2022 Assembly


Celebratory dinner in honour of Imelda Poole, IBVM, RENATE President, awarded MBE 21 November 2018.


At a celebratory dinner held in London last night (22 November, 2018), donors and friends of RENATE gathered to mark the occasion of the President being awarded an MBE.

It was an inspiring and supportive event to celebrate this special honour which Imelda has accepted on behalf of RENATE and sisters working to combat human trafficking around the world.

In their honour, guests at the dinner made financial contributions to support the work of RENATE.

Imelda shared the story of her life thus far and the story of RENATE as a firmly established network of Religious, collaborating in a myriad of ways in working against human trafficking and exploitation. A striking statement which struck a chord with everyone was that ‘’…ours is a Mission of Presence, with humility as a core source of our Mission. We work with people fallen off the edge. There is where we are called to set up new communities, outside the boundaries.’’

Two RENATE Working Board members present, Adina Balan, cj, and Ms. Ana Stakaj, shared about cross-border rescue work and activities at grass-roots level respectively. Adina spoke of her struggles against all odds in Romania,  to provide for and ensure assistance to young women and girls who are survivors of human trafficking and violence. In this regard, she instanced the capacity of RENATE as a network responding across borders whereby RENATE members in the UK provide shelter and agency in response to her call. Adina’s parting words resonated with everyone as she said ‘’Some people are alive today because RENATE exists, being there at the right time.’’

Ana Stakaj shared about the various actions underway in Albania, amongst which is the setting up of a Citizen’s Advice Centre where MWL provide Emergency Support and assistance in negotiating with social services in order that survivors of human trafficking, can live independent and dignified lives. In doing so, she spoke of ‘’…trying to break the chains of poverty and domestic violence.’’ People were very interested to hear Ana speak about the myth of migration that abounds amongst youth in Albania. Many aspire to leave the country in order to find a better quality of life, describing the UK, the USA and Canada as the ‘promised lands’ in their eyes.

The function concluded with congratulations extended to Imelda and to all at RENATE, with pledges of continued support and prayers into the future.

Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person.

NUNS & SEXUAL TRAFFICKING. Following an interview earlier in November 2018 with Sr. Imelda Poole, IBVM, MBE, President of RENATE, Ian Linden.


Following an interview earlier in November 2018 with Sr. Imelda Poole, IBVM, MBE, President of RENATE, Ian Linden. (Visiting Professor St. Mary’s University, Strawberry Hill, London) has produced video footage of the interview which is available at

The Oxford based Las Casas Institute are producing shortly another version using different clips on their website: this is the personal website of Professor Ian Linden. Here you can find his books, blogs and publications, as well as serving as a means of contact.


Congratulations to Sr. Imelda Poole, IBVM,  who received her MBE at Buckingham Palace this  Wednesday, November 21st, 2018.


Sr. Imelda Poole, said:
“Today is the day and probably for the first time the nerves are beginning to set in. It is Wednesday, November 21st. Sr Adina Balan CJ from Romania and I are staying in a small hotel just down the road from the Acton community house. By 08. 30am,  courtesy of the IBVM Acton community, who have looked after us so well, Bernie, Jacinta, Adina and myself were heading for Buckingham Palace. It was all still a little surreal but becoming a reality by the moment. Jen and Ana Stakaj, who is  over from Albania for a training programme on behalf of RENATE, were there to greet us when we came out of the palace. They were filming the great day and cheering us on. What happened in between was truly amazing.

Left to right. Salky Axworthy, British Ambassador at the Vatican, Sr Bernie Boland IBVM, Sr Imelda Poole IBVM, Sr Jacinta Davenport IBVM and Sr Adina Balan CJ, the latter four all Mary Ward Sisters from the two branches.

The pictures express a little of the occasion which was a wonderful affair for all of us. The palace is beautiful with wonderful pictures around the walls. We were practised before hand by one of the chancellors, whilst the guests waited to a background of lovely music which continued to serenade them throughout the morning. Sr Bernie, Sr Jacinta and Sr Adina,  all Mary Ward Sisters and my guests, had great seats raised on a platform at the side of the great hall. Prince Charles, backed by his chancellor’s and four men held the eyes of all as he destributed the medals to each of those to be awarded. He was very prepared and gave a significant time to each one. It was a tingle factor time as you awaited your turn. Then the moment came and with others we wended our way through the corridors of Buckingham Palace  and then to the great hall to be greeted by Prince Charles. This was when your name and reason for the award was announced loudly. Thankfully I did not fall as I made my courtesy  to the Prince and then took the three steps towards him to be awarded the medal, which he slipped into a medal holder, already attached to my jacket. Prince Charles was lovely and opened up a moving conversation on the phenomena of Human Trafficking. With the medal in place and after this significant chat, it was time to take three steps back, make another courtesy and then move on and out into the corridors of Buckingham palace, where we wended our way back into the rear of the main hall. What an experience. It all ended with the national anthem, and the platform party, including the Prince making their way out of the hall, the last ones to leave being the footmen who banged a loud stick on the floor to the time of the music and their marching. What fun!! It was great to link up with each other after this, and share the experience whilst waiting for the photographs to be taken. After this, courtesy of Sr Bernie and the Province, we made our way to Cotes where we had a delicious meal and lots of fun. Sally Axworthy, the British Ambassador at The Vatican, was there at the gate of Buckingham Palace for greetings and photographs. All very lovely.

The day ended perfectly with a great party organised by the Acton community. Our CJ friends were there from the London house plus other friends, Philip my nephew and Christine Green and Ceri, Philippa’s niece and husband. This ended a more than perfect day. Thanks to everyone who shared this special time.” 

ARISE Foundation launch report on The Anti-Slavery Commitment of the Conference of Religious of England and Wales – 12 November, 2018.


The anti-slavery commitment of the Conference of Religious of England and Wales has been recorded in the Threads of Solidarity project, conducted by the ARISE Foundation and launched in Westminster, London on Monday, 12 November 2018.

RENATE members Mrs. Ana Stakaj, Patricia Mulhall, csb, Anne McNamara , pbvm, Marie Power, Ancy Mathews and Eileen Glancy were amongst invited guests at the launch of a report on the project.

Sr. Arpan Carvalho, bs, Sr. Cecilia Espenilla, op and Sr. Lynda Dearlove, rsm,  each spoke about their respective ministries and the harsh realities of life which render people vulnerable to traffickers.

The report is available at: ARISE Foundation Launch for Conference of Religious of England and Wales

RENATE Annual Working Board Meeting – Lviv, UKRAINE, 4-9 November, 2018.


Working Board members gathered at the Pilgrim House of Blesses Jakub Strepa, 79491 Lviv-Brzuchowice (approximately 10 Kms from Lviv)as they convened their annual meeting.

29 people from 20 European countries were present during the week which saw a review of the work of the member countries since last year’s Working Board meeting; opportunities for reflection and the sharing of best practice; the departure of the Core Group members whose term of office had come to an end and their replacement by new, enthusiastic Working Board members!

Bishop Edward Kawa, Auxiliary Bishop of the Lviv Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), Fr. Stepan Sus, Head of the Centre for the Military Chaplaincy of the Lviv Archdiocese of the UGCC, Sr. Natalia Melnyk, Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family, Association of Religious of Roman Catholics and Greek Catholics in UKRAINE, and Mr. Andriy Moskalenko, Deputy Lord Mayor of Lviv City extended warmth of welcome to us on the first day, each informing us about their respective work and specific actions to combat human trafficking.

Of particular interest was the presentation by Ms. Vera Martynuk  (expert on Human Trafficking in the UKRAINE) on the current situation in the UKRAINE regarding Human Trafficking. Please click here to read the full report. RENATE Annual Working Board meeting Lviv 5 -9 November 2018


RENATE members at Caritas Slovakia share the good news about the commencement of a National Helpline for Victims of Human Trafficking +421 800 800 818


Caritas Slovakia  within the STOP Trafficking Project has been providing care to victims of trafficking for 10 years. By running the helpline it takes on another important role in terms of prevention as well as working with the potential victims of trafficking.

Since September we managed to identify 3 victims of trafficking through the National Trafficking Victims Helpline. Their family members called the helpline and a quick intervention was needed. Immediately we contacted a police deputy in England, who then contacted the local police. In a short time, they made the raids and rescued the victims. We secured their safe return to Slovakia, currently they are back home and entered the Programme for Support and Protection of victims of Human Trafficking that entitles them to be provided with complex, long-term care in the hands of Caritas Slovakia.

About the National Helpline.

The main task of the National Helpline is to provide help and information once contacted by people who have or could have been in a risky situation. When identifying and assisting in such cases, the helpline provides contact with organizations providing professional assistance to victims of trafficking in human beings.

Helpline services are further focused on preventing and eliminating the risks of working abroad. Helpline serves as a tool to prevent the risks associated with labor migration and the unprotected work of vulnerable groups of the population.

The main helpline activities are:

  • First contact with potential victims of trafficking in human beings;
  • Identification of victims of trafficking in human beings;
  • Professional advice on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings;
  • Assisting institutions and organizations in identifying cases of trafficking in human beings and on any issues related to the issue of trafficking in human beings;
  • Providing information on the possibilities of assistance under the Programme for the Support and Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings;
  • Consultancy and verification of agencies for jobseekers abroad;
  • Providing relevant contacts and information available to combat trafficking in human beings.

Operating hours:

week days – 08.00 to 20.00In addition, continuous monitoring of incoming calls is ensured by the answering machine where the caller has the option to leave a message and be contacted back.

The helpline is toll free within Slovakia.

The main partners of the helpline are the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic and Slovak Telekom, a.s.

More at:

Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.