: Lord, you blessed St. Josephine Bakhita of Sudan with compassion for others. May her prayers comfort and strengthen women, men and children who are in search of freedom. We ask for conversion of heart for us, for traffickers and we pray for strong laws that protect victims. Give us wisdom and courage so that together we find ways to freedom that is your gift to all people. Amen."