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Sr. Maxine Pohlman Receives Conservation Award September 20th, 2017
On Saturday, September 16th, Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, director of La Vista Ecological Learning Center and JPIC Committee member was one of three local residents presented with the 2017 Confluence Conservation Leadership Award at the annual Mississippi Earth tones Festival in Alton, IL. The festival is held annually as part of the State of Illinois’ “It’s Our River Day” initiative to celebrate Illinois watersheds through education, recreation and conservation. The award is for Sr. Maxine’s work with La Vista Ecological Learning Center, and specifically for her conservation work in the “Missionary Oblates’ Woods Nature Preserve”.
Congratulations, Sr. Maxine!
- Read more about the festival and awards event.
- Visit La Vista Ecological Learning Center’s website and check out upcoming programs.
Update on Rohingya Refugee Crisis in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh September 15th, 2017
14 September: Near about 400,000 Rohingya have fled across the border into neighboring Bangladesh. Part of them have so far taken temporary shelters in different shelters in Ukhia and Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar and most of them have taken shelters in various villages nearby. It is observed that the Rohingya people are fully dependent on food assistance and basic items. There is scarcity of appropriate source of drinking water and also sanitation situation is in dire position. Many of them are still living under the open sky. More than 200,000 Rohingya children who have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar are at incredible risk and they need urgent support. It is to be noted that sixty percent of all refugees are children, according to preliminary data. (Unicef, 12 Sept.)
The Immediate Needs
Some identified immediate needs are food, water, food, sanitation, shelter, medicines,measures for child protection.
Over the last few decades, almost half a million Rohingya Muslims have been living in two registered camps and makeshift settlements bordering Cox’s Bazar, fleeing persecution and communal violence. Government has already taken up a plan to build one new camp in Tyingkhali near the Bakukhali camp to accommodate newly arrived Rohingya refugees.
- Government and local union parishad have so far set up nine tube-wells in Gomdom Rohingya camp for providing drinking water.
- Registration of Rohingya families using biometric system has been officially started at Rohingya camp in Ukhia’s Balukhali on 11 September, Monday, 2017, noon.
- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp in Ukhia upazila of Cox’s Bazar on 12 Sept. During the visit she said,‘Bangladesh would offer the refugees temporary shelter and aid, but that Myanmar should soon “take their nationals back.”
- Diplomats of 46 countries, comprising ambassadors and high commissioners, visited the Kutupalong and Balukhali Rohingya camps and interacted with Rohingya refugees on 13 September.
Some NGOs and local people are providing food, water, cash, but almost all of these initiatives are going on in a scattered way. Bangladesh Border Guards are providing some medicines. Local community people are also providing support with dry foods, bamboo for making shelter etc. They are also helping them to reach the nearby shelters.
Diplomats of 46 countries, comprising ambassadors and high commissioners, visited the Kutupalong and Balukhali Rohingya camps and interacted with Rohingya refugees on 13 September.
Caritas Bangladesh plans to distribute food and non-food items among 14,130 Rohingya people with the total budget amount of Tk. 34,457283. Each family will receive 15kg of rice, 2kg of pressed rice, 3kg of dal (pulse), 1kg of salt, 1kg of sugar and 1 litre of edible oil, as well as some home and cooking products such as rice dish, plate, spoon, glass, etc. soon after getting approval from the NGO Affairs Bureau in Bangladesh.
This update was provided by Caritas Bangladesh. Please visit their website here: www.caritasbd.org
Read more news reports about the conflict:
Biblically Responsible Investing September 11th, 2017
The inaugural Christian Investment Summit took place at the Billy Graham Training Center just outside of Ashville, NC August 16 – 18. The brochure announcing this event promised to bring “together investment and financial thought-leaders to learn more about Biblically Responsible Investing (BRI)” and to engage “with one another in an inspiring mountain retreat setting”.
The event was steeped in the evangelical tradition that drew from the Jewish and Christian scriptures, the preached word and many rich hymns and songs of praise. These morning and evening services wrestled with themes like “Faith and the Market” and the how the value system of Jesus Christ might inform the principles and the decision-making processes that guide both the advisory services and transactions that investment practitioners offer to their clients each day.
Missionary Oblates JPIC Opposes Decision to end DACA, Congress Must Pass Dream Act of 2017 September 5th, 2017
“I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me.” Matthew 25:35
Missionary Oblates JPIC joins other faith communities, religious leaders and immigrant rights groups in expressing a deep disappointment over the decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). As a faith community, we believe DACA should be preserved and expanded with more opportunities to these talented young immigrants. The decision by the Trump Administration to end DACA, which is helping millions of young migrants, is a setback.
Our faith tradition demands that we extend a welcoming hand to those in need, especially vulnerable children. These young migrants entered the United States as children and know this country as their only home.
Reacting on the decision to end DACA, Dr. Victor Carmona, Theologian and Associate Professor who is also a member of Missionary Oblates JPIC committee says, “the decision to ending DACA reflects fear rather than faith, hope, love, prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, or justice.” He further cautioned that now more than ever Congress and the Administration must move beyond fear of reform and act on comprehensive immigration reform.
As we move forward, we join other faith organizations including US Catholic Bishops in urging that Members of Congress lead by example and compassion by co-sponsoring STAND IN SUPPORT OF DREAMers and (co-sponsor the DREAM Act of 2017 (S. 1615 / H.R. 3440). These bipartisan efforts will ensure the safety and dignity of nearly one million young immigrants who are contributing to our communities and love this country, but who may be at risk for deportation.
STAND IN SUPPORT OF DREAMers
(Por favor lea esto en Español)
Terminating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will impact negatively thousands of immigrant youth, their families and local communities where they are valuable members.
Today, we as people of faith must call on our elected leaders to keep the DACA program.
Click on this alert from U.S. Catholic bishops’ Justice for Immigrants Campaign and ACT!
Houston Oblates Cope and Minister in Hurricane Aftermath August 30th, 2017
Originally published at www.OMIUSA.org
By Will Shaw and Mike Viola, Compiled from reports by Oblate Fathers Sal De George and Ray Cook, Photos by Fr. Ray Cook
Fr. Sal De George, OMI, recently named Superior for the Houston Oblate community, spoke with us by telephone on Monday, August 28th with an update on the situation facing the Oblates and their constituents in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
The oblates he says, are located southeast of downtown very near the Buffalo Bayou. Fr. De George is at Immaculate Conception Parish along with Oblate Fathers David Uribe and Henry Walker. About a mile away at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, are Fathers Ray Cook, Gene Cañas and Tim Paulson. Fr. Sal reports that both parishes, rectories, residences and the Oblate Currsillo Center are un-damaged so far, but as weather forecasters are predicting another 15-25 inches of rain by Friday, they are hardly “out of the woods” as yet.