Hidden in plain sight: modern day slaves

On July 30, we honor World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Statistics vary, but an estimated 24.9 – 40 million slaves exist around the world. This form of modern-day slavery exists because of greed, the demand for sex, pornography, and because we want cheaper products. The first step is awareness, ...
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How can we address child exploitation locally and globally?

It is a problem that can be heard around the world -- workers receive very little pay in part because wholesalers and retailers reap most of the profits, and children are forced to go to work with little or no pay to help support their families. In some cases, the ...
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Spotting child trafficking when it comes to your door

As the summer approaches, and the question looms “what am I going to do with my kids,” be aware that traffickers always look for opportunities to take advantage of our youth. Those who are most vulnerable are usually those who are from low-income communities who may be looking for ways ...
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Caring for our environment and addressing human trafficking go hand in hand

It is often difficult to see the effects of environmental degradation in the United States, as we turn on our faucets and water readily flows out. There is never a shortage of food at our grocery stores and selling our children to survive would be unheard of. Except, it’s happening ...
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Labeling for Lent: Addressing Human Trafficking at Sea

“Trusting his recruiters, Myo believed he was leaving his home in Burma to work in a pineapple factory in Thailand. Yet, when he arrived, he was sold to a boat captain for the equivalent of approximately $430. He was held on the boat for 10 months, forced to work, and ...
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Fr. Anthony Aarons reflects on ways to deepen our faith this Lent

Recently a young woman approached me and asked if I could give her some pointers for having a really good Lent this year. I didn’t have much time to reflect on it before giving an answer. In reality, I have seen quite a few Lenten seasons as I have been ...
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Choose to abolish slavery in the seafood industry this Lenten season

Shackled, beaten, lured by false promises, and enslaved aboard floating “dungeons” is the fate of many fishermen in the South China Sea who provide the seafood that often end up on our dinner tables during this Lenten Season. We sacrifice by giving up meat on Ash Wednesday and Fridays, but ...
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Enacting change through everyday choices

It’s February and love is in the air, and so is the smell of chocolate as those bright red heart shaped boxes line the shelves. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and so is Lent, so I have your first challenge. Challenge No. 1: Don’t worry. I’m not going ...
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A reflection for the third Sunday of Advent

Today we celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent, often referred to as Gaudete Sunday. This term, derived from Latin, means ‘rejoice’, or 'to feel or show great joy or delight.' As Catholics we rejoice as the celebration of Jesus’ birth draws ever closer. We rejoice that God, our Creator, loves ...
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Seeking justice through service

An Advent Reflection for Tuesday of the First Week of Advent, December 5, 2017 by Gary Tester, Executive Director "Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever." (Psalm 72:7) Today’s psalm, written thousands of years ago in adoration and praise to our God, is a blueprint for the ...
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10 ways to grow in faith this Advent season

By Carly Matthews, Manager of Mission Effectiveness at Catholic Charities of Central Florida  1. Make an Advent wreath for your home. 2. Attend daily Mass – click here to find Mass times at a parish near you in the Diocese of Orlando. 3. Learn about a new saint and pray ...
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Staying Safe: recovering from Hurricane Irma

From Marco Rubio, US Senator for Florida - September 12, 2017 Tips for keeping you and your family safe Stay off the roads. Emergency workers may be assisting people in flooded areas or cleaning up debris. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way ...
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Understanding emotional responses to natural disasters

By Catherine Galda, Director of Behavioral Health Services at Catholic Charities - September 15, 2017 Natural disasters can be sudden and overwhelming. It’s common to experience powerful feelings before, during and after the storm and yet, there is no “one size fits all” reaction to natural disasters. Some people will ...
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Respect for Life

A Reflection on Respect Life Month by Gary Tester, Executive Director Have you ever watched the news and said how can things be this bad, or, is it possible that the problems and violence of the world could get any worse? This is exactly what the Prophet Habakkuk says, “How long, O ...
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Give a Gift of Hope this Mother’s Day!

Imagine being a mother who can’t feed her child. She goes into the kitchen and realizes that there is nothing in the cupboard or in the refrigerator of nutritional substance. This mom is trying to keep a roof over her family’s head, and keep the lights on, and her budget ...
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The Joy of Love

A Reflection on Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation on "The Joy of Love" by Gary Tester, Executive Director Pope Francis recently released a letter to families and those who minister to families called: “The Joy of Love.” In this document, Pope Francis affirms Church teaching that stable families are the building blocks ...
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Open Arms

A Gospel Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Lent by Gary Tester, Executive Director As I read today’s Gospel about the Prodigal Son I recognize that I’ve often thought how the love of the father in this story is so beautifully portrayed.  We read nothing about harsh words when his younger son ...
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Catholic Charities is a Doorway to Mercy

In a reflection taken from “Through the Year with Pope Francis”, our beloved Holy Father states that the Church must be a place of mercy. As a part of the Diocese of Orlando, Catholic Charities of Central Florida must be, and is, a place of mercy. Coming through our doors, ...
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Thank You Day

We are thankful for you - our donors and volunteers - who make our mission possible. You sacrifice your time and treasure to make this ministry of charity possible. We thank you for the many ways you hear the cry of the poor and provide a compassionate response. You offer ...
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