Under Sr. Bernadette Moran’s leadership at St. Columban’s Parish in Garden Grove, the issue of human trafficking has been brought to the fore. Over the last few years, as part of the Adult Faith Formation Program, Sr. Bernadette has arranged workshops for parishioners on different aspects of trafficking to increase awareness of the reality of this issue.
Some of the workshops covered Refugee Resettlement and Trafficking, Strategies to Fight Sex Trafficking, Internet Safety presented by Westminster Police Department to the parents of St. Columban School, and another evening on the Education of Teens and Trafficking.
One of the ways to educate the parish was the showing of a DVD “The Cost of Demand” shown after each of the ten Masses on a Sunday.
After helping to educated parishioners about the reality of human trafficking, Bernadette then organized an evening in which parishioners brainstormed about a possible project to help those rescued from trafficked situations. Parishioners have donated funds to help support victims for the Victim’s Assistance Program in Orange and Refugee Safe Haven in Los Angeles. They also collected items for people who had been freed from human trafficking situations.
All of this work was done in collaboration with the Interfaith Council of Garden Grove, Stanton and Westminster, those of other faith traditions who also care about the issue alongside RSC’s. This ministry continues as the need grows for more engagement and action.