2022 Assembly


RENATE Member, Sister Klara Marie Stráníková, Gives an Interview to TÝDEN


In a recent interview with Mr. Lukáš Seidl, Journalist with  cz, RENATE member, Sister Klara Marie Stráníková, of the Congregation of Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross, talks about her experiences in working with women in prostitution in Prague, the Czech Republic.

Sr. Klara Marie Stráníková, SCSC
Sr. Klara Marie Stráníková, SCSC

It is no surprise to meet a Sister on the streets of Prague, but most people would raise an eyebrow at meeting Sisters walking the streets of the city late at night. Sister Klara Marie Stráníková, of the Congregation of Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross knows the harsh realities of the sex trade, stating “a night on the street will change your life.”
Prayer is an important part of the Sisters’ ministry, “We even have special prayers dedicated to women in prostitution,” says Sister Klara Marie. On an average night in Wenceslas Square, she is joined in prayer by a number of women who are prostituted on the streets of Prague. Discretely dressed, they talk, then join hands and pray together, an unusual sight in the heart of a popular tourist city.
“It is a special atmosphere and many participate in prayer. Often, as Sisters, we stand out and many people approach us and ask to join in prayer,” says Sister Klara Marie, who came to Prague four years ago from a monastery in Kroměříž, to assist women in prostitution.
Today, the Sisters live in a smaller community, and together with several other Sisters, spend every Friday night ministering to those who have no choice but to work in the dark corners of the city. In addition to prayers and the distribution of small religious objects, the Sisters provide contact details where the women can access free legal and social assistance, in addition to testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
Click here to read more: Interview with Sr. Klara Marie Stráníková, SCSC
Original text in Czech available here: TÝDEN
Translated and adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Interfaith Toolkit on Human Trafficking, Resources for Worship and Action


Dear Readers, please find the attached Interfaith Toolkit on Human Trafficking 2016, which has been compiled by the American organisation “The Washington Inter-Religious Staff Community Working Group on Human Trafficking”. Comprising prayers, reflections, personal stories and an index of references to films, short videos and government publications, the Toolkit is intended to be an instrument for communities of all faiths and none, as they inform themselves and others about human trafficking and how to take action. There is a specific emphasis on the impact of human trafficking on children, in recognition of their vulnerability.
In light of the forthcoming International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking on the 8th of February next, we believe you will find this Toolkit as a very valuable resource: Interfaith Toolkit on Human Trafficking 2016 Final
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Reflection on Events in Croatia Organised on the 18th of October 2015


18th October 2015, European Anti-Human Trafficking Day
On the occasion of the European Anti-Human Trafficking Day, our informal Anti-Human Trafficking Network, established during the implementation of the project Raising Awareness of Religious Communities in Croatia of the Issue of Human Trafficking (especially Women)”, participated in a one-day conference in Slovenia. In addition to the one-day Conference, Prayer initiatives and activities were organised in Zagreb.

Figure 1. Sr. Ljubica, Sr. Stanka, Anita and Ana in Slovenia
Figure 1. Sr. Ljubica, Sr. Stanka, Anita and Ana in Slovenia

Four women members of the Network participated in the second day of a Conference focused on the issues of modern slavery and  law enforcement, organised by the Medaille Trust, a UK Charity, from the 12th to the 16th of October, 2015.
At the Conference, opportunities to hear about the difficulties faced by institutions and organisations involved in this issue were heard, as well as efforts and successes achieved. Sr. Stanka had the opportunity to speak about the situation in Croatia and to present her Project and Network. She reports “My colleagues and I were surprised and inspired by the positive atmosphere at the Conference, in spite of it being a difficult topic and subject matter.”
Figure 2. Ana, Sr. Stanka, Jitka and Young People from Croatian Red Cross at the Flower Square in Zagreb
Figure 2. Ana, Sr. Stanka, Jitka and Young People from Croatian Red Cross at the Flower Square in Zagreb

“On Saturday 17th October 2015, at the Flower Square in the Centre of Zagreb, Ms. Ana Sekelj and I from the Network, together with representatives from the Office for Human Rights and National Minorities of the Croatian Government, the Ministry of the Interior, a network of non-governmental organizations PETRA, Croatian Red Cross and the City Red Cross Society, presented our work, commitment, initiatives, brochures and symbolic items. Through this joint display, we informed the citizens of Zagreb on the issue of human trafficking. You can see and hear all about it by logging on to the National Croatian Radio and Television.” [34:00 – 36:15]
Figure 3. St. Blaise Parish in Zagreb
Figure 3. St. Blaise Parish in Zagreb

Sr. Stanka says “On Sunday 18th October 2015, in the convent of my Congregation, the Sisters of Notre Dame, we had a Prayer Service at noon for all the victims of modern slavery.
In the evening, in the Parish of St. Blaise, from 19:30-22:00, together with the pro-life prayer movement “Consolers of Merciful Jesus”, we organized a prayer vigil and adoration for all victims of modern slavery, for the unborn children and for every human life. The text of the prayer vigil will be broadcasted on radio station Radio Maria, at 20:00 on the first Friday in the November (6th November), so believers throughout Croatia can join in this prayer initiative. We believe that prayer-support is the strongest and most powerful mean of combating trafficking in human beings. We also believe that God is the only one who first hears the cry of all the victims and who helps all institutions and individuals who are committed to heal the deepest wounds in humanity.”
Sr. Stanka Oršolić
Article edited by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person