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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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New Solar Hot Water System Installed at Albergue Las Memorias August 18th, 2017

This spring OMI JPIC launched a “Hospice Vegetable Garden Initiative” at Albergue Las Memorias A.C., a residential hospice facility in Tijuana, Mexico. Because volunteers provided much of the labor for the garden, money was left over to install a solar water heater system at the residence.  So recently JPIC director Fr. Antonio Ponce, along with Oblate seminarians Erickson, Pascal, and Mr Orosco (a resident at Casa Memorias and plumber by trade) worked on installing the system. The installation was a success and residents now have hot running water. Prior to this they used wood to heat water because they could not afford gas.

(From L to R) Mr. Orosco (resident at Albergue Las Memorias), Fr. Antonio Ponce, and Pascal.

(From L to R) Erickson, Mr Orosco (resident at Albergue Las Memorias), and Pascal.

READ MORE ABOUT THE HOSPICE VEGETABLE GARDEN.

 


Oblates Gather with Archbishop Moreno of Tijuana August 16th, 2017

Oblates gathered with Archbishop Francisco Moreno of Tijuana. — (L-R standing) Fr. Art Flores, Fr. James Chambers, Fr. Lucio Castillo, Fr. James Brobst, Archbishop Moreno, Fr. Louis Studer (Provincial), Fr. Webert Merilan, (L-R kneeling) Fr. Jesse Esqueda, Fr. Julio Narváez

Oblates gathered with Archbishop Francisco Moreno of Tijuana. — (L-R standing) Br. Rusty Gardiner, Fr. David Uribe, Fr. Fernando Velazquez, Fr. Webert Merilan, Fr. Jose A Ponce, Fr. Juan Manuel Gaspar, Fr. James Brobst, Fr. Louis Studer (Provincial) , Archbishop Moreno, Fr. Richard Sudlik, Fr. Greg Gallagher, Fr. Emmanuel Mulenga, Fr. Francisco Gomez, Fr. James Chambers, Fr. David Muñoz, Fr. Daniel Ziegler Fr. Art Flores, ((L-R kneeling) Fr. Jesse Esqueda, Fr. Julio Narváez, Fr. Lucio Castillo, Br. Jason Rossignol

 

 


July 30, 2017 is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons July 27th, 2017

Every year, millions of children, women and men fall into the hands of traffickers, lured by fake promises and deceit. Human trafficking has become a global multi-billion-dollar enterprise, affecting nearly every country in the world. 

On the 2017 World Day against Trafficking in Persons, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) calls on all to ‘act to protect and assist trafficked persons.’ The theme highlights the impact of conflict and natural disasters and the multiple risks of human trafficking that many people face. It addresses a key issue concerning trafficking responses: that most people are never identified as trafficking victims and therefore cannot access most of the assistance or protection provided.

On the 2017 World Day against Trafficking in Persons remember the victims of this crime and show your support. 

Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Learn more about the issue at this anti-trafficking website.

In her book Stolen, Katariina (Kat) Rosenblatt, Phd, writes about her personal experience of being a survivor of sex trafficking, her escape and subsequent work with American children.  

Read a book review I Have a Voice – Trafficked Women – in their own words by Mary O’Herron

Visit the UN Office on Drugs and Crime for more information and ways to get involved

 


U.S Oblate Novices Support Garden Fundraiser & Concert at La Vista July 18th, 2017

 Pictures from the 2017 Pollinator Garden Fundraiser/Concert, Godfrey, IL
(Courtesy of Fr. Jack Lau, OMI)

La Vista is a part of Oblate Ecological Initiative, a ministry of the US Oblates Province efforts on priority for the Integrity of Creation.

The pollinator garden is one of three restoration projects of La Vista. It aims to offset threats to the monarch butterfly migration, assure a diverse food source throughout the season, and provide herbicide-free nectar for a variety of pollinators.

The pollinator garden was created in 2014 in response to threats to the monarch butterfly migration and bee colony collapse. Volunteers weeded and seeded a 6,000 square foot area.  An Eagle Scout troop made four benches for the garden.  The garden continues to be developed each year.

Since pollinators are responsible for every third bite of food we eat, and because their disappearance creates a hole in the ecosystem, we consider this effort important in contributing to the integrity of creation. 

Monarch butterflies are migrants traveling from the North to Mexico and back yearly.

Read more about the work of the Oblate Ecological Initiative at http://www.lavistaelc.org/


Las Casa Memorias Hospice Vegetable Garden in Tijuana, Mexico June 8th, 2017

Hospice Vegetable Garden in Tijuana, Mexico
Creating a Community of Hope

Missionary Oblates JPIC in partnership with the local catholic community in Tijuana, Mexico launched a hospice vegetable garden in Albergue Las Memorias A.C. Tijuana is a city of 2.2 million people and La Morita Colonia, where the project is launched, is one of the most impoverished and fastest growing neighborhoods of 300,000 people. The Albergue Las Memorias (Hostel of Memories) has been operating for the last 12 years as a residential hospice facility and the only one of its kind in Tijuana. It provides care and a safe place for approximately 130 indigent men, women and children infected with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Many of the residents have been rejected by society and abandoned by their families. Albergue Las Memorias gives patients shelter, medical attention, and if it comes to that, a place to die in dignity. It also gives them an incentive to avoid drugs and alcohol if they have an addiction.

A Shared Commitment

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate has been working in La Morita, Tijuana, Mexico since 1996. Oblate priests work at San Eugenio de Mazenod Parish, serving La Morita’s residents and managing about 14 sites or chapels, Alberque Las Memorias being one of them. The Oblates are involved in celebrating Catholic masses, confessions, visiting people at their homes, especially the sick, etc. At Albergue las Memorias they provide support by celebrating masses, confessions, funerals and help with food at least once a week. The San Eugenio Parish’s territory covers about 7.5 square miles. The parish has ministered to thousands of the more than 300,000 men, women and children who live in the Colonia La Morita and surrounding areas, on the outer edge of the city of Tijuana.

Strengthening Communities


After several visits to the residents and community at Albergue Las Memorias, Missionary Oblates JPIC identified the need for a hospice vegetable garden. We believe this local supported imitative will empower vulnerable populations, helping them lead ‘dignified lives regardless of their physical, mental or psychosocial limitations.’ Young residents make up a significant number of the facility’s population. The garden will provide fresh and reliable food, greatly needed for the many patients: the shelter often struggles with having enough food for everybody. The plan for the vegetable is to start producing enough food for residents, and eventually surplus will be sold in the community. Profits from the sale of produce will fund the upkeep of the facility.

Mobilizing Partners

To fund the project, Missionary Oblates JPIC initially pursued foundation grants but had no success. Believing in the facility’s vision, we reached out to groups at an Oblate parish and other interested individuals. “Families for Life” and “Projection Ministry of Santa Rosa” were among the groups that provided financial support. From Santa Clarita, C.A. families forming the movement “World Marriage Encounter” also donated to the project. While some gave financially, others volunteered their time to work on the garden. Able-bodied patients at the shelter also helped. We are very grateful for all those who made this initiative a reality. We ask that you keep the Hospice Vegetable Garden Initiative in your prayers and stay tuned for future updates on progress. We are thankful to those who have taken a stand by supporting and contributing to these vulnerable people at the hospice in Tijuana.

For more information on how to get updates about the Hospice garden visit this page: www.omiusajpic.org

If you would like to support this project please visit this website.

 


Oblates of Jaffna and Colombo in disappeared people’s protest June 5th, 2017

 

Oblates in Jaffna and Colombo (Sri Lanka) stand in solidarity with Families of the Disappeared and on May 30th, the Oblate Fathers of both Colombo and Jaffna Provinces joined in a street protest conducted by the Families of the Disappeared people during and after the war. The public protest was launched after 100 days of Day & Night protest in Kilunochchi town. “The campaign is successful in many aspects,” said Fr. Ashok Stephen, OMI, “including participation, clear articulation of demands as well as the people’s determination to continue the struggle.”

Eleven Oblate fathers of both provinces, Jaffna and Colombo, joined in the protest and were the largest religious group present there.

 

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