The Archdiocesan Office for Life and Family, in partnership with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, American Association has launched a campaign to educate individuals on combatting human trafficking.

The program, “The Samaritans Choice – An Act of Love,” is designed to increase awareness and equip the laity and the community-at-large with strategies on how to identify the signs of human trafficking, how to report it, and how to support its survivors.

Each January, Human Trafficking Prevention Month spotlights the toll human trafficking takes on individuals, families, and communities.

Randy Pagnotta, a member of the Order of Malta American Association who helps head the group’s anti-human trafficking ministry, attends Saint Mary Catholic Church in Conshohocken. He says the campaign is in its second phase. The first phase worked to educate clergy and seminarians.

“This is the second phase [of] creating awareness amongst people, that incredibly, many [are] unaware that this form of modern human slavery is right here in our backyard,” Pagnotta told CatholicPhilly.

The third phase of the campaign, slated for later this year, will focus on educational training for professionals and trades that might intersect and touch the scourge of human trafficking. Professions include law enforcement, health care providers, hotel motel service workers, and EMTs, among others.

In a Jan. 11 letter, Archbishop Nelson Pérez encouraged faithful to participate in the program as well as the World Day of Prayer and Reflection Against Human Trafficking on Feb. 8, also known as the feast of Saint Josephine Bakhita.

Although the campaign formally concludes Feb. 8, Pagnotta along with Malta volunteers will make presentations at parishes throughout the five-county Archdiocese of Philadelphia now through April.

Below is the schedule of presentations. For more information, reach out to each parish individually.


Thurs., Jan. 25 at 7:00 p.m.
Saint Alphonsus Parish, 33 Conwell Drive, Maple Glen, PA 19002

Mon., Jan. 29 at 7:00 p.m.
Corpus Christi Church, 900 Sumneytown Pike, Lansdale, PA 19446

Tues., Jan. 30 at 7:00 p.m.
St. John Neumann Parish, 380 Highland Lane, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Wed., Jan. 31 at 7:00 p.m.
Saint Cyprian Church, Cobbs Creek Parkway at Cedar Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143

Thurs., Feb. 1 at 7:00 p.m.          
Sacred Heart Parish, 203 Church Road, Oxford, PA 19163

Monday, Feb. 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Visitation B.V.M. Church, 2625 B Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Our Lady of Grace Parish, 225 Bellevue Ave, Penndel, PA 19047

Mon., Feb. 12 at 7:00 p.m.
Saint Mary Magdalen Parish, 2400 N Providence Road, Media, PA 19063

Mon., Feb. 19 at 7:00 p.m.
St. Joseph Parish, 332 Manor Ave, Downingtown, PA 19335

Mon., Feb. 26 at 7:00 p.m.
Saint Monica Parish, 2422 S 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145

Tues., April 16 at 6:30 p.m.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 235 E. State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901