Thursday, January 31, 2013

Immigration Reform

Are you following the news on immigration reform coming from Washington, DC every day?  Go to the USCCB's Justice for Immigrants website for the latest news, to take action, and/or to become more educated on immigration.  There are many informative materials on this site.

40 Days of Prayer: Day 27

"He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. . ." (Malachi 4:6).

Pray that the hearts of men and women who are visiting New Orleans for the Super Bowl would be turned toward home and family.  Pray for a restoration and healing of homes and marriages so that the demand for trafficking will disappear.  Pray that the intense desire for money, the lust for indulgence, and the thirst for violence would be overcome by compassion for the defenseless woman and child.  Pray that men and women would be disgusted by the evil of buying and selling another human being, and filled with compassion for the victims.  Pray for One Ministry's outreach in New Orleans East.

Go to for more information.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Human Trafficking Film: Trade of Innocents

Are you familiar with the new film, Trade of Innocents?  Here's the description from the film's website   In the back streets of a tourist town in present-day Southeast Asia, we find a filthy cinder block room; a bed with soiled sheets; a little girl waits for the next man. Alex (Dermot Mulroney), a human trafficking investigator, plays the role of her next customer as he negotiates with the pimp for the use of the child. Claire (Mira Sorvino), Alex's wife, is caught up in the flow of her new life in Southeast Asia and her role as a volunteer in an aftercare shelter for rescued girls where lives of local neighborhood girl's freedoms and dignity are threatened. Parallel story lines intertwine and unfold twists against the backdrop of the dangerous human trafficking world, in a story of struggle, life, hope and redemption in the "TRADE of INNOCENTS."
Is your group able to host a movie screening of Trade of Innocents?  Go to The staff of the USCCB has screened the movie and can answer questions.  Contact for more information.

40 Days of Prayer: Day 26

When God heard the cries of the Israelites who were enslaved in Egypt, he raised up Moses to rescue them.  Moses asked, "Who should I say has sent me?" And God replied, "I am." He is the all sufficient one, of whom David said, 'My whole being will exclaim, 'Who is like you, Oh Lord? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them'" (Psalm 35:10).

Praise the Great I Am today, for he is the rescuer of the weak.  Only He has the power and authority and strength to save.  Pray that he would intervene on behalf of the poor, who are coerced or deceived into captivity by people who prey on their need.  Pray that the called would trust God to accomplish his purpose.  Pray for Inward Ministry's outreach on Bourbon Street.

Go to for more information.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 25

Pray that Christians, who bear the name of Christ, will take on the mission of the King, stated clearly by Jesus in Luke 4:18-19: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, the the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come."

Ask forgiveness for where we have neglected to walk in this clear call on our lives in the power of the Spirit.  Come into agreement with Jesus and his revelation in this passage.  Pray that captives would hear the Good News and be released.  Declare that THIS is the year of the Lord's favor, and his freedom for these children is near!

February 2013 LCWR Newsletter

Click here to find the February 2013 LCWR Update.

Monday, January 28, 2013

CRS Rice Bowl for Lent

This Lent marks the 38th year of Catholic Relief Services' (CRS) Rice Bowl campaign.  This year's message is:  "For Lent, for Life: What you give up for Lent changes lives."  Materials for Lent 2013 will focus on CRS efforts in Burkina Faso, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Lesotho and Pakistan.

Go to for additional information and resources.

Note:  "CRS Rice Bowl" is the new name for what was previously "Operation Rice Bowl."

40 Days of Prayer: Day 24

"I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy" (Psalm 140:12). 

Pray that the perpetrators and facilitators of human trafficking would be brought to justice.  Pray that victims would be treated fairly, and that God would uphold their cause.  Pray that security in the hand of the Father would be found for those who have not been protected from harm.  Poverty is a huge risk factor for human trafficking.  Pray that the body of Jesus Christ would see the suffering around them and become active in the venture of caring for the needy, so that children would not be forced into slavery.

Go to for more information. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 23

"Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.  The Lord protects and preserves them.  They are counted among the blessed in the land.  He does not give them over to the desire of their foes" (Psalm 41:1-2).

The Super Bowl is one week from today.  This is when the two teams usually arrive in the host city along with more than 2,500 members of the media.  The eyes of the world will be on New Orleans, and these athletes have an opportunity to be heard by millions of people.  Pray that these people of influence would have regard for the weak and would lend their voice to cooperate with the efforts of those seeking to recognize  the victims of this hideous crime.

Go to for more information.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 22

"Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep, O Lord, you preserve both man and beast" (Psalm 36:6).

The physical and emotional pain experienced by trafficked women and children runs deep.  it is impossible for anyone to fathom -- except for God, whose justice runs deep, deeper than any injustice and the suffering it brings.  Pray that God would preserve the lives of trafficked individuals, and that he would heal their bodies, hearts and spirits.  Pray that healing would run like the great deep.

Go to for more information.

Friday, January 25, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 21

In Genesis 50, we read about the reconciliation of Joseph with his brothers, who had beaten him and sold him into slavery.  Joseph forgave them without justifying their actions as anything but the evil they were.  In verse 20, he said, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."

Theresa Flores is a trafficking survivor who understands Joseph.  Her traffickers intended evil, but God is accomplishing his purposes through the ministry that was born out of her pain.  Today and tomorrow, TraffickFree is putting bars of soap with the anti-trafficking hotline number in restrooms of hotels and other businesses in NOLA.  Pray that trafficked women would get to a restroom, find those soaps, and call the number -- and that God would save many lives through Theresa's work.

Go to for more information.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

National Prayer Vigil for Life

Click here for information on today's National Prayer Vigil for Life events.

40 Days of Prayer: Day 20

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

When the pimps, traffickers, and facilitators have faces and names, it is easy for us to see them as the enemy -- and to become intimidated and afraid for ourselves. We ask the unanswerable questions, “How could one human being do this to another?” and “How could I possibly make a difference?”

Pray that we would recognize that it is a spiritual battle we are fighting.  Pray that we would stand firm and put on the whole armor of God. Pray for One Ministry as they distribute gift bags in New Orleans East, and volunteers going to West Bank strip clubs.

Since we are halfway through our 40 days of prayer, now is a good time to remind ourselves of why we are engaging in this prayer.  Click here to remember.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 19

“The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love” (Psalm 33:5).

Pray for the Inward Ministry as they distribute gift bags to men and women in the clubs on Bourbon Street. The purpose of these gifts is to share God’s unfailing love. The bags also include a booklet of important resources for people who are in the midst of circumstances beyond their control. Approximately 3000 bags will be distributed throughout the city over the next few weeks (see also January 24, 30, 31; February 6, 7; and other dates TBA). Pray that the materials would make their way into the hands of men, women and children who will recognize them as Go unfailing love for them and call one of the hotlines, faith-based groups or other numbers in the bag. Pray that they would receive timely and effective help.

Go to for more information.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Roe v. Wade at 40: The Novena Continues

You will recall from our previous post that Saturday, January 19 began "Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage" to accompany those who will participate in the March for Life in Washington, DC on Friday and to pray for an end to abortion in our country.  Click here for more information.

40 Days of Prayer: Day 18

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and
female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).

Pray for trafficked girls and women to know that they are created in God’s image and valued
by him. Traffickers know how to capitalize on a girl’s low self-worth. Even when he is cruel and
beats her, the trafficker gives her attention, which she often mistakes for love. Pray also that
traffickers and purchasers of girls and women would perceive the image of God in themselves
and in the women they are torturing, using, and holding captive -- and would be filled with
fear and trembling at what they are doing.

Go to for more information.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Reflection for MLK Day

Pax Christi USA has published a "Pray-Study-Act" guide to commemorate Martin Luther King Day 2013. Here's the prayer:
May today not be another day of empty promises and unfilled dreams. May the Creator of both heaven and earth give me grace, grant me courage and wisdom to do what is right, meaningful and sustaining. May the people of the Creator begin to unite in love, in journey and purpose towards a harmony only known to humankind. Amen.

Click here to read the "Study" portion, entitled, "If not now, when?"

Now, how should we act

40 Days of Prayer: Day 17

"Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up Your hand. Do not forget the afflicted. Why has the wicked spurned God? He has said to himself, ‘You will not require it.’ You have seen it, for You have beheld mischief and vexation to take it into Your hand. The unfortunate commits himself to You; You have been the helper of the orphan. Break the arm of the wicked and the evildoer. Seek out his wickedness until You find none” (Psalm 10:12-15).

Evildoers do not think that God sees them or will act against them. Pray that the Lord would arise and break the arms of the wicked and help the victim and the fatherless. Go to for more information.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity?

The USCCB has released this three-minute video to explain the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Click here for more information.

40 Days of Prayer: Day 16

“He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun” (Psalm 37:6).

Pray for the light of day to shine into the darkness of human trafficking. Pray for the evil which is hidden in darkness to be revealed. Pray that the righteous cause of those who fight against trafficking would shine like the noonday sun. Pray that God’s people would awaken from their complacency and take up the cause.

Go to for more information and resources.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 15

The first of the Mardi Gras parades begin today. This is the economy and mindset of NOLA in action. Locals and tourists will spend freely and will party together for the next three-and-a-half weeks. As anti-trafficking groups speak out against trafficking in the midst of it all, the consistent protest is that they are putting a damper on events that are a boost to our economy.

Pray that God would not be forgotten in the feast. Pray that our leaders and citizens would count the cost of buying and selling human beings. Pray that maskers and revelers would recognize the insanity of inhumane behavior in the name of fun and freedom. Pray for awareness. Pray for compassion. Pray for the exposure of what goes on in secret places.

Go to for more information and resources.

Novena for Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

From the USCCB:  "U.S. Bishops Call for 'Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage' Surrounding 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade."  Click here for more information about this novena (January 19-27).  There is even an opportunity to have the nine days of prayer delivered to your inbox, so check it out!

Friday, January 18, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 14

"We wait for Yahweh; He is our help and shield. For our hearts rejoice in Him because we trust in His holy name. May Your faithful love rest on us, Yahweh, for we put our hope in You” (Psalm 33:20-22).

Our God is the ultimate Protector of the oppressed. Pray that in our efforts to free the captives, we would put all of our hope in him. Pray for the hopeless who wear invisible chains, that they would hope in the holy name of God. Pray against the despair which causes them to submit to their captors. Pray that Yahweh would shield them from harm until they are able to rejoice in their freedom.

Go to for more information and resources.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Today we begin the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  The theme for 2013 is "What does God require of us?" (Micah 6:6-8).  Click here to go to the Vatican's international resources for this week and here to find the USCCB's information and resources for the week. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 13

“The Lord looks down from heaven; He observes everyone. He gazes on all the inhabitants of the earth from His dwelling place. He alone shapes their hearts; He considers all their works. A king is not saved by a large army; a warrior will not be delivered by great strength. The horse is a false hope for safety; it provides no escape by its great power” (Psalm 33:13-17).

Pray that those who are doing outreaches, surveillances, and rescues would know that God watches over them. Pray that God would shape their hearts and the hearts of those they are reaching out to. Pray that they would trust in God alone, not in carefully devised strategies or human strength.

Go to for more information and resources.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 12

"The Lord frustrates the counsel of the nations; He thwarts the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation. Happy is the nation whose God is Yahweh—the people He has chosen to be His own possession!”

Pray that those who are willing to take money to facilitate or turn a blind eye to trafficking -- cab drivers, hotel employees, etc.-- would see their plans frustrated. Pray that businesses would not be deceived by economic counsel which chooses to ignore the reality of human trafficking. Pray that those in businesses which have chosen to seek justice by refusing to participate in trafficking in any way would be blessed and happy in their endeavors. 

Go to for more information and resources.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 11

“Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble? In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised. For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, And the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord. The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, "There is no God’” (Psalm 10:1-4).

Trafficking is big business with an elaborate mechanism of operation. Pray that God would make himself known among those who mock his name and pursue evil schemes. Pray that the pride of the trafficker would bring him down. Also pray for that God would provide the laborand the finances for the distribution of gift bags to women in high risk areas of the city.

Go to for more information and resources.

Monday, January 14, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 10

In Numbers 22, Balak, king of Moab, tried to hire the prophet Balaam to curse Israel. God sent an angel to oppose Balaam, but his spiritual eyes did not see. God eventually used a donkey to get through to the man. 

In this world, there are parents who out of desperation, greed, or a thirst for drugs or power, are tempted to curse their own children by selling them to the highest bidder. Pray that the angel of the Lord would oppose them, and that God would use whatever means possible to open their spiritual eyes to the horrendous truth of their sin. Pray that God would thwart their effortsand bring them to a place of conviction, repentance and reconciliation.

Go to for more information and resources.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 9

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you” (James 1:27).

Pray that our churches would not be so busy “doing church” that we forget what genuine religion is. Pray that we would genuinely care for the unprotected among us. Ask that God would open our eyes to their distress. Pray that our minds would not be corrupted by the thinking of this world. The media glamorizes the sex industry to the point that we have become indifferent and treat it lightly. Pray that Christians would be pure in their thoughts and actions toward our Father God.

Go to for more information and resources.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 8

In Genesis 16 we read about Hagar, an Egyptian slave impregnated by her owner, Abraham, and abused by his wife, Sarah. She fled to the desert, where she pleaded to die. But God was there, and he cared for her. She gave God the name El Roi, and said, “I have seen the God who sees me.”
Pray for the women and children whose lives are controlled by others. Pray that in their desperation, they would see the God who sees them and is able to rescue them. Pray that they would know him by name, and that he would hear their cries and rescue them.
Go to for more information and resources.

Friday, January 11, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 7

Today is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. The battle wages on -- and at times it seems overwhelming. But we are not overwhelmed. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6.12).
Pray for victory in the spiritual realms so that the plans of the traffickers to transport victims would be destroyed. Pray that those willing to take payments to help facilitate trafficking would come to grips with their wrong doing and do what is right and honorable in God’s sight.
Go to for more information and resources.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 6

"If you...satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (Isaiah 58:10, 11).

Pray that the oppressed would have their needs satisfied -- and that those who labor for their freedom and restoration would be guided and strengthened. Pray that parents who pray and search for their children would not grow weary, but would themselves be encouraged and refreshed.

Go to for more information and resources.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Weekend of Prayer

Do not forget to check the Weekend of Prayer website for resources to pray for an end to slavery and human trafficking.  Here's one of the interesting items you can find on that site:  "Prayer Surge Now" is inviting folks to a national conference call prayer during the Weekend of Prayer to End Slavery and Trafficking.  The conference call takes place on Saturday, January 12 from 9 to 11 am EST.  The phone number is: (712) 432-0075; access code:  6149782#.  What a way to participate nationally without leaving your home!  Go to the Prayer Surge Now blog for more information.

40 Days of Prayer: Day 5

“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself…he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21).

Pray that the people of God would be set apart for the work of fighting human trafficking. Pray that Christians would be honorable and above reproach. Sexual temptation is powerful, and those who step into the battle must cleanse themselves and be pure of heart.

Go to for more information and resources.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Directory of Resources for Anti-Human Trafficking Groups

The federal Office for Victims of Crimes Training and Technical Assistance Center has published a Directory of Training and Technical Assistance for Anti-Human Trafficking Task Forces and Service Providers.  Click here to access the Directory.

Also, remember that the National Weekend of Prayer to Combat Human Trafficking takes place this weekend, January 11-13.  Are you prepared?

40 Days of Prayer: Day 4

"I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.' Surely, he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday" (Psalm 91:2-6).

Pray that trafficked individuals would know God as their refuge and fortress.  Pray that God would deliver them from the physical snares, the trap of drugs and alcohol, and emotional prisons which may hold them captive.  Pray that God would shield them, and that they would no longer have reason to live in fear.

Go to for more information and resources.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Just and Compassionate Immigration Reform

Justice for Immigrants has provided a quick and easy way to encourage our Senators and Representatives to pass just and compassionate immigration reform.  Click here to send an electronic postcard to the 113th Congress.

40 Days of Prayer: Day 3

“He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf” (Proverbs 11:28). Pray for the efforts of Sister Greta Jupiter, member of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and her team, who are approaching hotel owners and operators. Pray that owners would value life over greed, and would agree to provide Human Trafficking Training for their staff, display informational brochures, and sign the ECPAT Code of Conduct for the protection of children. Pray that the tourism dollar would follow after compassion and justice, showing favor to businesses vigilant to protect human beings from exploitation and oppression.

Go to for more information and resources.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 2

Today is Epiphany, a Christian feast day celebrating the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ.  In Louisiana it begins King Cake Season, during which it is customary to bake round pastries filled with cinnamon, glazed white and coated in traditional carnival color sanding sugar.  The person who finds the tiny plastic baby hidded in a king cake buys the next king cake.  Many of these cakes will be consumed during the next few weeks, and many babies found.  Today, let's thank the Father for sending his Son into the world.  Let's praise the Son, the King of Kings, for humbling himself to become a helpless baby in order to live a human life and die on the cross for us.  And let's pray for missing babies -- flesh and blood victims of human trafficking -- to be found and restored.

Go to for more information and resources.

We Are Strangers No Longer: National Migration Week 2013

National Migration Week 2013 will be held from January 6-12 with a primary theme of “We are Strangers No Longer: Our Journey of Hope Continues.” This year's National Migration Week observance and theme commemorate the 10th anniversary of the historic joint pastoral letter of the United States and Mexico bishops conferences,Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope. This theme reminds us of our responsibility as Catholics to help newcomers integrate in ways that are respectful, culturally sensitive and responsive to social needs, and of the ongoing need for comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform.  Check the USCCB website for more information.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

40 Days of Prayer: Day 1

As you read in yesterday's post, the Faith-Based Coalition Against Domestic Human Trafficking and the Sisters of Christian Charity in New Orleans have invited us to join them in 40 days of prayer (beginning today, January 5) against domestic human trafficking.  Why New Orleans?  Because in 2013, the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras will converge in a three-and-a-half-week party beginning January 19, reaching a high point with the Super Bowl on February 3 and concluding with Mardi Gras on February 12. 

Here's day one of the prayer:
In Leviticus 25, we read about the laws concerning the Jubilee -- a time of freedom and of
celebration when both land and slaves were to be returned to their families.
Let’s begin our 40 Days of Prayer by asking God to make 2013 a year of Jubilee. Missing
children, runaways, and children who have been taken, sold, or coerced may be far from
home or hidden away from sight in their own neighborhood. Pray that they would be found,
rescued and restored to loved ones. For those whose families are not safe, pray that they
would be restored to a spiritual family where they might experience love and healing.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

40 Days of Prayer Against Domestic Human Trafficking

Please join with the Sisters of Christian Charity and Companions of Pauline in New Orleans in 40 days of prayer (January 5 to February 13) against domestic human trafficking.  Here's an explanation from the Sisters in our Western Delegation:

The Super Bowl -- like other worldwide sporting events such as the World Cup and the Olympics -- has become known for creating somewhat of a “demand effect” for prostitution and sex trafficking. While some of the numbers tossed around regarding these events may be exaggerated, human trafficking and the sex trafficking of young women and children is very real. The U.S. Department of Justice ranks human trafficking as second only to drug trafficking as the fastest growing criminal industry worldwide.

Those who cry out for justice for children, women, and other at-risk groups have found the Super Bowl to be a catalyst for raising trafficking awareness in host cities and around the world. In cities where the faith community has organized to address trafficking during the Super Bowl, effective ongoing efforts have continued.

We continue to support our Chapter decision to “see with the eyes of God and with women’s hearts, the distress of millions of immigrants and displaced persons, of children and women victims of human trafficking seeking a more human life” (Chapter Document, 2007).

A prayer guide has been developed and distributed by: Faith Based Coalition Against Domestic Human Trafficking. Go to for a digital version of this prayer guide

This 40 Days of Prayer Guide is a tool for the faith community to join together in crying out to God for justice and release for the captives.

As you pray daily through this guide you will:

  • Discover the Father’s love for human beings created in his image and his heart for justice.
  • Lift up the efforts of the New Orleans faith community for the 2013 Super Bowl and beyond.
  • Pray for the men, women and children enslaved in the United States and around the world.