September 23, 2019
Remarks by Ambassador Gingrich Reception in Honor of Talitha Kum.
Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, colleagues, and friends – good evening! Newt and I are so pleased to welcome you to Villa Richardson.
We are gathered this evening to honor Talitha Kum upon the celebration of its 10th anniversary and the convening of its first-ever International General Assembly.
I’d like to thank my friend, Ambassador Sally Axworthy, the UK Ambassador to the Holy See, for co-hosting this reception. I’d also like to thank Sister Pat Murray, the Executive Secretary of UISG, and Sister Gabriella Bottani, the International Coordinator of Talitha Kum, for joining us – and for their years of friendship and collaboration with our embassy.
As many of you know, Sister Gabriella recently traveled to Washington D.C. and was honored by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report Hero. Thank you, Sister Gabriella, for everything you do to combat human trafficking and to save numerous lives.
Talitha Kum is an expression from the Gospel of Mark, which means, “Young girl, I say to you, arise.” For 10 years, Talitha Kum has helped countless men, women, and children “arise” from the horror of human trafficking.
This incredible network has reached thousands of people through anti-trafficking awareness campaigns, educational programs, international conferences, training manuals, and vocational training.
Talitha Kum is comprised of 2,000 women religious working across 92 countries on 5 continents. The network has served thousands of survivors, and provided training to women religious around the world. And since 2015, Talitha Kum has coordinated the World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Trafficking, celebrated each year on February 8th, the feast of Saint Josephine Bakhita.
The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See is proud of its long history of cooperation with Talitha Kum and remains committed to working alongside women religious to eradicate the global evil of human trafficking.
Thank you and God bless.