Latest OMI JPIC News
Haitians Get Limited Extension of Temporary Protected Status May 23rd, 2017
Thousands of Haitians who are recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) have been given a six-month extension by the Administration. The Department of Homeland Security announced on May 22 that the designation of TPS for Haitians will continue through Jan. 22, 2018. TPS for Haitians was to expire July 22, 2017. Many Faith-based organizations with missionaries in Haiti, including Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, will continue to encourage and pray for a longer extension of TPS for Haitians, until such a time when a sustainable national recovery has been accomplished in Haiti. The 2010 earthquake killed thousands of people, displaced millions of citizens and left a huge devastation to the country. Adding to that challenge was a public health crisis of cholera and destruction left behind by Hurricane Matthew.
Fr. Seamus represents the Oblate International Pastoral Investment Trust (OIP) on the advisory board of 8 Miles Private Equity Fund 8miles.com, which met in Lagos, Nigeria for two days in May. The OIP has a small position in this fund that has a presence in six African countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Uganda and Ethiopia. The fund has a strong commitment to development and responsible investing and aligns well with the missionary thrust of the OIP and the Oblates.
While in Lagos, Fr. Seamus visited 8 Miles’ most recent investment, a cream biscuit factory. According to an 8 Miles company profile page on the project, Nigeria’s biscuit sector has seen strong growth of 10 to 15 per cent per annum, and they are projecting this to continue, driven by population growth, rising disposable incomes and increasing urbanization coupled with the growing popularity of biscuits as a convenience snack. According to 8 Miles, the growth in this sector is also the result of a relatively young population, with 63% of the country’s 115 million people, below the age of 25 years.
Beloxxi is a market leader in Nigeria with significant market share and has one of the most popular and highest selling cream cracker brands in the market, with a reputation for high quality. It operates several production lines from its plant in Agbara, Ogun State and multiple warehouses across the country. The Company employs about 2,300 people and operates through a network of about 400 distributors. The Company has experienced growth rates in excess of 30% per annum in the last few years.
8 Miles has identified select locations and sectors where its investment approach can be best implemented, with a focus on strong macroeconomic fundamentals, good governance, a favorable regime for foreign investors, and a track record of private sector reforms which make doing business easier.
More on Beloxxi Industries:
- Beloxxi Industries Ltd. is a biscuit producer, with the largest share of the cream crackers segment in Nigeria
- The company was established over 20 years ago as a biscuit importer and, in 2006, evolved into a local producer of cream crackers after building an ultra-modern factory in Nigeria
- Beloxxi biscuits are sold via a network of >400 distributors and supermarket chains in Nigeria, with exports to Ghana. The product is also served on international flights from Nigeria
- Market Potential: Growth in the Nigerian biscuits sector driven by increasing urbanization and rising popularity of biscuits as a convenience snack, in-between meals or on-the-go
- With a well-known brand and reputation for high quality, Beloxxi is the leading product by sales volumes in Nigeria’s cream crackers market
- Beloxxi enjoys cost and quality advantages due to a fully-automated and efficient production process. Exit potential also enhanced by world-class facilities
2017 Novena of Prayer for Oblate Vocations May 17th, 2017
From May 21st to May 29th, Missionary Oblate communities and parishes around the world are encouraged to offer prayers and reflection for vocations to Oblate life and mission. May 21 is the Feast of St. Eugene and May 29 is the anniversary of Blessed Joseph Gerard, OMI, the Oblate Missionary who worked in Lesotho. These nine days bring oblates, associates, parishioners, mission partners and friends together in prayer and reflection on oblate life and mission.
The Oblate JPIC office would like to invite you to pray and take action for the poor and marginalized people in your local community and around the world.
We’ve prepared a two-page novena on justice and peace themes. Commit to one, some or all of the days of Novena for Oblate Vocations.
Please also share this resource with others and invite your community to use it to promote vocations to the Missionary Oblate family.
Support our Haitian Brothers and Sisters: Extend the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status May 15th, 2017
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate JPIC is joining with other Catholic groups and interfaith coalitions in calling to extend the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an additional 18 months.
People of faith are concerned that thousands of hardworking Haitians in the U.S. may be at risk of having their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) terminated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians is the right action to take because Haitian migrants will temporarily remain in the United States and support themselves legally while Haiti is being rebuilt.
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate has been present in Haiti since the 1950’s. Today Oblates in Haiti are still doing active missionary work in the northeastern part of the country. In the United States, Missionary Oblates are doing Catholic parish work, ministering to diverse immigrants including Haitians.
Cardinal Urges Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Participants to Live a Unique Statement May 8th, 2017
By Fr. Harry Winter, OMI
As Antonio Ponce, OMI, and I took part in the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, held in Minneapolis May 1-4, we listened to a first ever message from a cardinal to the participants of this event (started in 1969 and held annually). Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, asked us to examine and live together the short and vital 5-page statement “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World, Recommendations for Conduct.”
One reason the document is so extraordinary is that it was approved by three very different groups: the World Council of Churches, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the World Evangelical Alliance. Another reason is that it begins by affirming, “Mission belongs to the very being of the church,” and then bonds social justice, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue.
Although approved in late January, 2011, we are all puzzled and disturbed that this statement remains virtually unknown. The 400 participants in the Week of Prayer have resolved to make it publicized.
Ahead of the April 29 Climate March in Washington, D.C., on Friday, April 28 Veronica Johnson of the local ABC7 news affiliate visited Three Part Harmony Farm with WhyHunger to learn more about their missions to “end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food and by supporting grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment.”
Learn more about poverty and hunger at WhyHunger.org.