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All Things New: Fighting Modern Slavery

The Catholic Church teaches that every person is chosen by God to love and be loved for all eternity. Our bodies exist as signs of this reality, and the dignity and integrity of each person – body and soul – deserve great respect from individuals and society.

Many social ills make this Christian ideal difficult, and in this episode of Catholicism Live we’re going to talk specifically about prostitution. The Catechism has this to say:

“Prostitution does injury to the dignity of the person who engages in it, reducing the person to an instrument of sexual pleasure. The one who pays sins gravely against himself: he violates the chastity to which his Baptism pledged him and defiles his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Prostitution is a social scourge. It usually involves women, but also men, children, and adolescents . . . While it is always gravely sinful to engage in prostitution, the imputability of the offense can be attenuated by destitution, blackmail, or social pressure.”

It’s an unfortunately common myth that women become prostitutes by choice, as if prostitution were simply another career.

The truth is that women are largely tricked and coerced into prostitution from the start, by manipulative and deceptive men who use mental, emotional and physical abuse to keep them locked in their position. Often, a pimp spots a vulnerable girl or woman and uses her own needs to trap her. He may promise to provide love and security at first, and then become isolating and dominative. He may lie, saying that no one else would care for her, as he pretends to.

In other cases, girls or women find themselves suddenly tricked into prostitution when money appears on the nightstand after a regrettable night. Pimps wield power over women considered property by subjecting them to desolating abuse, and even outright torture, if a prostituted woman does not follow instructions or fulfill a quota.

The tragic reality of prostitution and sex trafficking arrives in the news when large arrests are made at the border and major sporting events. But these ongoing problems occur in our own backyard on a daily basis.

Fortunately, police officers are trained to find prostituted women and offer them a way out. Even then, it can be very difficult to leave prostitution, because of the conditioning created by dire circumstances and manipulation by pimps. But many do leave, praise be to God.

There is hope for prostituted women.

We were delighted to host Linda Caswell, founder of All Things New, a ministry for prostituted women, on this episode of Catholicism Live! The ministry was closed, and Linda moved out of state. Pilgrim Center of Hope no longer has contact information for Linda. However, we hope this program will educate & encourage you to learn more about the reality of sex trafficking. San Antonio Police Department has information about reporting sex trafficking tips.

Catholicism Live! was a weekly program produced by Pilgrim Center of Hope from the early 2000s until 2019.

Introduction to the Devout Life

Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales

Francis de Sales’s Introduction to the Devout Life has remained a uniquely accessible and relevant treasure of devotion for nearly four hundred years. As Bishop of Geneva in the first quarter of the seventeenth century, Francis de Sales saw to the spiritual needs of everyone from the poorest peasants to court ladies. The desire to be closer to God that he found in people from all levels of society led him to compile these instructions on how to live in Christ.

Francis’s compassionate Introduction leads the reader through practical ways of attaining a devout life without renouncing the world and offers prayers and meditations to strengthen devotion in the face of temptation and hardship.

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Purchase this book at your local Catholic bookstore or online. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

St Therese of Lisieux

Story of a Soul

The Story of a Soul (l’Histoire d’une Âme) is the autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. It was first published on September 30, 1898, a year to the day after her death from tuberculosis at the age of 24. The book was a single volume formed from three distinct manuscripts – manuscripts of different length, written at different times, addressed to different people, and differing from one another in character. The work of unifying these disparate manuscripts was carried out by Pauline, the sister of Thérèse. It was initially published with a limited audience in mind, the Carmelite convents and certain religious personalities, and just 2000 copies were printed. It quickly became a publishing phenomenon however and Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was canonized in 1925.

Manuscript A, entitled The Story of a Little White Flower, and dedicated to her sister Pauline, was written between the beginning of January 1895, and the 20 January 1896. Pauline has described how, as she sat with her sisters on a winter evening in the one room of Carmel where there was a fire, the writing of the first manuscript was decided. ” One evening in the beginning of the year 1895, I was with my two sisters Marie and Thérèse. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus told me several happenings of her childhood and Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart (my eldest sister Marie) said to me; ‘O Mother, what a pity that all this should not be written down for us. If you were to ask Sister Thérèse to write down her childhood memories, how much pleasure this would give us!’..I turned to Sister Thérèse, who laughed as though we were teasing her, and said: ‘I order you to write down your memories of your childhood.’

Manuscript B is a letter to Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart (the eldest sister of Thérèse), and written at her request in three days between the 13 and 16 September 1896. Marie asked Thérèse to write down her spiritual discoveries, what Marie described as her little way of trust and love.

The origin of the third part of the autobiography of Thérèse has been described by Pauline : “It seemed to me that these accounts were incomplete. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had concentrated on her childhood and early youth as I had asked her to do, her life as a nun was hardly sketched in. ..I thought it a great pity that she had not described the development of her life in the Carmel in the same way, but just then I had ceased to be Reverend Mother and Mother Marie de Gonzague held this office…seeing that Sister Thérèse was so ill..about midnight on the evening of the 2 June 1897..I went to see Mother Prioress.” Pauline asked the Prioress to order Thérèse to write about her life as a religious and the next morning Marie de Gonzague did so… Most of this manuscript was written during the month of June, 1897. Thérèse stopped writing in the first days of July, 1897. “Eventually the pencil fell from her hand as she wrote the last word, love. It is the final word of all three manuscripts.”

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A Story of a Soul is available for reading at Storyofasoul.com and Project Gutenberg.

Purchase this book at your local Catholic bookstore or online. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

An Examination of Conscience

An Examination of Conscience Booklet

“An Examination of Conscience: A Preparation for the Sacrament of Confession” by Fr. Robert Altier (Booklet)

This booklet is softcover, small enough for a man’s pocket or woman’s purse, and includes:

  • “Why should I confess my sins to a man?”
  • “The loss of the sense of sin”
  • “Forgiveness of sin”
  • “How to go to Confession”
  • Prayer before and after Confession
  • Examination of Conscience
  • Mortal Sins & Venial Sins
  • Imperfections

You can obtain copies of this booklet by calling the Pilgrim Center of Hope: 210-521-3377.  Please offer a donation to the Pilgrim Center of Hope to cover costs.

Ministry Behind Bars

Do conversions happen in prison?

Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox welcomed Deacon Robert Leibrecht, director of criminal justice ministry within the Archdiocese of San Antonio, to discuss his compelling work among persons in the criminal justice system, its powerful effects on those involved, and how you can help support this ministry.

More information related to this episode:

  • Email and phone for Deacon Bob Leibrecht can be found in the following brochures:
  • Brochure on volunteering for the Criminal Justice Ministry – click here
  • Brochure on a Seguin support group for families dealing with an incarcerated loved one, ex-offender returning home, and domestic abuse  – click here

PRAYER below can be downloaded from the Paulist Evangelization Ministries at:
https://www.pncea.org/ministries/prayer-justice-mercy.aspx

A Daily Prayer for Justice and Mercy

Jesus, united with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
give us your compassion for those in prison.

Mend in mercy the broken in mind and memory.
Soften the hard of heart, the captives of anger.
Free the innocent; parole the trustworthy.
Awaken the repentance that restores hope.
May prisoners families persevere in their love.

Jesus, heal the victims of crime. They live with the scars.
Lift to eternal peace those who die.
Grant victims families the forgiveness that heals.

Give wisdom to lawmakers and to those who judge.
Instill prudence and patience in those who guard.
Make those in prison ministry bearers of your light,
for all of us are in need of your mercy!  Amen.

Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

If you say you are a follower of Jesus, then you must be a steward of God’s creation. That is the challenge presented in this pastoral statement from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

For pastors; parish and diocesan finance, development, and stewardship committees; coordinators of adult faith formation, youth ministry, and religious education; and evangelization.

Available for free from the USCCB website in English. Also available for purchase in book format, in English or Spanish.

Sharing the Gospel Today

After having dedicated their lives to Jesus and his Church for over 20 years, Mary Jane and Tom Fox share their insights about evangelizing. In the second segment, Angela Santana (now Sealana) highlights how marketing insights can help the Church witness to Christ.

Pearl of the Week – A pastoral letter written by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez on February 15, 2010: “You Will Be My Witnesses: The Christian Mission to Evangelize and Proclaim Jesus Christ”. It is a pastoral letter with teachings on evangelization for everyone!  Archbishop Gomez writes:

I greet you all with affection and joy! … My brothers and sisters, I urge you:  we need Catholics who are living their faith and proclaiming it in every profession and walk of life.  Through you we can take the truths of the Gospel to every corner of our culture – to the world of arts, politics, and media; to the areas of business, science, and technological research; even to the fields of sports and popular entertainment.

Theology of Our Bodies

Dr. David Delaney and Alan Becker discuss what our bodies reveal about spiritual realities.