After 9/11 the United States received world-wide support with vigils, flowers, prayers and numerous other signs of friendship. In France signs read, “We Are All Americans.” Now, we in the United States are saying, “We are All French.” The supreme act of barbarism on Friday shocked the world and sent a message that there is no such thing as a safe place. It is not possible to protect cities in the United States or Europe from suicidal, marauding assaults by single-minded terrorists. Continue reading →
When she was 12, her father raped her and on weekends sold her to neighbors and acquaintances when they came over to play cards. When she was 14, her addicted brother sold her to a gang for drugs. When he was 15, he was kidnapped while walking home from school. He was sold but managed to escape before being shipped out of the United States. These are three people whose stories break my heart. Their pain is palpable. Their courage is undeniable as they reclaim their voices. These are three of the millions of people, millions of reasons Catholic Sisters have come together in their work against trafficking. The words of Saint Catherine of Siena are as vital today as they were in the 14th century, “Speak the truth in a million voices. It is silence that kills the world.” Continue reading →
When Sr. Judy Morris asked me to give my reaction to the Human Trafficking Symposium at Xavier University that I attended last week, she told me to take a word or phrase that caught my attention and write about it.
As I listened to Edwina Gately, founder of Genesis House, a house of hospitality and nurturing for women involved in prostitution, she said many things. But when she pranced across the stage making the reference to the movie, “Pretty Woman,” she had me in the palm of her hand! Continue reading →
“The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter.” – Dan Reeves
I think most people can relate to this quote since disappointments and injustices find their way into our lives. Two remarkable people come to mind when I reflect on this quote. Two years ago Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan was shot in the head by Taliban members and almost died. She had attended school, and in the eyes of the Taliban, this was considered an offense against Islam. Following her surgery and a lengthy recovery, Malala dedicated her life to working for the rights of girls around the world to an education. She has taken her campaign to the world stage, notably, with a speech last year at the United Nations. Through her heroic efforts girls around the world have received encouragement to pursue an education that was thought to be impossible. At 17 she is the youngest woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Continue reading →
The beginning of any college academic year brings more than a few challenges, but for the University of Texas at Austin, those challenges brought great concern and division. On June 1, 2015, Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 11, the “campus carry” law, which allows students with gun licenses to carry a concealed handgun on campus. President Gregory L. Femes and faculty at the University spoke against this ill-advised law with the state legislators, but to no avail. Ironically, this bill was signed 50 years to the day of the first mass shooting on a college campus, at the University of Texas. Continue reading →