Latest OMI JPIC News
Anniversary of OMI Congregation’s Founding – January 25, 2018 January 24th, 2018
“…Conversion, community, poverty, and such themes remind us of Father de Mazenod’s zeal to preach God’s Word to the poor, and are appropriate subjects for community prayer on this day.” (Oblate Prayer, p. 72)
On January 25, 1816, Saint Eugene de Mazenod brought together in community the first Missionaries of Provence to preach the Word of God to the poor. At the heart of this new beginning was the quest for holiness. If there were men, filled with apostolic virtue and zeal, the work of preaching the Gospel to the poor would bear much fruit in a short time. A life of regular prayer was essential to this new missionary life. St. Eugene borrowed from his Sulpician training and freely included inspiration from other schools of spirituality. A tradition of prayer and religious exercises began in our Congregation.
(Oblate Prayer Opening Statement, Fr. Louis Lougen, O.M.I. Superior General)
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING FOR OUR OBLATE VOCATION
O God, we are filled with gratitude for your call to be Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. This vocation, first inspired in Saint Eugene de Mazenod, is a gift for the life of the Church. By this charism we have a special relationship with Jesus the Saviour, whose Cross reveals your unconditional love for all humanity, especially for the poor and most abandoned. Through the Oblate charism we also are brought into close communion with the poor, and we discover that we are evangelized by those to whom we have been sent. We thank you for the grace of our vocation, praying that we live it in faithfulness and joy through the intercession of Mary Immaculate and in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – January 18–25, 2018 January 18th, 2018
“Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power.” (Exodus 15:6)
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) has a history of over 100 years, in which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity. By annually observing the WPCU, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper “that they all may be one.” (cf. John 17:21)
The theme for the 2018 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, “Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power,” is taken from the book of Exodus 15:6 and the biblical text is Exodus 15:1-21. The resources for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity have been prepared by the churches of the Caribbean by an ecumenical team of women and men under the leadership of His Grace Kenneth Richards, Catholic Archbishop of Kingston, the Antilles Episcopal Conference, together with Mr. Gerard Granado, General Secretary of the Caribbean Conference of Churches (CCC).
- Download full 2018 international resource
Brazil Will Host 2018 World Social Forum January 10th, 2018
The World Social Forum (WSF) will take place in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil from March 13 to 17, 2018. It is the largest annual summit held by non-governmental organizations, civil society and religious leaders working to create a more sustainable and equitable world.
Missionary Oblates have previously participated and presented at the World Social Forum in solidarity with many other groups from around the world, meeting to share concerns and explore effective responses to a range of issues – globalization, ecology, sustainability and actions against human trafficking, trade relations of nations, extractives industries and indigenous people’s rights.
We are grateful to Oblate provinces and missions that provided hospitality to Oblate participants at past World Social Forum events: Kenya (2007), Brazil (2009), Senegal (2011) and Canada (2016)
- More information about the 2018 World Social Forum (WSF) click on this link: https://wsf2018.org/en/
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month January 5th, 2018
“Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. We must unite our efforts to free victims and stop this crime that’s become ever more aggressive, that threatens not just individuals, but the foundational values of society.”
– Pope Francis
President Donald Trump has proclaimed January 2018 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. In the words of the Administration, “This month we do not simply reflect on this appalling reality. We also pledge to do all in our power to end the horrific practice of human trafficking that plagues innocent victims around the world.”
It is a time for businesses, national and community organizations, families, and all Americans to recognize the vital role we must play in ending all forms of human trafficking. Many groups are bringing attention to this issue through prayer and educational resources. Below are links to some of these resources.
• United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s (USCCB): the below toolkit was developed by USCCB’s Anti-Trafficking Program (ATP), whose mission is to educate Catholics and the general public on the scourge of human trafficking as an offense against the fundamental dignity of the human person.
• To help bring awareness to the month of January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and in preparation for the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking on Feb. 8, the Catholic Health Association is sponsoring a webinar, A Medical Safe Haven for Human Trafficking Victims, on Jan. 17, 2018 from 3 to 4 p.m. ET.
45th Annual March for Life Scheduled for Friday, January 19 January 3rd, 2018
“…that I should not lose anything of what he gave me…” John 6:39
The 45th Annual March for Life will take place in Washington, DC on Friday, January 19, 2018, at 11:30 AM on the National Mall. A full schedule of the pre and post programs, travel information, printable march route, downloadable March for Life app, etc, can be found at the official website: http://marchforlife.org/march-life-2018/rally-march-info/.
OMI JPIC has also created a resource that can be used in parish bulletins, with community groups, or for personal reflection, to encourage awareness and action around life issues.
Missionary Oblates JPIC Office – 2017 Year in Review December 29th, 2017
Here are highlights of the JPIC Ministry’s activities and engagements in 2017. We look forward to continuing our engagement with you in 2018! Wishing you a blessed NEW YEAR!
- January: Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI, along with Fr. Joseph Gomes, OMI, of Bangladesh, attended a UN Indigenous forum in New York
- February: OMI UN Representative Fr. Daniel LeBlanc and JPIC Director Fr Antonio Ponce jointly led a JPIC workshop in Guatemala
- February: Prompted by alarming executive actions by the new administration, former U.S. Provincial Fr. Bill Antone, OMI invited Oblates and Associates to reflect on the nation’s challenges in a letter titled, Responding to Signs of Our Times in the Spirit of St. Eugene de Mazenod
- February: Fr. Seamus P. Finn, OMI made a presentation on Catholic Investing at a Catholic Community Foundation event in Minnesota
- February: OMI JPIC launched its new and improved website with a fresh design, color scheme, and navigation options.
- April: On the eve of the People’s Climate March in Washington, DC the local ABC News affiliate interviewed Gail Taylor of Three Part Harmony Farm and Alison Cohen of WhyHunger on 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.”
- June: On World Refugee Day JPIC promoted actions for Refugees and Migrants
- June: JPIC issued alerts and participated in an Interfaith Health Coalition prayer vigil at the U.S Capitol in Washington, DC to voice concern over Medicaid cuts in the health care bill.
- June: JPIC reported on a public protest in Sri Lanka by Families of Disappeared People and significant participation by Oblate fathers of Jaffna and Colombo, who stood stand in solidarity with these families
- June: Las Casa Memorias Hospice Vegetable Garden launched in Tijuana, Mexico
- July: Missionary Oblates took the pledge and joined the national Catholic Campaign to End the Use of The Death Penalty
- Throughout 2017: JPIC promoted actions and conducted advocacy in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Act. We distributed resources, issued action alerts, participated in a local prayer vigil and contributed an official letter to the ’50 letters’ campaign urging Congress to uphold the Dream Act
- August: JPIC reported on an article in The Economist that referenced the work of OIP Investment Trust
- August: OMI JPIC USA and OMI Lacombe Canada co-hosted a climate symposium, “The Cry of the Earth is the Cry of the Poor, the New Faces of Poverty.” The event took place at St Paul University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and was streamed live.
- September: JPIC Committee Member Sr. Maxine Pohlman was presented with the 2017 Confluence Conservation Leadership Award at the annual Mississippi Earth tones Festival in Alton, IL
- Throughout 2017: JPIC developed resources, issued action alerts and partnered with other groups to raise awareness and conduct advocacy around issues related to Human Trafficking.
- November: JPIC issued an action alert urging Members of Congress to extend Temporary Protected Status for Haitians
- December: JPIC Director Fr Antonio Ponce, OMI, was assigned to a formation ministry in San Antonio, TX and Br Jason Rossignol, OMI, was officially appointed the new JPIC director.