Revealing Presentations on the SNJM Three Corporate Stands

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Forced migration is the link that unites the three SNJM collective positions. This is what the three young partners of the SNJM Quebec Justice and Peace Committee revealed during their presentation to the SNJM Sisters, some of whom had been missionaries, and to the Volunteers on March 2 at Maison Jésus-Marie (MJM).

Simon Lantz 

In the run-up to their mini-conference, the three students, Simon, Sofia-Elena and Héloïse realized that forced migration was always in the background, whether in connection with climate change, immigration, refugees, aboriginal homelessness and, of course, trafficking. This was the first time that the SNJM Sisters, including those who had been missionaries, along with the Volunteers had joined together to hear the presentation that addressed these issues from this new angle.

Called upon to paint a portrait of each of their research, the three students demonstrated a mastery of their subject. A realistic portrait, can sometimes lead to discouragement on the part of an audience when the devastating findings are examined. In spite of this, the volunteers and the missionary Sisters, most of whom have worked in Haiti and Brazil, including one who had worked in Canada’s Far North, realized the significance of their presence at this meeting.

Call for a Quebec anti-trafficking office

Taking the time to continue learning about and understanding the intricacies of these three major current concerns is a major step towards identifying solutions and taking action. Action by the Comité d’action contre la traite humaine interne et internationale (CATHII) – (action committee against internal and international human trafficking) will begin with the signing of a letter addressed to Lionel Carmant, the Minister of Health and Social Services.

The letter calls on the Quebec government to address the plight of trafficking victims by setting up an office against trafficking. Although human trafficking falls under federal jurisdiction, Quebec can create an infrastructure to help survivors of this form of modern-day slavery, which is rampant in Quebec and around the world.

The SNJMs of Québec and the Volunteers are collecting signatures for this letter, which will be hand-delivered to the Minister or his political attaché in early spring.

Precious moments of exchange

Héloïse Vincent-Ozell

Following the mini-conferences, the three students and the volunteers divided up, one per table, to share a meal with the Sisters of Maison Jésus-Marie (MJM). Another great opportunity to forge links.

Sofia-Elena Ranke-Farro

The following day, Héloïse and Sofia-Elena met with over twenty Sisters from the MJM’s Saint-André pavilion. The former discussed the situation of indigenous people and links with migration. The second shared her experience with Talitha Kum’s “young ambassadors” in Rome. At the invitation of Pope Francis, these young people took part in a week of networking and training against human trafficking, held during the week in which February 8, the feast of Saint Josephine Bakitha, and the 10th anniversary of Talitha Kum were celebrated.

The Sisters were greatly impressed by the knowledge of the three partners and their ability to communicate on such complex subjects. These moments of exchange are invaluable, and demonstrate the relevance of thinking outside the box by involving young people in the work of the SNJM Justice and Peace Committee in Quebec.

Photos credit: Sr. Hélène Harvey