WASHINGTON (July 7, 2004)
Battling the Scourge of Human Trafficking at the Grassroots Level
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW) will co-sponsor the STOP: Stop Trafficking of People conference on July 20-22, 2004, focused on training 80 women across the United States on the issue of human trafficking. They, in turn, will be challenged to take the message to their parishes and encourage action among the members. Both organizations have taken active roles in the U.S. anti-trafficking campaign. "Human trafficking is a direct affront to all of the principles of Scripture and Catholic Social Teaching," said Sister Mary Ellen Dougherty, SSND, Program Coordinator in the USCCB Office of Migration and Refugee Services. "This conference seeks to both educate about the issue and foster services to the victims of human trafficking." The U.S. federal law, The Victims of Trafficking Protection Act, reauthorized in December 2003, addresses both sexual exploitation of people for commercial purposes and forced labor. Both of these forms of contemporary slavery are the concerns of the bishops and Catholic women.
For more information, contact Sister Mary Ellen Dougherty, SSND, at 202-541-3256 or email@example.com.
2004 Ordination Class Reflects Older, More Educated, More Foreign-Born Men
This year's Catholic priesthood ordinations reflect a trend toward older, more educated and more foreign-born men entering the priesthood in the United States, according to the "Report on Survey of 2004 Priestly Ordinations." Sociologist Dean R. Hoge, Ph.D., of the Catholic University of America Life Cycle Institute, who examined data related to ordinations, found "three changes in the ordinands since the research began in 1998." First, Hoge discovered that "the average age at ordination rose from 34.8 to 37.0." Second, the level of education prior to entering the seminary rose: Seminarians with less than a bachelor's degree decreased from 30 to 22 percent between 1998 and 2004, while those who had received a master's or professional degree rose from 12 to 28 percent. The third significant change revealed that the percentage of ordinands born outside the United States rose from 24 to 31 percent over the same period. "This years' priesthood ordination class shows that the Lord calls men from various backgrounds and with many different gifts," said Father Edward Burns, Executive Director of the USCCB Office of Priestly Life and Vocations. The full report, "Chosen by the Father, Anointed like the Son and Sent in the Holy Spirit," will highlight seminarians' past experiences, academic achievements and former careers, and will be distributed after July 22, 2005.
For more information, contact Father Edward Burns, Executive Director, USCCB Priestly Life and Vocations, at 202-541-3033 or firstname.lastname@example.org.