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Knights of Columbus build home for victims of human trafficking


Following their pro-life mission, the Knights aim to protect the vulnerable.

The Knights of Columbus in Atlanta have been spending their Sundays on a very worthy cause. According to a report on the Knights of Columbus website, more than 20 Knights are heading off straight after Sunday Mass to help renovate a ranch-style house on an eight-acre property on the edge of the city.

The estate, although fallen into disrepair, is surrounded by walking trails that just need a little love and attention. And it is in the perfect location. In a city that ranks among the highest for human trafficking in the U.S. — with 375 cases reported in 2018 in Georgia alone — the home, near Stone Mountain Park, will be able to offer a much-needed refuge for the women who’ve survived horrific ordeals.

Knights from the Thomas O’Reilly Council 4358 are using a myriad of skills to get the house shipshape for the women who’ll be able to find peace at the aptly named Safe House. “This is a place where young ladies are going to be taken and find some peace of mind, some counseling, recover their sense of self-worth and get help,” explained Joel Peddle, chancellor of Council 4358.

The Knights’ involvement comes naturally, reflecting their pro-life stance in defending those who are can’t defend themselves. As Peddle shares, “It’s like the unborn. They’re all very vulnerable. And there are vicious men mostly, women I guess, who want to exploit [young women]. I think this is a moral imperative of the first rank.”

By working with the Out of Darkness ministry, who bought the property, and also with the group Freedom Now Movement — both causes helping to rescue victims of sex trafficking — the house should be able to welcome women come the fall. And in true Knights tradition, they will continue to offer their help, both on a practical and financial level, long after the project is up and running.

While their hard work over the weekend is impressive, it’s the attitude of those taking part which is perhaps even more inspiring, as Peddle reports. His fellow Knights are “guys working and without complaint, with joy in their hearts.” That kind of behavior encouraged Peddle himself to join the Knights, whom he describes as “the gentlemen Catholics who are every bit as much of a man as Achilles and every bit as beautiful as a lamb and the heart of Christ.”

Read more: A scandal and a shame: Pope Francis says human trafficking a bigger problem than we’d imagined

Read more: 10 Things you didn’t know about the founder of the Knights of Columbus


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