Archived News Item

Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH)

In this article forwarded to the Institute Specific Issues Committee Women and Poverty, Sister Claudette Cusack RSM reflects on the recent National meeting of the Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans and where her commitment to the Gospel is leading her.

Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH)

The National Meeting of the Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH was held 11-13 February at Holy Cross centre Templestowe, Victoria. ACRATH is a national organisation comprised of members of many different Religious Congregations and a number of consultant experts.

ACRATH is a name with which people will become more familiar as this ministry grows. This meeting focused on the continued development of strategic plans to tackle one of the global humanitarian issues of this century. The participants from across Australia and representing various religious  congregations, included over twenty Sisters, one Priest and two colleagues who developed National and State plans for the next couple of years.

Trade in human persons is a very lucrative illegal business, second only to the drug trade and it is happening in every country, including Australia. Five Sisters of Mercy were among the participants.

As I prayed and worked with this group I became aware of belonging to an ‘extended family’ of women radically committed to the Gospel values of compassion and dignity for all, especially for the most vulnerable.

For me it was a significant moment. The date was February 11th2009, fifty years since the day I stepped from my known world into an unknown future as a Sister of Mercy. As I made my way to the Sydney airport to fly to Melbourne I reflected on what ‘a wild and wonderful ride‘, I had experienced. How could I have imagined where my personal search for God as a Sister of Mercy would lead!
The gathering of ACRATH affirmed my original life choice and I felt blessed to be part of it.

Mercy M@tters will continue to providing updates on the developments of ACRATH and also highlight details of how you may become involved in the work of this group.  Watch this space!

Further information:
Catholic Religious Australia
Good Shepherd Social Justice
Anti-Slavery Project 
Institute of Sisters of Mercy Australia 

From: Institute Specific Issues Committee, Women and Poverty (Sisters Sally Bradley, Leonie Crotty, Angela Reed and Anne Ryan)
The Committee warmly invites your response to the article or the issue.
Contact: Carmel Heagerty RSM, Institute Justice Co-ordinator