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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Fr. Séamus Finn: Video Presentation on Business, Markets and the Common Good November 4th, 2016

In this video Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI, addresses Business, Markets and the Common Good: the Challenge of Laudato Si.

This public discussion was organized by Together for the Common Good (www.togetherforthecommongood.co.uk) at St Michael’s Cornhill, London, England.


OMI LaCombe: Statement on Water and Treaty Rights Crafted at Fall Symposium November 4th, 2016

Prayer. Photo courtesy of Kiply Yaworski

Prayer. Photo courtesy of Kiply Yaworski

A collective statement about water and treaty rights — in the context of Laudato Si’s call to care for our common home and for each other — was crafted Oct. 22 during a daylong symposium at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon.

Entitled “Our Common Home: as long as the rivers flow,” the symposium was presented by OMI Lacombe Canada’s Office of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC) at St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, working in collaboration with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, the Archdiocese of Regina, the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, St. Thomas More College, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, and Queen’s House of Retreat and Renewal.

Read the full article.

 

 

 


Lutheran – Catholic humanitarian cooperation alive and well in Africa November 1st, 2016

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On the occasion of Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to Sweden, Caritas Internationalis and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) ’s World Service sign a Declaration of Intent, to strengthen collaboration and cooperation. 

Through the signing, the humanitarian and development arms of the two Churches recommit themselves to working together in responding to the world’s humanitarian needs. Pope Francis is in Sweden for the ecumenical commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Read the full story on Vatican Radio.

 


Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI Speaks on Faith & Sustainable Development at 2016 World Mining Congress October 25th, 2016

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The World Mining Congress is an international event that takes place every three years. It is led by a secretariat and affiliated with the United Nations. This year’s event took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from October 18 – 21. The event aims to promote and support, both technically and scientifically, the cooperation for the national and international development of mineral areas and resources; implement a global information network concerning mineral science, technology, economy, occupational health and safety and environmental protection.

Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI, spoke on the Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN) panel, Why Partnering For Development is the Future of Mining.

The panel explored the social, economic and environmental dimensions that are so vital for a vibrant mining industry and a future that provides for an equitable distribution of benefits to all stakeholders.

Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI: Comments at World Mining Congress Rio, October 20th 2016

The church’s engagement with the mining sector and specifically with the Development Partner Initiative was initiated and motivated by three different factors.

  1. We have been blessed with a charismatic and disruptive pope who is responsible for the preparation of the encyclical Laudato Sí where we are presented with an inspiring vision of the interdependence and inter-relatedness that exists between all living beings and our common home, planet earth that builds on the teaching of his predecessors and of Catholic Social Teaching (CST). We are also called to task by Pope Francis for the ways in which we have failed to care for, cultivate and appreciate the gift of the natural world and instead mistreated the planet and failed as a consequence in our inter-generational responsibility to our children’s children.
  2. There are chapels and churches and houses of worship scattered across the world and especially in the remote regions where many of the mines and other desirable natural resources like oil, gas and timber are located. Faith leaders at different levels have for years been hearing from many of the people that live in these regions and many of the stories that they tell about their experiences of mining are not very positive. Many of the contributions that the industry has made to progress and development have been lost.
  3. The churches own and manage assets to support their various initiatives and they are shareholders in many companies that are active in the mining sector. They want to make those investments in industries and companies that are responsible and make a constructive contribution to the communities and societies where they operate. They also want to avoid investing in corporations that have a poor record on protecting the environment, in respecting and promoting human rights and in fulfilling their social license to operate. 

Three themes that are central to the mission of the church and of most faith traditions where the mission of the faith traditions and the mining industry intersect are promoting sustainable development, caring for our common home and protecting human rights.

  1. Promoting development has been on the agenda of the church for centuries and has been specifically highlighted by global institutions like the United Nations from the beginning. In recent decades the much debated adjective “sustainable” has been added to the conversation as the accomplishments and the failures of various development projects and programs have been critiqued and evaluated. A significant intervention into the development debate was made by Pope Paul VI in 1967 the encyclical Populorum Progressio when he called for the promotion of “integral human development” and sought to include much more than having more or simply measuring development in purely economic terms. The mining industry has often been a part of many development initiatives through their contributions to local communities especially in regions surrounding their operating sites and in communities that are impacted by the operations of their supply chain.
  1. In his encyclical Laudato Sí, Pope Francis has called all of us to care for our common home, Mother Earth that he points out has been critically damaged by much of human activity especially in the industrial age. He is quick to point out that there is no quick solution to the ecological crisis that we face but that each of us individuals and communities, institutions and organizations, the public and the private sector have a responsibility and a role to play in reversing these trends.
  1. The protection and promotion of human rights and human dignity are at the center of the church’s mission and enshrined in international law. They are more and more being encoded in legislation and being voluntarily embraced by different actors in the business community and particularly by stakeholders and shareholders in publicly traded corporations. Faith institutions and socially responsible institutions and individual investors that are working diligently to align the ways in which they manage these assets with their faith traditions and with their values are using this same lens to choose the companies and the industry sectors that they want to invest in.

In the Days of Reflection that were convened at the Vatican and at Lambeth palace, in the Days of Courageous conversation that were convened in Cape town and in the other convenings that have brought together faith and industry leaders, civil society and representatives of local communities, we have a model that can help to address some of the challenges that are faced by local communities, industry and those who want to support sustainable development. The commitment to care for and cultivate and protect our common home must be our number one priority. We cannot rest until we have found the avenues and the technology to do this and at the same time use the multiple and rich resources that are before us to support human habitation on the planet.


Missionary Ecumenism: Justice, Peace, Integrity of Creation and Lutherans October 20th, 2016

by Fr. Harry Winter, OMI, Ministry of Mission, Unity, Dialogue (MUD), OMI USA Province
www.harrywinter.org

Fr.HarryWinterOMI

Rev. Harry E. Winter, O.M.I. Coordinator of Ministry of Mission, Unity and Dialogue

The upcoming visit of Pope Francis to Sweden, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, to celebrate the 499th anniversary of Luther posting his theses, trumpets the importance of both Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation (JPIC) and Missionary Ecumenism.  Lutheran World Federation (LWF) General Secretary put it this way:  “I’m carried by the profound conviction that by working towards reconciliation between Lutherans and Catholics, we are working towards justice, peace and reconciliation in a world torn apart by conflict and violence.”

His Catholic partner, Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, added:  “Lutherans and Catholics will have the possibility of an ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation, not simply in a pragmatic way, but in the deep sense of faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ” (press release from both LWF and PCPCU, Jan. 25, 2016).

Experts such as Norman E. Thomas note “Today the LWF is the strongest in staff and program of the various world confessional bodies” (Missions and Unity, 2010, p. 122). Oblates of course work side by side with Lutherans in Germany, Scandinavia, and the USA, especially our mid-western states. But the Lutheran signers of the 2013 joint booklet From Conflict to Communion come also from Brazil, Japan and Tanzania.

I recommend highly this 93 pp. booklet, which may be read and downloaded on the OMI USA website on Mission-Unity-Dialogue (www.harrywinter.org).  The booklet was written to prepare for the Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2016 celebration. Chapters one, five and six are especially readable and relevant.

Many thanks to Archbishop Roger Schwietz, OMI, who when he was Bishop of Duluth, MN, made available to me the covenant he signed between the Diocese and  the Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  In it, the importance of JPIC and Missionary Ecumenism are clearly stated.  “We commit ourselves to:

  1. Confess to God and to each other our past and present prejudices against each other’s traditions, practices and beliefs, and allow God to forgive our sin against each other and God. (1 John 1:8-10)
  2. Acknowledge the importance of each other’s traditions, learn to appreciate the contributions of each confession to the mission and service work of the Church, and pray for the day when we celebrate the Eucharist as one community.
  1. Pray for one another in our worship, both public and private, as a sign of our unity in Christ, as God’s Holy Spirit leads us to a more open understanding of one another.
  1. Listen to the Holy Scriptures and together be instructed by them.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17) 
  1.  Strengthen our witness to Christ in our struggle for peace and justice.   (Micah 6:8;  Luke 4:18-21)  

A growing number of dioceses in the USA have similar covenants, some including Episcopalians (Anglicans) are called LARC Covenants (Lutheran, Anglican and Roman Catholic).

May every Christian involved in Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation (JPIC) pray for the success of the meeting in Sweden.  And may we sense the bonding between JPIC,  Mission-Unity-Dialogue, and Spirituality.

Read more: Acceptance of ‘Declaration’ is a Move Away From Conflict, Dr. Scott Woodward writes that the annual Prayer for Christian Unity will be heard all week in San Antonio.

Read more: Oblate School of Theology Leads Preparation for Pope’s Visit to Sweden, on OMIUSA.org


World Mission Sunday 2016: Mercy Changes the World October 19th, 2016

“Go and make of all nations my disciples” (Mt.28: 16–28)

Ninety years ago, in 1926, Pope Pius XI introduced World Mission Sunday as a time for Catholics to pray, celebrate, and support Church Missions around the world. Every year World Mission Sunday is observed on the third Sunday in October. It is a day to highlight the outreach of local churches through priests, religious and laity among the poor and marginalized and the support that enables them to provide life-changing help to people in great need. World Mission Sunday this year is observed on October 23 under the theme: Mercy Changes the World. The Pontifical Mission Societies writes in their 2016 materials: “On World Mission Sunday, we are called in a special way to be “missionaries of mercy” through prayer and participation in the Eucharist, and by giving generously to the collection.”

Celebrating 200 years with the motto, Evangelizare pauperibus misit me pauperes evangelizanturHe has sent me to bring good news to the poor– the work of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate brings the Gospel to the poorest of the poor in over 60 countries through life in community and partnership with men and women of all faiths. Currently nearly 4,000 Oblates are dedicated to bringing the good news to the poor.

A Missionary Story

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With an Oblate presence that dates back to the 1950s and 129 priests currently working in Haiti, this World Mission Sunday Oblate JPIC is placing special emphasis on this country, recently devastated by Hurricane Matthew. All Oblate missionaries in Haiti are accounted for and doing reasonably well, is the good news. But Oblate missions all over Haiti have suffered significant physical damage, in towns like Fond d’Oie; Gabions; Camp Perrin, Les Cayes; Charpentier and Port-Salut. For example in Fond d’Oie, a mountainous town of about 8000 people in the western part of the country, St. Anthony Padua Parish was completely destroyed for the second time in six years. They plan to rebuild as they did after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The Catholic church has been present in that community since 1912.

There are many ways you can help:

  1. Pray daily for the work of the Church’s missionaries.
  2. Read the full text of the Holy Father’s 2016 World Mission Sunday message here.
  3. Give generously to the Mass collection on this World Mission Sunday, October 23.
  4. Pray for recovery efforts in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew.
  5. Take Action to support Haitians by asking Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to re-instate Temporary Humanitarian Parole for Haitians. (Action Alert sponsored by Interfaith Immigration Coalition)
  6. Help Support Haiti and other Caribbean nations recover from Hurricane Matthew. (Action Alert sponsored by Catholic Relief Services)

In his 2016 message for World Mission Sunday Pope Francis writes: “In many places evangelization begins with education, to which missionary work dedicates much time and effort, like the merciful vine-dresser of the Gospel (cf. Lk 13:7-9; Jn 15:1), patiently waiting for fruit after years of slow cultivation; in this way they bring forth a new people able to evangelize, who will take the Gospel to those places where it otherwise would not have been thought possible. The Church can also be defined as “mother” for those who will one day have faith in Christ.”

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