May 24, 2022

Reflection on Anti-Trafficking by Sister Eileen Golby

My passion for victims of human trafficking began at a LCWR meeting in 2012. A young woman shared her story of being trafficked and her return to freedom. Someone she considered a friend invited her to a party. She accepted, and her life changed drastically for the next few years. She became the property of her trafficker to do whatever he wanted. After a few years she found an opportunity to escape her trafficker and found a safe haven and the help she needed to rebuild her life.


“Pope Francis attaches enormous importance to the plight of the millions of men, women and children who are trafficked and enslaved. They are among the most dehumanized and discarded of people in the modern world and all over the world. Human trafficking, he says, is an ‘atrocious scourge,’ an ‘aberrant plague’ and an ‘open wound on the body of Christ and contemporary society’” (Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking 1).


We think of slavery as a practice of the past, but the practice of enslaving human beings as property still exists. Globally, there are over 25 million people living as slaves right now. Modern-day slavery is the illegal trade of people using force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of forced labor or sexual exploitation for commercial gain.


As Catholics, we believe in the dignity of every human life and vehemently oppose human trafficking and modern-day slavery as it contravenes basic human dignity.


In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the disciples he is sending an Advocate and the Advocate will convict the world regarding sin, rightness, and condemnation.


Am I hearing the cry of the poor to do something to free the slaves throughout the world? Can I be God’s right hand helping to free them? Let my people go!


Sister Eileen serves on boards and committees and serves with other ministries in the Clinton area. Sister Eileen served as vice president of the Sisters of St. Francis from 2013 - 2016 and as 2nd councilor from 2012 - 2013. She has served as a teacher, principal, and with parishes across the country, including sixteen years from 1996 to 2012 as a pastoral associate at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Lexington, KY.