JUNE 8, 2016

Maribeth thanked Chris for leading the call and reminded everyone to mute their phones.

Chris started the call with the Prayer for the Elimination of the Trafficking of Human Beings

Chris indicated that she had returned not long ago from the NCCW Board meeting in Washington, DC.  While there, members of her commission who were present for the Board meeting got together to discuss what they were going to do during the one hour workshop at Convention.  They will start with a compelling video clip on trafficking, something captivating.  Mary Rowley suggested the video, Nefarious, and our Human Trafficking speaker at convention, Kateriina, suggested some that we are already showing on our home page.  So she is still looking for something that will really grab the audience in a manner that shocks them out of complacency over this issue.

Chris noted that it is important to share Connect with all Council members and noted that some people don’t read as thoroughly when it is on a computer screen so some printed copies are good, too.

She then suggested that the human trafficking video clips of about 5 minutes each could be burned onto a DVD and shown at parishes.  The 6 page Human Trafficking handout could be distributed and it is important to speak about it, not just hand it out.  Make sure the women present understand the issue.  You may be their only hope; trafficking occurs in the most ordinary of neighborhoods in all settings, rural and urban.  She gave an example of how this occurred right in rural Minnesota by giving the example of a runaway girl.  This girl eventually exited the trafficking situation and spoke at a meeting where she cited the damaging effects of porn and the need for a good father when growing up.  Chris noted how the NCCW has always stressed the bad effects of porn.  Society today makes obtaining porn so easy whereas in the past it took a young person a lot of scheming and planning and that gave them time to realize this might not be their best choice.  Today, technology puts it at the fingertips of our youth and the younger generation has become accustomed to this and feels that porn is no big deal.  Chris said that her kids are great but like all kids are not always angels.  She did not think to put any filters on the computer and found her young son browsing and watching porn.  She flipped out but her older girls said, “Oh Mom, it’s no big deal.”  So this indicates not only how careful parents must be but how the culture of our society has changed and not in a good way.  The speaker said that she was exposed to porn and thought that this was how one was to do things.  An audience member asked the police who were present if they ever caught the person who trafficked this girl and the police said no but that they have set up a sting operation and have had traffickers contact them.  Chris indicated that the point is that we need to stress our work against porn and be vigilant to protect our children, no matter where you live.

Chris indicated that she wants to spend her hour by opening with a video on human trafficking and spend 30 minutes on trafficking total, 15 minutes on immigration, and 15 minutes on the update to our NCCW respite program at the Convention.

Chris told us that the definition of human trafficking is that it is modern day slavery that subjects men, women, and children to being coerced into committing fraud.  It includes unfair practices for migrant farmers, illegal work situations, prostitution, and more.   It exists in all 50 states.  The US is a major destination and all classes of people, rich, middle, and poor, are involved in this.

There will be a resolution on this at Convention.

Chris received a booklet of information on the Amistad story from her pastor that details the whole Amistad movement of slaves who took over the slave ship, sailed it to the US, and successfully won their freedom in court.

She encourages us to look at the NCCW homepage videos on human trafficking and to go to the Service Commission page for the posters.  She encouraged us to run around now and put them up everywhere.  There are 2 kinds of posters: One with the hotline number and another with tear-offs so it is easy for a trafficked person to take the small tear-off with a number they can call to be helped and hide it.  It is most useful to put these up in ladies restrooms as the trafficker cannot go in there with the trafficked girls and women.  This is something important and tangible that our ladies can do.  Spread the news via e-mail and ask for a read receipt when you send the information so you know it was accessed.

Returning to the subject of porn, there are support groups for men. Having these at the parish level is very valuable.  Find a church with a successful program for men.  It is good to have suggestions of how to incorporate such groups in a parish and give this information to our ladies at Convention.    The relationship between a father and a daughter is extremely important.  Fathers have an immensely important role.  A red flag is a girl dating older boys.  Callers mentioned a program for men called Rise Up that teaches how to be a good father.  It was noted as being very uplifting but the callers were not sure if it addressed addictions such as porn.  The purpose of the program is to inspire Catholic men to be better men, husbands, and fathers.  Another program mentioned was called, That Man is You that meets weekly over a 13 week period and is noted as being very well done and attracts large numbers of men of all ages.  The group that offers it is called Paradisus Dei. Chris mentioned a webinar that was offered called “Parenting in a sexualized culture.”  She said it was very well done and should be shared with pastors and school principals.  Parents need to watch it.  It is offered by the Religious Alliance Against Pornography, an NCCW partner.

Chris then moved on to the second topic the Commission is working on, Immigration.  She made the distinction between immigrant, migrant, and refugee.  The Commission is working on a power point for this part of the Convention presentation.  She reminded us that at 8PM, everyone is asked to pray for immigrants.  She suggested that we set an alarm on our smart-phones and will be asking all at Convention to do this.  She stated that the attitude to immigration in this country is scary and she, and many of us, are often shocked by the responses to this issue by people considered “good people.”  We need to help these people and stop responding to those spreading fear among us.  NPR had a show that noted the steps taken in placing immigrants and said that they are often placed through churches.  We know that in many dioceses Catholic Charities has been involved in this work for many years.  Commission member Olga mentioned that the biggest priority for this topic is education.  There are many distorted views out and about of immigrants and migrants and refugees.  Big cities are used to such influxes but the rural areas are not and need more education on this topic.

Chris then thanked Commission members Mary Rowley and Diane Turgander for their work on Respite.  It is important to note that our Respite Program does not provide hands-on care.  Diane explained that it creates an opportunity for someone who is caring for a family member or friend 24/7 a chance to go do something for themselves; to have a bit of time off on their own.  Our program offers someone who is just there to sit and chat with the loved one.  We do not and cannot offer nursing care, lifting, transfers, etc.  Presently, they are finishing updating the existing Respite Manual to make it current, eye-catching and colorful.

Chris pointed out that many ladies might say they want to be a volunteer but each parish or diocese, whatever level your area chooses to run this, needs a coordinator who will ensure that everyone is trained and diocesan background checks are done.  The pastor is usually the best one to identify potential clients who could use a volunteer for respite.  The coordinator matches the volunteer and client.  There are forms to complete for volunteers and for clients.  The NCCW offers insurance to respite volunteers at $3/vol;unteer annually.  This is coordinated at the local or diocesan level by the respite coordinator  who sends the list of volunteers to the NCCW along with the check.  This list must be of volunteers who have completed the training and background checks.  Helen Davis asked if there is a limit on age to be a volunteer.  The range of 18-75 was suggested but it was later noted that many persons in their 80’s are well able to serve as a volunteer.  Maribeth noted that her parish Caregiver group which would be the equivalent of our respite volunteers has many capable and wonderful volunteers in their 80’s.  She also suggested that while volunteers should be a minimum of 18, a great way to involve younger children is to enlist your parish school to write cards and draw pictures for the clients that the volunteers bring them.  She also noted that when volunteers can no longer physically go out to provide respite, their group has paired them with clients who enjoy a phone call and they are able to do that.  Diane indicated that she would check if there is an age limit on the insurance.

This program is not intended to provide care for children; that is babysitting and not respite. 

Chris said that to attract women to our meetings to learn about these issues it is important to give the meeting a great title, a hook.  No one wants to go out to a business meeting so don’t say the monthly CCW meeting is…  Instead open with what your speaker is going to say and then add that this is offered by the CCW…

Chris closed the meeting at 8PM her time by leading us in the prayers for immigrants, 3 Hail Marys and One Our Father  -every night at 8PM across the USA.

Submitted by Maribeth Stewart