News Archives » Homepage Slider
Catholic University Students Meet for Evening Prayers in French at Oblate Administrative Offices November 6th, 2019
In anticipation of All Saints’ Day, students from Catholic University (Dept. of Modern Languages) met for evening prayers in French at the Oblate Administrative offices across the street from the school.
There were twelve participants at the prayer event, organized by Br.Joey Methé, OMI. The students later publicly extended a warm thank you to Frère Joey for hosting the prayer group, posting about the event on social media and the school’s website.
There are tentative plans for OMI JPIC to host more of these events in the future.
Taking a Stand: ICCR Hosts Annual Event on Protecting Human Rights Defenders November 6th, 2019
On Tuesday, October 29, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) hosted its annual event, “Taking a Stand: Corporate Action to Protect Human Rights Defenders” in New York City. The event focused on protecting human rights defenders from the threats they face. Moderator, Chris Jochnick, led an exciting discussion with Ines Osman of MENA Rights Group; Nicole Karlebach of Oath: A Verizon Company; and Bennett Freeman of the Institute for Human Rights and Business.
Later on conference participants, including ICCR Board Chair, Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI, celebrated the event’s success at a reception.
Br. Joey Methé, OMI Professes 2nd Vows October 22nd, 2019
On Thursday, October 17, 2019, Br. Joey Methé, OMI renewed his 2nd vows to the Congregation in the presence of U.S Oblates and his Provincial, Fr. Luc Tardif, OMI of Notre-Dame-du-Cap Province in Quebec, Canada. The renewal of vows was done during a prayer service presided over by Fr. Tom Coughlin and Provincial Tardif offered these words with the assembly: It is with joyful hearts to see you renewing your vows for another year and to commit yourself to live your life as an Oblate authentically and always open to helping others. We are lucky to have you and we bless you as you continue your journey with us.
The OMI JPIC office shares in the joy of Br. Joey’s recommitment for another year and pray God’s grace and blessings on him.
PROFILE: Br. Joey Methé, OMI
Br. Joey Methé, OMI, is a creative professional who has always been passionate about social solidarity and ecological justice. He began his activist work when he was elected President of l’Association des étudiantes et étudiants francophones (AEF) at Laurentian University in Sudbury (Canada), advocating for the linguistic rights of francophone students and fighting for unhindered access to post-secondary education. He then went on to work for the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa for over 9 years as the Communications Director. After years of leadership in the student movement in Canada, he became a religious brother with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate on August 1st, 2018. This was his way to answer Jesus’ call to be in solidarity with those who are forgotten, abandoned and oppressed.
Br. Joey is from Notre-Dame-du-Cap Oblate Province in Canada and is currently studying Theology at the University of St Paul, Ottawa.
He was the 2019 summer intern at the JPIC USA office and has now become a part of the office staff. As an oblate brother in formation, he hopes to learn from the expertise of the JPIC staff, continue his work studying and analyzing the mining/extractives industry, and offer his creative media production skills to the OMI justice, peace and integrity of creation ministry.
2019 World Mission Sunday is October 20 October 18th, 2019
“We entrust the Church’s mission to Mary our Mother. In union with her Son, from the moment of the Incarnation the Blessed Virgin set out on her pilgrim way. She was fully involved in the mission of Jesus, a mission that became her own at the foot of the Cross: the mission of cooperating, as Mother of the Church, in bringing new sons and daughters of God to birth in the Spirit and in faith.”
(Message of Pope Francis for World Mission Day, October 2019)
World Mission Sunday (October 20) is a worldwide day for Catholics to reflect on the baptismal call to mission. World Mission Sunday this year falls within a special Extraordinary Missionary Month. We are called through our baptism to be part of the Church’s missionary efforts, through prayer, self-sacrifice and support of missionary vocations through material aid.
Mission Sunday collection provides vital support and sustains developing Catholic missions around the world especially for dioceses and mission centers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific Islands. The theme for 2019 World Mission Sunday is Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.
In a world where so much divides us, World Mission Sunday rejoices in our unity as missionaries by our Baptism. And it provides an opportunity to support the life-giving presence of the Church among the poor and marginalized in more than 1,111 mission dioceses.
Community Water for Livingstone Diocese, Zambia
Livingstone diocese is at the southern tip of Zambia. It shares borders with Zimbabwe, Botswana Namibia, and Angola. Livingstone diocese does not usually receive adequate rainfall due to its location near two deserts: Namib and Kalahari.
The community has long been facing a water shortage. It has always been a challenge to get running water for bathing, cooking and other needs because the water is pushed through worn out pipes. Sometimes there is no water at all for days. As a result, using buckets residents resort to fetching water from outside the house for cooking and hygiene needs. Also relying on the current water supply are a youth center and girls’ secondary school.
Our goal is to drill a borehole and set up a strong water system which can hold a 5000 liter-tank. The diocesan residence is between the diocesan youth center and St Mary’s Secondary School. Once there is steady water flow at the residence, both the youth center and St Mary’s Secondary School will benefit in the event they
run out of water as is frequently the case. The youth center has about 250 students and St Mary’s Secondary School has 700 girl students.
The current community water shortage greatly affects the students. Instead of concentrating on learning they worry about drawing water for sanitary needs.
A borehole will eliminate all these problems and reduce the incidence of water-borne illnesses.
There are many ways we can respond to this call:
Continue to pray for Missions and please give generously on World Mission Sunday. If you would like to help the Livingstone diocese improve their water system please make your donation through this link and make it out to: Catholic Diocese of Livingstone, Zambia https://www.omiusa.org/index.php/oblate-ministries/support-our-mission/
The work of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in bringing the Gospel to the poorest of the poor is an answer to this call of the Mission and Spirit. Missionary Oblates are dedicated to bringing the good news to the poor in over 60 countries through life in community and in collaboration with men and women of all faiths.
Oblate presence at the Special Synod for Amazon 2019 October 10th, 2019
When Pope Francis announced on October 15, 2017 a new Special Synod for the Pan-Amazon Region, the whole process of listening and dialogue with the Amazonian peoples of nine countries (Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana) found a push that could only come from those who know these cries and concerns, these proposals and challenges. The Latin American Pope with this Pan-Amazonian Synod invites us to dialogue, to discern, to listen, to ask God in order to find new ways for the Church and for an integral ecology.
The Holy Father has called them to participate as Synod Fathers from October 6 to 27 in Rome, where this important ecclesial event will take place, bringing together more than 250 people. They include bishops, missionaries, lay people, experts and special guests, who for three weeks will have the task of discerning with Pope Francis how to put into practice Evangelium gaudium and Laudate sí.
We transmit this great joy to all belonging to the Mazenodian family that two of our brothers will be participants of the Synod to share their lived testimonies with the Amazonian peoples.
Bishop Jan KOT, Bishop of the Diocese of Zé Doca, a territory of the Brazilian Amazon is one of those bishops who represent the Pan-Amazonian Region. Fr. Roberto CARRASCO, of the General Delegation of Peru, has also been elected as a Synod Father from the list of delegates of the Union of Superiors General.
Bishop Kot is an Oblate missionary from Poland. He was the vicar parish priest in Siedlce, Poland, before he arrived in Brazil in 1994. He then served as parish priest, first in Jussarval and then in Vitória di Santo Antão, Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife. He was also the parish priest of the Parish of the Sacred Heart of Mary in Alegre do Fidalgo, in the diocese of San Raimundo Nonato. Since 2014, he has been serving as the Bishop of the Diocese of Zé Doca, right in the Amazonian region of Brazil.
Fr. Roberto Carrasco is completing a degree in Social Communications at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. He worked for four years in the Mission of Aucayacu, Diocese of Huánuco, as director of Radio Amistad. He then moved to the Mission of Santa Clotilde, Napo River, where for seven years he served as the parish vicar. In the Apostolic Vicariate of St. Joseph of the Amazon he served as coordinator of the Indigenous Pastoral as well. He is currently leading a joint initiative called “Amazonia: Casa Común” a space where various religious congregations, Church organizations and civil society organizations interact digitally in their work with the Amazonian peoples. They have prepared more than one hundred activities that will be carried out with the purpose of accompanying the Synod this October 2019.
Both Fr. Roberto Carrasco and Msgr. Jan Kot, with the spirit and charism of St. Eugene De Mazenod are present for the development of the Pan-Amazonian Synod, living and sharing that collegiality which is nothing but “walking together” for a Church that also has an Amazonian face to it.
Investment Professionals Convene at Marquette University to Discuss Socially Responsible Investing October 10th, 2019
Rev. Séamus Finn, OMI, was the keynote speaker at Marquette’s first symposium on Socially Responsible Investing. Finn’s keynote explored the history of socially responsible investing, drawing on personal stories from his background and work as board chair of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR).
The event also sparked fruitful knowledge sharing and networking among Marquette students and faculty, and Milwaukee investment professionals. A wide-ranging panel discussion examined a variety of strategies and challenges on the minds of socially responsible investing practitioners and advocates.
Talk of socially responsible investing permeated campus as Finn guest lectured in Theology and Finance classes during his three-day visit to campus.
Socially Responsible Investing from the 1970’s to today
Finn noted two events as the genesis of the modern movement toward socially responsible investing: apartheid in South Africa and the use of chemical weapons in Vietnam. Shareholder advocacy was the method the ICCR used to combat these injustices. In each of these cases, shareholders demonstrated the ability to influence companies such as General Motors, Ford, and various legacy banks for their role fueling apartheid in South Africa, and Dow Chemical for manufacturing Napalm and Agent Orange used in Vietnam.
Since then, the ICCR has engaged with numerous corporations to improve human rights, food safety and sustainability, environmental health, water safety and sustainability, financial services, and global and domestic health. Though ICCR is not an exclusively Catholic organization, the influence of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) is evident in these priorities. Finn singled out the USCCB’s 1986 Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy titled “Economic Justice for All.”
So, how does ICCR do this? Through a variety of forms of shareholder advocacy, including stockholder resolutions, voting proxies, corporate dialogues, and other strategies.
Some tools Finn offered for promoting socially responsible investing are positive and negative screening, international norms-based screening, proxy voting, integration of environmental, societal, and governmental (ESG) factors, sustainability themed investing, and impact/community investing.
Contemporary issues in Socially Responsible Investing
Finn shared what he sees as some of the most important issues among socially responsible investors today:
- Climate change
- Private prisons
- Access to firearms
- Opioid addiction
- Artificial intelligence and robotics
These are not only concerns within the financial/corporate sector, Finn noted, they are a result of societal concern and shareholder interest. Furthermore, he noted that public interest in climate change is unique in that its impact reaches across all sectors.
Finn concluded his remarks with a poignant statement on what is at stake across all of the issues socially responsible investing targets.Despite the unprecedented standard of living present for most people in the United States, Finn cautioned against simply accepting the United States as a “promised land of political freedom and economic opportunities.” It’s imperative to remember the cost of this, Finn said, as we must recall with a sober humility the bloodshed that has contributed to the prosperity we enjoy today.
The importance of recognizing those who have suffered and working to prevent future suffering is integral to participating in SRI and to promoting peace through the business sector.
Socially Responsible Investing Panel
Following Finn’s speech, the symposium transitioned into a panel of professionals from the Milwaukee area. The panel was moderated by Christopher Merker, an adjunct professor of finance at Marquette who teaches a course on sustainable finance. The panelists were Laura Gough (Baird — Investment Consulting), Nadelle Grossman (Marquette University — Law & Governance), Joe Henzlik (ISS — Sustainability & Governance), Leo Harmon (Mesirow Financial — Asset Management), and Conner Darrow (Marquette University — AIM Student).
They discussed a variety of topics including:
- Individual definitions of SRI
- Screening and the importance of ESG in SRI
- Thoughts on the Business Roundtable
- Fiduciary law and obligations
- Driving forces in SRI
- Using SRI in small/mid-cap funds
- Trends in shareholder engagement
- Linking pay to ESG results
- Fossil fuel divestment
- Actionable ideas to implement SRI
The event concluded with a reception, where the attendees, panelists, and keynote speakers continued to discuss SRI and the variety of implications that it has in the promotion of peace and justice on a local, national, and international level.
The Socially Responsible Investing Symposium was organized by the Center for Peacemaking, College of Business Administration, and Finance Department. The event was sponsored by Baird, CFA Society Milwaukee, Mesirow Financial, Sage Advisory, and Federated Investors.