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Bishop Thomas' 2020 CSA Reflection


Nuns Catholic groups work to blunt the scourge of human trafficking

By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service

WASHING
TON (CNS) -- Catholic organizations, from women's religious orders to corporate watchdog groups, are working on many fronts to stem the scourge -- and the crime -- of human trafficking.

The two most common aspects of human trafficking are sex trafficking and forced labor, although some are victimized by both. But two people interviewed by Catholic News Service also warned of the growing prevalence of organ trafficking on the black market; the practice was depicted in the 2002 movie "Dirty Pretty Things."

Women religious have been on the front lines of fighting human trafficking, and over the past decade, united their efforts under the name U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. It is part of a worldwide organization called Talitha Kum, named after Jesus' instruction to Jairus' daughter, whom her family believed to be dead: "Little girl, get up." Read more.

 


Bishop Thomas' Message from Rome

During the past week, I have been in the Eternal City of Rome, in the company of Bishops from California, Hawaii
and Nevada. The purpose of our visit was to fulfill the canonically required Ad Limina (to the threshold of the Apostles) visit, where each Bishop spends time with the Holy Father and celebrates Mass at the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul. The Ad Limina visit is designed to renew each Bishop’s union with the See of Peter and to deepen our communion with the Universal Church.

It was a blessed week indeed!

I was deeply moved by the time I spent with our Holy Father Pope Francis. Our regional Bishops spent three hours with him in fruitful dialogue and candid conversation.

Having served as a Diocesan Bishop himself, Pope Francis demonstrated particular sensitivity and understanding regarding both the blessings and the challenges each Bishop faces in his respective diocese.

The Pope encouraged the Bishops, above all else, to be men of prayer, missionary disciples who know intimately the mind and heart of Jesus and to do all in our power to lead our people on the path of the Good Shephard.

The Holy Father expressed his deep affection for the youth and young adults of our dioceses and encouraged us to do all in our power to welcome them into the heart of the Church through patient listening, open arms, substantial teaching, and welcoming hearts.

Pope Francis has a particular affinity for immigrants and migrants across the entire globe, aware of the burdens they face and the struggles they endure as they search for a better life for themselves and their children. “In their faces,” he said “we see the suffering face of Jesus Christ.” The Holy Father’s enthusiasm for the New Evangelization was evident both in his voice and in his gestures. He encouraged the Bishops to ensure that the people of our dioceses embrace their role as “missionary disciples,” commissioned to work with the ordained to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ in every portion of our local Churches.

Our Holy Father expressed great delight upon learning that the Catholic Church across the Southwest, including here in our own Diocese of Las Vegas, is a Church marked by vigor, vitality, vibrancy, and exponential growth.

As I described to him the growth of the Diocese of Las Vegas, he gave me a big thumbs up and a huge smile as I spoke.

As I knelt in prayer before the tomb of St. Peter and closed my week at the tomb of St. Paul, I presented all of your prayers and petitions to the Lord. I asked Him to bless each of you abundantly, to hear your prayers, to free your hearts from fear and anxiety, and to deepen your love for Christ and strengthen your bond with the Church, which is “one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.”

+Bishop George Leo Thomas, Ph.D.

Read Bishop Thomas' letter in Spanish.


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