Sister Dagmar in Berlin, Germany, is one of 600 Medical Mission Sisters and Associates who faithfully live our mission of healing presence today.
Sister Dagmar was born in 1944 and grew up in the Rhineland. She went to school in Monchengladbach and worked for one year as a volunteer in an orthopedic children’s hospital before attending the university where she studied theology, French literature and linguistics.
In 1964, she was granted a scholarship and met our Sisters for the first time in Malawi. A few years later she entered the Medical Mission Sisters in Essen. She made her First Vows in 1978 and Final Vows in 1984. She’s worked as a staff person with SOLWODI (Solidarity with Women in Distress) where she was a counselor, case manager and interpreter in Koblenz. In that city, SOLWODI opened its first safe house for victims of trafficking and forced prostitution, of forced marriages and brutal violence carried out by partners and family members. In 2008, Sister Dagmar said, “It is estimated that, worldwide, women prostitutes are being frequented by up to one million men each day.”
Of the legalization of prostitution in Germany in 2002, Sister said, “This law inhibits the detection of victims of trafficking and forced prostitution by police, who find it more difficult to differentiate between legal and criminal prostitution.”
Sister Dagmar is a founding member of RENATE (Religious in Europe Network against Human Trafficking and Exploitation), a group of women religious in Europe who are committed to working together against human trafficking and exploitation. In her work with the Jesuit Refugee Service at a detention center near the Polish border, Sister Dagmar regularly meets women and men victims of trafficking, who are detained because they have no documents. In addition to pastoral work and counseling, she initiates or follows up on juridical procedures for the detainees. She also is teaching some of them English, German, and French. For Sister Dagmar, who has been involved in work against human trafficking for many years, RENATE is a great support.
October 1, 2012