Latest OMI JPIC News
Fortnight for Freedom 2017 June 23rd, 2017
Freedom for Mission – June 21- July 4, 2017
The U.S Catholic Bishops are encouraging observance of “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom. The fourteen days from June 21 (Vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More) to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “Fortnight for Freedom.” Respectful discussion is being encouraged for better understanding and celebration of religious freedom. Participate in special events or host your own to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom.
Visit USCCB’s website for more information and to download resources for organizing events in your parish and religious community: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/fortnight-for-freedom/index.cfm
Martin Luther King and Martin Luther June 23rd, 2017
by Harry Winter, OMI
In 1934, an African American, Rev. Michael King Sr., visited religious reformer Martin Luther’s home in the town of Wittenberg, Germany. King was so impressed by Luther’s legacy that he changed his name to Martin Luther King, Sr., and his son’s to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Was it the free exchange of ideas and values that the older King saw in Luther’s posting of his 95 theses? Was it the fact that the Christian Church is in continual need of reformation, as Luther stressed? In any case, it shows that some of Luther’s legacy is very relevant today.
It surprises many Americans to learn that there are more Lutherans in Africa and Asia than in North America and Europe. Furthermore, Lutheran membership in Africa and Asia is growing, while in North America and Europe it is declining.
Lutheran World Services and Caritas International (R.C), have pledged to work more closely together. So civil rights, spirituality, ecclesiology and witness have been joined by Martin Luther and Drs. Martin Luther King, Sr. and Jr.
May Lutherans and Roman Catholics learn more about each other!
See the OMI USA website Mission-Unity-Dialogue (www.harrywinter.org) for important statements signed by both Churches.
Help Save Healthcare! June 22nd, 2017
We Need You To Protect Medicaid
Call 1-888-738-3058 Now!
Senate Republicans have finally released their healthcare bill to the public, and it confirms what we already knew: this cruel bill would cause massive harm to our families and must be rejected.
Senate leadership is rushing the bill (which they are now calling the Better Care Reconciliation Act) to a vote by June 30 and get it one step closer to President Trump’s desk. To be clear: this is the American Health Care Act (AHCA) but worse. Today, and the next few days, are our last best chance to stop this immoral bill.
We need you to call your Senators at 1-888-738-3058 NOW to oppose the GOP health plan and protect Medicaid.
Call twice to reach both Senators.
After the House passed the AHCA in May, you told your Senators that the AHCA was beyond repair, and many of them promised to craft a better bill. Instead, they made the cruel cuts to Medicaid even deeper, kept most of the harmful aspects of the House bill and changed the name. This bill endangers over 70 million children, disabled people, seniors in nursing homes, and hardworking individuals and families who rely on Medicaid for healthcare.
Lives are on the line, and your calls can make the difference. We need to let Senators (in Republican and Democratic offices!) know that people of faith support healthcare and are against this bill.
Call your Senators at 1-888-738-3058 NOW.
Call twice to reach both Senators…and keep calling until we stop this bill!
When you call, here’s what you might say:
|“Hi, my name is [NAME] and I am a constituent from [CITY/TOWN]. As a person of faith, I’m calling to oppose the Better Care Reconciliation Act. I oppose any efforts to cut or cap Medicaid, and no one should lose coverage as a result of any healthcare replacement. Please protect the human dignity of the millions of Americans who would lose coverage and oppose the Better Care Reconciliation Act.”*
*Also add your personal story!
Millions of lives are on the line. Please call your Senators (call twice!) at 1-888-738-3058 to stop this bill.
Then, when you’re done, forward this email to all your friends so they can make their calls as well. If you know anyone in Alaska, Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, or West Virginia forward this email to them — it is ESPECIALLY important that they make their calls!
Thanks for your support!
2017 World Refugee Day: Take Action & Pray for Refugees June 15th, 2017
The United Nations General Assembly in 2000, designated June 20 as World Refugee Day. According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, a refugee is one who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”
For many years the Catholic Church, through its various agencies has worked and actively raised awareness about the plight of refugees through advocacy, education, and services to provide increased protections for them.
These efforts take place on the international level through organizations like Catholic Relief Services and Jesuit Relief Service, and domestically, through Catholic Charities and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Visit Justice for Immigrants website to read more about the U.S. Bishops’ campaign to support immigrants and refugees.
Hospice Vegetable Garden in Tijuana, Mexico
Creating a Community of Hope
Missionary Oblates JPIC in partnership with the local catholic community in Tijuana, Mexico launched a hospice vegetable in Albergue Las Memorias A.C. Tijuana is a city of 2.2 million people and La Morita Colonia, where the project is launched, is one of the most impoverished and fastest growing neighborhoods of 300,000 people. The Albergue Las Memorias (Hostel of Memories) has been operating for the last 12 years as a residential hospice facility and the only one of its kind in Tijuana. It provides care and a safe place for approximately 130 indigent men, women and children infected with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Many of the residents have been rejected by society and abandoned by their families. Albergue Las Memorias gives patients shelter, medical attention, and if it comes to that, a place to die in dignity. It also gives them an incentive to avoid drugs and alcohol if they have an addiction.
A Shared Commitment
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate has been working in La Morita, Tijuana, Mexico since 1996. Oblate priests work at San Eugenio de Mazenod Parish, serving La Morita’s residents and managing about 14 sites or chapels, Alberque Las Memorias being one of them. The Oblates are involved in celebrating Catholic masses, confessions, visiting people at their homes, especially the sick, etc. At Albergue las Memorias they provide support by celebrating masses, confessions, funerals and help with food at least once a week. The San Eugenio Parish’s territory covers about 7.5 square miles. The parish has ministered to thousands of the more than 300,000 men, women and children who live in the Colonia La Morita and surrounding areas, on the outer edge of the city of Tijuana.
After several visits to the residents and community at Albergue Las Memorias, Missionary Oblates JPIC identified the need for a hospice vegetable garden. We believe this local supported imitative will empower vulnerable populations, helping them lead ‘dignified lives regardless of their physical, mental or psychosocial limitations.’ Young residents make up a significant number of the facility’s population. The garden will provide fresh and reliable food, greatly needed for the many patients: the shelter often struggles with having enough food for everybody. The plan for the vegetable is to start producing enough food for residents, and eventually surplus will be sold in the community. Profits from the sale of produce will fund the upkeep of the facility.
To fund the project, Missionary Oblates JPIC initially pursued foundation grants but had no success. Believing in the facility’s vision, we reached out to groups at an Oblate parish and other interested individuals. “Families for Life” and “Projection Ministry of Santa Rosa” were among the groups that provided financial support. From Santa Clarita, C.A. families forming the movement “World Marriage Encounter” also donated to the project. While some gave financially, others volunteered their time to work on the garden. Able-bodied patients at the shelter also helped. We are very grateful for all those who made this initiative a reality. We ask that you keep the Hospice Vegetable Garden Initiative in your prayers and stay tuned for future updates on progress. We are thankful to those who have taken a stand by supporting and contributing to these vulnerable people at the hospice in Tijuana.
For more information on how to get updates about the Hospice garden visit this page: www.omiusajpic.org
If you would like to support this project please visit this website.
“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods.”
Pope Francis, Laudato Sí: On Care of our Common Home
Missionary Oblates JPIC is deeply concerned about the impacts of environmental degradation on God’s creation. The decision by the Trump Administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which was ratified by 195 countries including the United States is a disappointment. We join other faith leaders and communities to urge the Administration to reconsider this decision and propose concrete ways to address global climate change and promote environmental stewardship. As people of faith who value the care for creation, we believe that impacts of climate change will directly impact all communities, both in the United States and around the world, especially poor and abandoned people whom Oblates minister to each day. Visit the links below to read more on the issue.
- US Catholic Bishops’ statement on Paris withdrawal
- Catholic Climate Covenant’s statement on Paris withdrawal
- Missionary Oblates JPIC climate change resource