Catholic sisters work to stop sex traffickers at Super Bowl

Informational meeting on October 3 at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco
Leaders of the Northern California Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, from left, are Sister Frances Tobin, RSCJ; Sister Marie Jeanne Gaillac, CSJ of Orange; Sister Rosina Conrotto, PBVM; Sister Dianne Nixon, SNJM; and Carolina Parrales, far right.

Leaders of the Northern California Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, from left, are Sister Frances Tobin, RSCJ; Sister Marie Jeanne Gaillac, CSJ of Orange; Sister Rosina Conrotto, PBVM; Sister Dianne Nixon, SNJM; and Carolina Parrales, far right. (from Catholic San Francisco article)

The following comes from a September 22 Catholic San Francisco article by Christina Gray:

Bay Area Catholic sisters from more than a dozen religious communities hope to tackle the influx of sex traffickers expected at next year’s Super Bowl by educating the hospitality workers serving its Santa Clara venue, the director of the Archdiocese of San Francisco’s Office of Consecrated Life told Catholic San Francisco.

“The average Bay Area resident is completely unaware of the enormity of human trafficking here,” Presentation Sister Rosina Conrotto said during a group interview with other leaders of the Northern California Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking.

Local sisters are imploring hotel and motel managers in the South Bay to train their staffs to recognize and report what Pope Francis earlier this year called “modern-day slavery.”

Major sporting events such as the Super Bowl set for February 7, 2016, at Levi Stadium, are notorious for attracting traffickers who bring large “stables” of women and children to hotels and motels surrounding the venue, Sister Rosina said.

According to UNANIMA International, a non-governmental organization advocating on behalf of women and children living in poverty, sex traffickers see major sporting events as an opportunity for huge profits with little risk of penalty.

For the past six Super Bowls, women religious in host cities have swept in months before kickoff to work with the local business community. Now it’s the Bay Area’s turn.

With the big game less than six months away, local sisters are recruiting and training adult volunteers to help them approach hotel and human resources managers, housekeeping staffs, security teams and others in a position to incriminate sex traffickers.

On Oct. 3, the sisters are presenting a one-day training event in Room C of St. Mary’s Cathedral to anyone interested in joining their ministry.

Hospitality workers can be indifferent, said Sister Frances Tobin, RSCJ, one of the day’s three presenters. “Their whole attention is the day to day,” she said.

“They kind of look at us cross-eyed sometimes, but that’s ok,” Sister Marie Jeanne Gaillac, CSJ of Orange, said. “What we understand is that we are just this little piece in everything that it is going to take to change attitudes and to say, you can’t let this go on.”

While avoiding a bad reputation may be the reason some national hotel groups are working to eradicate human trafficking, the faithful only need look to their Catholic faith to do the same.

Visit banishbayareaslavery@gmail.com. The U.S. National Trafficking Hotline is 1 (888) 373-7888.

STOP TRAFFICKING
Learn about human trafficking and how you can assist the Northern California Catholic Sisters against Human Trafficking, Oct. 3, with overview 9:30 a.m.-noon and training 1-3:30 p.m., St. Mary’s Cathedral, Gough Street at Geary Boulevard, San Francisco.

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  1. Yet ANOTHER reason the Holy Father praised the work of Women Religious in this country!
    When so many people turn a blind eye (e.g., to sex trafficking, homelessness, unwed mothers, and so on), the Sisters focus on such problems as the Lord Jesus commanded: “what you do to these of these, you do for me.”

  2. This scourge is a result of the breakdown of the family. Most trafficked kids according to the San Diego based Children of the immaculate heart organizations are american citizens that fall out of the foster care system.

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