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From April 28 to 29 the OMI JPIC Committee gathered in New Orleans, LA at the historic St Augustine Catholic Church for their first meeting in the new year. The group meets twice-yearly to review and share progress on JPIC’s work. Discussions centered on JPIC’s core areas of work – efforts to combat opioid crisis; socially responsible investing; integrity of creation initiatives (Oblate Ecological Learning Center; the Community Supported Garden in Godfrey, IL & Three Part Harmony Farm in Washington, DC); and human dignity initiatives like immigration and human trafficking. Discussions also centered on engagement and outreach to young adults and retired Oblates.
The group also took a break from meeting discussions to learn more about their Oblate host and St. Augustine Church, which is the oldest African-American Catholic parish in the U.S. The parish was founded in 1841 by free people of color and the grounds were once part of a slave plantation. During a tour led by Fr. Emmanuel Mulenga OMI, pastor of St Augustine, the group learned more about the history of the Church property and paid a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Slave. The JPIC Committee also enjoyed lunch with local Oblates.
The US JPIC Advisory Committee is a mix of Oblates and laypersons passionate about issues of justice, economic development and ecology. They serve as a sounding board for the JPIC Office.
Current US JPIC Advisory Committee members are:
- Dr. Victor Carmona, Chair, Assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego
- Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI, is OMI JPIC Director & Chief of Faith Consistent Investing – OIP Investment Trust
- George Ngolwe, is Associate Director, OMI JPIC
- Mr. Gary Huelsmann, is Chief Executive Officer at Caritas Family Solutions, Belleville, IL
- Ms. Patti Radle, is Co-Director of Inner City Development, San Antonio, TX
- Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, is Director of the Oblate Ecology Initiative, Belleville, IL
- Fr. Ray Cook, OMI, is Oblate Council Representative & Director & Chaplain, Catholic Student Center, Rice University, Houston, TX
- Fr. Daniel LeBlanc, OMI, is International JPIC Office and Oblate UN Representative – New York
Also in attendance were Rowena Gono (Communications – OMI JPIC) and Bayor Chantal (Office Coordinator)
As a ministry for the Province, JPIC has several ongoing opportunities to support this ministry; either as a committee member or you can join a network of JPIC active supporters and sponsors.
If you are interested please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May You Be Blessed this Easter! April 18th, 2019
May you and your family be blessed as we celebrate the true meaning of Easter.
A Question of Values: Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI among ICCR members interviewed in new film April 8th, 2019
A Question of Values is a 15-minute video produced by Swanson Film – Peter Swanson on the 45+ year history of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR).
It tells the compelling story of ICCR and how the organization inspired an investment philosophy that has changed corporate behavior. Throughout history there have been calls to inject moral values into investment strategies, but never has it been done in a more organized and impactful way as is being done by ICCR. From its roots in the anti-apartheid movement to currently representing over 100 billion dollars in assets the organization has pioneered the principles of shareholder engagement.
Read more about the film.
Immigration: Dream Act of 2019 April 2nd, 2019
A bipartisan bill entitled the Dream Act of 2019 (S. 874) was introduced in the Senate on March 26, 2019. If passed, the Dream Act of 2019 would provide some Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and other Dreamers a path to earn lawful permanent residence and a pathway to citizenship in the only country they have ever known since childhood.
Additionally, on March 12, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6) was introduced in the House of Representatives and has more than 200 co-sponsors. The American Dream and Promise Act would provide qualified DACA recipients protection from deportation and an earned pathway to citizenship. American Dream and Promise Act would also provide lawful permanent resident status for eligible individuals from countries designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).
Many religious leaders and organizations have endorsed the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 and the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. They are urging concerned citizens to pray and advocate on the issue and are calling on elected leaders to muster up the moral courage to pass the bills. His Holiness Pope Francis continues to call for a change of attitude towards migrants and refugees fleeing violence and famine. He also cautions against creating barriers or inciting ‘fear of other’.
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility’s 2019 Spring Conference is well underway this week and posing for a group photo are ( L to R): Rev. David Schilling, Mr. Sharif Jamil, Ms. Christina Herman & Rev. Seamus Finn, OMI.
World Water Day 2019: Leaving No One behind March 22nd, 2019
On this World Water Day 2019, billions of people are still living without safe water, says the United Nations. In a press release on the occasion the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development notes:
Every year, the United Nations celebrate the World Water Day on March 22nd. Many institutions and organizations from different countries celebrate this event, in order to give more visibility to the many, complex, and often worrying water issues.
This year, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development has decided through this Communiqué to support the celebrations that are taking place, since the theme chosen by the UN for March 22nd, 2019 is very meaningful and symbolic: “Leaving no one behind”.
We welcome with gratitude the Message that the Holy Father has addressed to the FAO for this Day, and would like to invite the Bishops’ Conferences and institutions addressing water issues to contribute to its dissemination. Read the full press release and and Pope Francis’ message at this link.