Latest OMI JPIC News
The Oblate residence and offices are directly across Michigan Avenue from the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is nearby the St John Paul II National Shrine which the President and First Lady planned to visit on Tuesday. In anticipation of the President’s visit, a gathering of demonstrators was sponsored by Catholics for DC, many of whom are colleagues the Oblates work with on a regular basis. Therefore, hundreds of protestors found a front-row seat in the Oblate’s front yard. Oblate participants included Fathers Séamus Finn, Jim Brobst, George Kirwin and Brother Joey Methé.
Read the full story at OMIUSA’s website.
Diplomas testifying to so much more June 1st, 2020
By Patti Radle
(Mrs. Patti Radle is president of the San Antonio Independent School District Board of Trustees & a longtime JPIC Committee member)
Dear Graduating Class of 2020:
San Antonio is such a compassionate city. It is easy to understand why we have such caring people working in our school systems. Understanding compassion to be the ability to recognize and sympathize with the pain of others, it is with this position that the hearts of teachers, staff, parents and siblings suffer with you.
We have seen you dream for 12 to 14 years of donning the gown and cap, and walking across the stage to finally receive that piece of paper that says you are accomplished and ready for your future.
We will celebrate you! It might not be what you imagined with the full pomp and circumstance of the traditional ceremony — that exclamation point of all your accomplishments. This virus has us all trying to figure it out, abiding by safety guidelines. In person? Virtually? A combination?
How can you — how can any of us — handle this disappointment?
Perhaps it is possible with a different vision. You will have the diploma to hang on the wall. But if you pay close attention to everything happening around you today, it will tell a very different story that will define a milestone in your life and the life of the world. Not of a walk across the stage but of a walk through a very extraordinary time.
You can tell your children that the diploma on the wall stands as a certification of living at a time:
Laudato Si’@ 5: Reflect, Pray & Take Action, May 16-24, 2020 May 15th, 2020
Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home was released at the end of May 2015. Missionary Oblates JPIC joined Catholics in welcoming Laudato Si’ and have since worked to integrate the themes into our justice and peace work. As we observe the encyclical’s five-year anniversary, we invite you to join us as we reflect on a few of the encyclical’s themes.
The ecological crisis, Pope Francis wrote, is a summons to profound interior conversion—to renew our relationships with God, one another, and the created world – The lessons of the global financial crisis have not been assimilated, and we are learning all too slowly the lessons of environmental deterioration. (#109)
Laudato Si’: Poor and Vulnerable
“The poorest areas and countries are less capable of adopting new models for reducing environmental impact because they lack the wherewithal to develop the necessary processes and to cover their costs. We must continue to be aware that, regarding climate change, there are differentiated responsibilities” (#52)
- How does preferential option for the poor and vulnerable call us to respond to Laudato Si’?
Laudato Si’: Global Solidarity
“Interdependence obliges us to think of one world with a common plan…A global consensus is essential for confronting the deeper problems, which cannot be resolved by unilateral actions on the part of individual countries. Such a consensus could lead, for example, to planning a sustainable and diversified agriculture, developing renewable and less polluting forms of energy, encouraging a more efficient use of energy, promoting a better management of marine and forest resources, and ensuring universal access to drinking water.” (#164)
- How do you express solidarity with people in your community and around the world?
Laudato Si’: Common Good
“The notion of the common good also extends to future generations. The global economic crises have made painfully obvious the detrimental effects of disregarding our common destiny, which cannot exclude those who come after us. We can no longer speak of sustainable development apart from intergenerational solidarity” (#159)
- With Whom are you called to dialogue about future of the common home? Pope Francis calls for dialogue that include everyone. Who should be included?
Find more ways here on how you can Reflect, Pray and Take Action to Celebrate the 5th anniversary of Laudato Si’.
- Vatican Laudato Si Week page: https://laudatosiweek.org/
- Activities, prayers and resources from Catholic Climate Covenant and partners:
- Archdiocese of Chicago will each day host a virtual presentation on Zoom that focuses on different facets of caring for our common home:
- Watch the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ roundtable conversation as part of #LaudatoSiWeek2020! On May 20th head to http://ow.ly/NLSv50zGqeC at 2pm ET to watch live!
- USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development has several new and updated bilingual resources.
- Join Franciscan Action Network on Tuesday, May 19th Laudato Si’ for a webinar in celebration of the 5th anniversary of the encyclical’s release. Register to join the Zoom webinar, however it will be streamed live on their Facebook page
OMI JPIC Reflection On Hope in Uncertain Times May 12th, 2020
During the Coronavirus pandemic, Oblate ministries reflect on their work and provide reflections of hope. The OMI USA JPIC team is grateful to present a snapshot of their work. Video narration by Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI.
Now that the Food and Drug Administration has authorized remdesivir for emergency use in seriously ill COVID-19 patients, the experimental drug is another step closer to full approval. That’s when most drugs get price tags.
Gilead Sciences, which makes remdesivir, is donating its initial supply of 1.5 million doses, but the company has signaled it will need to start charging for the drug to make production sustainable. It’s unclear when that decision might be made. Read the full article at NPR.
In early April investor members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) sent letters to the CEOs of fourteen pharmaceutical companies calling for a collaborative approach in the development of health technologies, including diagnostics, treatments and a vaccine in the global fight against Covid-19.
The letter was sent to AbbVie (ABBV); Amgen (AMGN); Biogen (BIIB); Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY); Gilead (GILD); GlaxoSmithKline (GSK); Eli Lilly (LLY); Johnson & Johnson (JNJ); Merck (MRK); Pfizer (PFE); Novartis (NVS); Roche (RHHBY); Sanofi (SNY) and; Vertex (VRTX). Read more.
As companies go virtual with Annual General Meetings, shareholders are finding ways to still participate in the process and convey concerns. ICCR has launched #AskTheCEO, a campaign to capture shareholders’ questions at these virtual meetings.
Visit ICCR’s website to read more about their #AskTheCEO campaign and watch shareholder videos.
Inspired by the spirit, knowing the outreach geographical location of the villages, illiteracy and the ignorance of our people, I felt the desire to do something immediately. With me were the Indigenous Leaders, Rt. Rev. Bejoy N. D’Cruze, OMI, Oblate Fathers and few other organizations. Therefore, we called for an urgent meeting with some of the local leaders at IPDS office in Kulaura, Moulvibazar on the 8th of March 2020.
The Strategic Plan that we have undertaken as safety nets and protective measures:
1. During the spread of COVID-19 we decided to be present with our peoples; to deepen their spiritual and moral strength, to give them proper orientation about Coronavirus Covid-19, to continue the sacramental and pastoral care with proper precaution and protection, to mentally prepare the leaders to face the worst case scenario; to distribute sanitary materials and to look for possible food assistance for the poor from different sources.
2. We thought of printing safety net measure leaflets according to the directions of the World Health Organization (WHO) both in Bangla and Khasi languages and distribute them to each village as quickly as possible. It was decided that Mr. Ross Pohtam would do the Khasi translation and the office of the Indigenous Peoples Development Services (IPDS) would prepare the Bangla version. Accordingly, it was done; printed and distributed into the villages.
3. The above mentioned persons had formed small teams and carried out Awareness Campaign in twenty- two (22) villages namely: Lokhipur village, Bongaon village, Marina Tea Estate, Gazipur Tea Estate, Meghatila punji, New Rangi punji, Balarma punji, Amoli punji, Purancholta punji, Jhimai punji, Singur punji, Islachora punji, Amchori punji, Balukoona punji, Puthicherra punji, Nooncherra punji, Ichachora punji, Panai punji, Kukijuri punji, Lutijuri punji, Muroicherra punji and Ewlachora punji. And I was present in most of the villages during this campaign.
- The following areas were covered during the campaign:
- Distribution of leaflets: read out and explained to the people present.
- Proper orientation was given on what is Covid- 19 and some Precautionary Measures:
- Importance of the washing of hands for 20/30 seconds before entering into the house.
- Avoid coughing and sneezing in front of others.
- Importance of maintaining social distancing in order to avoid infection.
- Keeping a separate room available to isolate a person found with positive case.
- Quarantine for fourteen days for anyone coming into the village from a distant place.
- Restricting movements as much as possible to avoid community transmission.
- Importance of cleanliness: inside the house and around the village.
- Money handling: always wash hands thoroughly after every money transaction.
- Restricting vendors and business people coming into the villages during the lockdown.
- Collaborative initiatives/ measures undertaken:
It was providential to meet with some of the generous institutions to organize collaborative initiatives to help out our peoples affected and victimized by Covid-19 in four districts under the jurisdiction of The Sylhet Catholic Diocese. Among them The Sylhet Catholic Diocese, the Oblate Delegation in Bangladesh, the Caritas Bangladesh, KUBORAJ Inter-Punjee Development Association, the Government Agencies, Indigenous Peoples Development Services and the Missionaries of Charity Sisters are worth mentioning.