The Vocation of Fatherhood
Fatherhood is a vocation of love. It is to be God’s own representative on earth and to give life to, nurture, and raise the next generation in the faith. Like St. Joseph, men are called to be the guardians and protectors of their families and to keep them away from those who would harm them. Fathers today must take seriously their obligation to defend their children’s innocence. This was the focus of a recent meeting of The National Faith Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
Discussion focused on the critical role men play in preventing human trafficking. Much of today’s music, popular shows, and video games contain explicit and otherwise objectionable content. Children are in effect being groomed and desensitized by exposure to this, which makes them more vulnerable to predators either in person or, more often, online.
We may not hear much about it, but this problem has hit close to home for us, too. In 2017 three girls aged 14 to 17 years old were rescued from an alleged child sex trafficking ring at a motel on Las Tunas Drive in San Gabriel. In 2018, several women were recovered after being forced into commercial sex work by a resident of San Gabriel who owned four massage businesses in the surrounding communities. In another case, a 16-year-old girl was rescued from sex traffickers in Pomona.
Sadly, estimates are that over 400,000 people are living in slavery in the United States today and an estimated 40 million men, women, and children are slaves worldwide. Pope Francis said in a 2014 message, “It is not possible to remain indifferent before the knowledge that human beings are bought and sold like goods. I think of the adoption of children for the extraction of their organs, of women deceived and forced to prostitute themselves, of workers exploited and denied their rights or a voice, and so on. This is human trafficking!”
The Faith Coalition’s goal is to mobilize people of all faiths to join forces to end human trafficking. “Given that over 51% of people in the United States attend a faith community, if enough of us took effective action, we could end human trafficking.”
Dear St. Joseph, on this Father’s Day, please intercede for us.
Ask God to bless and inspire all fathers to be faithful and
courageous protectors of those he has entrusted to their care.
~St. Luke Life, Justice and Peace Ministry
Find out what the Archdiocese of Los Angeles says we as Catholics can do to end human trafficking by visiting https://lacatholics.org/human-trafficking/. If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or Text: 233733.