Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation

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News Archives » 2013 » June

Oblate JPIC Office Intern arrives in Washington from San Antonio June 29th, 2013

The Oblate JPIC office is proud to welcome our newest intern, Erin Chase. He will be focusing on human rights and social media use for justice. Here is a brief bio:

IMG_0979Erin Chase: Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Erin graduated from Saint Anthony Catholic High School where he first encountered the Oblates. He was very active in St. Anthony during his time there. In the Young Oblate’s club, he worked with Oblate brothers and fellow peers to organize monthly community gatherings with the homeless. He also served on the music and organizational teams for the students’ home-designed SALVE Retreat, which stands for Service and Action, Love, Vocation, and Evangelization. It’s a 3-4 day, student-designed retreat. Additionally he served on the team for the local ACTS retreats. While in high school, Erin became an Eagle Scout, and received the Junior Oblate Cross and the Archbishop’s Medallion for his commitment to service and Catholic devotion. He is currently a rising junior at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he is majoring in Religious Studies.

Erin is involved in a number of faith-based activities at Wesleyan. During his freshman year, he revived the Catholic Student Organization, which provides educational and spiritual opportunities for faith development on campus. The group, which works in an interfaith context, tries to engage students of any or no faith. Erin continues to lead this community, and, in addition, directs the Catholic liturgical choir. Other initiatives in which he is involved include Shining Hope for Communities, a grassroots organization combating generational poverty and gender bias in Nairobi, serving as an executive member in the Wesleyan chapter. Other involvements are with the outreach team at Amazing Grace Food Pantry in Middletown, and with the Middlesex United Way, where he serves as the Special Projects Coordinator. In his spare time, Erin enjoys songwriting, coffee, and learning about social entrepreneurship. He hopes to utilize his skills and develop his understanding of social justice issues through working with the Missionary Oblates JPIC Office.

US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report for 2013 Now Available June 28th, 2013

Screen_Shot_2013-06-21_at_9.14.33_AMThe State Department has recently released the 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report. The report and the ceremony releasing it are available on the State Department website (click here).











Reflections on Eradicating Poverty June 25th, 2013

Br-Terence-at-the-UNBr. Terence Chota, OMI spent a few days in New York as part of his summer internship with the OMI JPIC Office. While being hosted by Fr. Daniel LeBlanc, OMI in New York, Terence attended a meeting of the UN NGO Subcommittee on Eradicating Poverty.

Here is his report and reflection on the meeting…. (Download PDF)

Armand Matthew, OMI – Requiescat in Pace June 24th, 2013

It is with sadness that we announce the death of a dedicated priest and colleague in the JPIC work: Fr. Armand Matthew, OMI. Fr. Armand passed away on Saturday at the age of 90.

In a statement provided by the University of Texas at Brownsville, where Mathew helped launch the Center for Civic Engagement in 2001, UTB President Juliet V. Garcia said, “Padre dedicated his life to being an advocate for social justice and challenged each of us to join him in the battle against indifference. He was humble and of kind heart; he had unlimited courage and stamina. He loved without limit and condition and taught us to try to live a life that made a difference in the lives of others. He lent us his courage and expected us to do the same for others. He never gave up on a cause he believed in, nor would he let us give up either. Knowing him we have known an angel among us.”

In his memory, we would like to share this video made for his 90th birthday:


Religious Leaders Press JP Morgan Chase to Reinvest in Virginia County Hit Hard by Foreclosures June 20th, 2013

Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI calls for justice from JP Morgan Chase

Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI calls for investment in mortgage-devastated communities from JP Morgan Chase

Northern Virginia Religious leaders marched this morning to JP Morgan’s DC offices after the Bank refused to invest adequately in Prince William County, VA. The county was hard hit in the mortgage crisis, and the investment is needed to re-build the blighted communities.

Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI and the Oblates, as investors in the major banks, have been supportive of the community effort to deal with the mortgage crisis, through VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement). Fr. Finn spoke at the rally, calling on the JP Morgan Chase to make a meaningful investment in the community. Watch a video of the speech on YouTube.

VOICE leaders plan to meet with Federal Regulators in the next month to ask them to sanction the bank for predatory lending practices, and to investigate credit card robo-signings in Northern Virginia.

Click here to read more »

Four energy policies can keep the 2 °C climate goal alive June 17th, 2013

An International Energy Association report shows how to stop growth in energy-related emissions by 2020 at no net economic cost. The Missionary Oblates engage oil and gas companies on the need for emissions reductions, and this report is a useful tool in that work.

Warning that the world is not on track to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, the International Energy Agency (IEA)* has urged governments swiftly to enact four energy policies that would keep climate goals alive without harming economic growth.

“Climate change has quite frankly slipped to the back burner of policy priorities. But the problem is not going away – quite the opposite,” according to IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. The IEA’s World Energy Outlook Special Report, Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map, highlights the need for intensive action before 2020.

Click here to read more »

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