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Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation

A Ministry of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

United States Province

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Oblates Give Miners A Voice March 23rd, 2017

(Originally published on OMIUSA.org)

By Mike Viola

The Missionary Oblates are expanding their role as advocates for the rights of miners around the world.

Father Seamus Finn, O.M.I. of the U.S. Oblates’ Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office, participated in a day of reflection on the mining industry sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Mining CEOs, representatives of the Pontifical Council and religious congregations from around the world examined ways mining companies can improve their record on human and environmental responsibilities while also achieving their business objectives.

Father Finn said the day of reflection showed mining executives that their success should not be judged only in monetary terms, but also by the impact their companies are having on the lives of people.

Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI

“I now understand better the meaning of a people-directed engagement approach,” said David Noko, Vice President of Sustainability for AngloGold Ashanti, one of the world’s largest gold mining companies.  “I am more empowered to include in my business strategy a new way of engagement founded on solid principles of social good and environmental sustainability.”

Father Finn also attended a dialogue in Lima, Peru on the impact of mining in local communities in Latin America.  He is helping to develop strategies and networks to address the destructive impacts of mining. “Extractives, mining oil and gas exploration play an important role across the world while also imposing great disruption and damage in local communities and on the environment,” said Fr. Finn.  “The search for a way forward that addresses the most serious of these negative impacts has been taken up by a number of different initiatives.”

Father Gilbeto Pauwels, O.M.I. Director of the Center of Ecology and Andean People in Oruro, Bolivia knows firsthand the devastating effects mining can have on communities.  The Oblates in Bolivia have been fighting against this injustice for more than 50 years.

Miners in Bolivia

In 1960 the Oblates started Radio Pio XII to broadcast support for Bolivian tin miners.  The station still broadcasts today despite strong opposition to its message.

Father Roberto Durette, O.M.I. has been the Director of Radio Pio XII for nearly 40 years.  Despite having survived several assassination attempts, Fr. Roberto is undeterred in his passionate fight for the rights of the miners.

Father Finn said the day of reflection deepened his awareness of the need to advocate on behalf of miners.  “The roundtable at the Vatican was not just a one-time event,” he said.  “This is an ongoing project.”


Catholics to Walk in Solidarity With Immigrants & Refugees March 22nd, 2017

The Archdiocese of St. Louis is organizing a Walk and Mass to show solidarity with our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters. The event will take place on April 8, 2017. Click on the flyer below for more information.


US Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Reflection: “Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times” March 22nd, 2017

On March 22, the U.S Catholic Bishops Administrative Committee issued a pastoral reflection, “Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times,” calling on all Catholics “to accompany migrants and refugees who seek a better life in the United States.” The pastoral statement offers some recommendations on how Catholics in their own small way might offer solidarity for migrants and refugees.

Read USCCB’s pastoral reflection here.


2017 World Water Day: Why waste water? March 17th, 2017

The Call for Stewardship of Water
Responding to Signs of Our Times in the Spirit of St. Eugene De Mazenod
Oh, come to the water, all you who are thirsty.”
Isaiah 55:1

March 22, 2017 is World Water Day. To mark this observance OMI JPIC has developed this second in a series of resources for Oblates. Last month, in a letter addressed to the Province, Fr. Bill Antone, OMI, invited Oblates and Associates to reflect on challenges within our nation today. He asked, “How can we be engaged? He then recommends an effective response by calling us to “…reflect deeply on how our Catholic faith and principles can shed light upon a myriad of questions we face concerning immigrants, ecology, economy, trade, human rights, race, patriotism, church unity, world order, checks and balances, war and peace.” We hope this resource leads us all to thoughtful reflection and action for communities struggling to experience this basic human right, close access to clean water.

Download the full resource here.


Three-Part Harmony Farm featured on Grounded Women March 13th, 2017

Photo courtesy of Lise Metzger, photographer and author of Grounded Women.

Gail Taylor is owner and manager of Three Part Harmony Farm at the Oblate Residence in Washington, DC. She was recently featured in a 3-part series appearing on the Grounded Women blog. Grounded Women shares the inspiring stories of powerful and committed women farmers in the Washington, DC metro area.  Read the stories here.

Growing a City: Gail Taylor, Part 1

Drive down 4th Street N.E. in Washington, D.C., a fairly active street near Catholic University, and it might be easy not to notice the thriving farm behind a chain-link fence. It’s Three Part Harmony Farm run by Gail Taylor, a key player in the D.C. urban farming scene. The farm’s name defines its core values: Read the full article.

Gail Taylor owns and operates Three Part Harmony Farm on the grounds of the Oblate Residence in Washington, DC. She is a longtime resident of the District, has worked in the Latin America Solidarity community with affordable housing organizations, and is now working with the food sovereignty movement.


Missionary Oblates and Vivat International Co-sponsor Women’s Event @ UN March 10th, 2017

Photo courtesy of Sr. Nathaniel Lee, LSHF

Missionary Oblates and Vivat International, along with the NGO Committee on Social Development, the NGO Committee on Financing for Development (chaired by Fr. Daniel LeBlanc, OMI) and a host of supporting organizations, including the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, are hosting an event on March 13, 2017 at the UN Conference on the Status of Women (CSW). 

The goal of this event is to generate substantive discussions around the topic of financial inclusion as a tool for women’s empowerment and poverty eradication.

Download the event flyer here.

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