Tomorrow night (Thursday, 16 March), EWTN-TV will be profiling Deacon John Green of Emmaus Ministries, an ecumenical outreach offering hope to men involved in prostitution. I’ve met John Green a number of times, as the parish where he serves — St. Thomas of Canterbury in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood — runs a soup kitchen where my wife and I volunteered while we were students at nearby Loyola University. John is a true man of God, full of compassion and a fervent desire to bring the love of Jesus Christ to the least of His people. Emmaus offers some striking facts about the men they minister to:
According to statistics, men now account for nearly 45 percent of all prostitution arrests nationwide. Male street prostitutes often contend with homelessness, HIV/AIDS, drug and alcohol addiction, generational poverty and criminality, and mental illness. â€œThese men are among the most broken in our nationâ€™s cities and a population thatâ€™s marginalized and abused, even within the homeless community,â€ says Green. â€œEmmaus is often the last hope of redemption for male prostitutes. Hustlers are frequently victims of violence, whether itâ€™s the random violence of the streets, or the more focused brutality of abusive customers or sexual predators.â€ Serial killers John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer frequented bars where Emmaus teams do their outreach. Deacon Green notes that the majority of male street prostitutes donâ€™t identify themselves as homosexual, but engage in homosexual acts in order to feed drug and alcohol addictions or to exchange for food and shelter.
Keep Emmaus Ministries, and those they minister to, in your prayers. [NOTE: The EWTN program “Life on the Rock” profiling Emmaus Ministries airs Thursday, 16 March, at 8:00pm Eastern time. For those of you who don’t have cable — like me — you can watch it live on EWTN’s website.]