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On Earth Day 2017 Let Us Thank God for Creation April 18th, 2017
Earth Day, annually celebrated on April 22, is the largest secular observance in the world. It was first observed in 1970. Today the Earth Day Network coordinates worldwide events in over than 193 countries. On Earth Day 2016, the United States, China and 120 other countries signed the landmark Paris Climate Agreement that went into effect later that year.
Environmental and Climate Literacy, this year’s theme, encourages citizens’ education on key concepts to prepare them for advocacy.
Oblates Give Miners A Voice March 23rd, 2017
(Originally published on OMIUSA.org)
By Mike Viola
The Missionary Oblates are expanding their role as advocates for the rights of miners around the world.
Father Seamus Finn, O.M.I. of the U.S. Oblates’ Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office, participated in a day of reflection on the mining industry sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Mining CEOs, representatives of the Pontifical Council and religious congregations from around the world examined ways mining companies can improve their record on human and environmental responsibilities while also achieving their business objectives.
Father Finn said the day of reflection showed mining executives that their success should not be judged only in monetary terms, but also by the impact their companies are having on the lives of people.
“I now understand better the meaning of a people-directed engagement approach,” said David Noko, Vice President of Sustainability for AngloGold Ashanti, one of the world’s largest gold mining companies. “I am more empowered to include in my business strategy a new way of engagement founded on solid principles of social good and environmental sustainability.”
Father Finn also attended a dialogue in Lima, Peru on the impact of mining in local communities in Latin America. He is helping to develop strategies and networks to address the destructive impacts of mining. “Extractives, mining oil and gas exploration play an important role across the world while also imposing great disruption and damage in local communities and on the environment,” said Fr. Finn. “The search for a way forward that addresses the most serious of these negative impacts has been taken up by a number of different initiatives.”
Father Gilbeto Pauwels, O.M.I. Director of the Center of Ecology and Andean People in Oruro, Bolivia knows firsthand the devastating effects mining can have on communities. The Oblates in Bolivia have been fighting against this injustice for more than 50 years.
In 1960 the Oblates started Radio Pio XII to broadcast support for Bolivian tin miners. The station still broadcasts today despite strong opposition to its message.
Father Roberto Durette, O.M.I. has been the Director of Radio Pio XII for nearly 40 years. Despite having survived several assassination attempts, Fr. Roberto is undeterred in his passionate fight for the rights of the miners.
Father Finn said the day of reflection deepened his awareness of the need to advocate on behalf of miners. “The roundtable at the Vatican was not just a one-time event,” he said. “This is an ongoing project.”
Missionary Oblates and Vivat International, along with the NGO Committee on Social Development, the NGO Committee on Financing for Development (chaired by Fr. Daniel LeBlanc, OMI) and a host of supporting organizations, including the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, are hosting an event on March 13, 2017 at the UN Conference on the Status of Women (CSW).
The goal of this event is to generate substantive discussions around the topic of financial inclusion as a tool for women’s empowerment and poverty eradication.
Message From U.S. Provincial, Fr. William Antone, OMI on Some Recent Executive Actions February 8th, 2017
The U.S. Provincial of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Fr. William Antone, OMI, has issued a statement in response to some recent executive actions by the new administration. You can read the full statement and download it below.
Dear Brother Oblates and Friends of the Oblates:
I hope this finds each of you well.
There are many contrasting voices in our nation these days. I have spoken with Fr. Antonio Ponce, director of the province office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, and asked him and the JPIC office to assist us, as appropriate, with some resources, reflections and suggestions for action. It is important that we, as heirs to the charism of St. Eugene, continue to be engaged as missionaries and pastors in the struggle to uphold the dignity and defend the lives of our brothers and sisters who are the poor with their many faces. Among these faces, in my own heart, I often see the faces of immigrants and refugees.
How can we be engaged? I believe we can begin with personal reflection and study, and by respectfully listening to one another and to those to and with whom we minister.