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Catholics to Walk in Solidarity With Immigrants & Refugees March 22nd, 2017

The Archdiocese of St. Louis is organizing a Walk and Mass to show solidarity with our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters. The event will take place on April 8, 2017. Click on the flyer below for more information.

US Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Reflection: “Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times” March 22nd, 2017

On March 22, the U.S Catholic Bishops Administrative Committee issued a pastoral reflection, “Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times,” calling on all Catholics “to accompany migrants and refugees who seek a better life in the United States.” The pastoral statement offers some recommendations on how Catholics in their own small way might offer solidarity for migrants and refugees.

Read USCCB’s pastoral reflection here.

Three-Part Harmony Farm featured on Grounded Women March 13th, 2017

Photo courtesy of Lise Metzger, photographer and author of Grounded Women.

Gail Taylor is owner and manager of Three Part Harmony Farm at the Oblate Residence in Washington, DC. She was recently featured in a 3-part series appearing on the Grounded Women blog. Grounded Women shares the inspiring stories of powerful and committed women farmers in the Washington, DC metro area.  Read the stories here.

Growing a City: Gail Taylor, Part 1

Drive down 4th Street N.E. in Washington, D.C., a fairly active street near Catholic University, and it might be easy not to notice the thriving farm behind a chain-link fence. It’s Three Part Harmony Farm run by Gail Taylor, a key player in the D.C. urban farming scene. The farm’s name defines its core values: Read the full article.

Gail Taylor owns and operates Three Part Harmony Farm on the grounds of the Oblate Residence in Washington, DC. She is a longtime resident of the District, has worked in the Latin America Solidarity community with affordable housing organizations, and is now working with the food sovereignty movement.

Missionary Oblates and Vivat International Co-sponsor Women’s Event @ UN March 10th, 2017

Photo courtesy of Sr. Nathaniel Lee, LSHF

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.

Download the event flyer here.

Honoring Women on International Women’s Day March 9th, 2017

By Bayor Chantal Ngoltoingar
OMI JPIC 2016-17 Volunteer

International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. Different regions of the world mark the day in various ways but the general focus of celebrations is to show women respect, appreciation and love for their economic, political and social achievements.

     The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon stressed that “violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights, a public health pandemic and a major obstacle to sustainable development. It imposes exorbitant costs upon families, communities and economies. The world can’t afford to pay this price. The cost of violence would represent 5.2% of the world economy.”

     Women occupy a special place in the heart of Pope Francis. In a 2016 Twitter post he noted, “So many women are overwhelmed with the burdens of life and the drama of violence! The Lord wants them to be free and their dignity respected.” The pope has also condemned “the serious practice of female genital mutilation in some cultures, but also the inequality of access to dignified workplaces and the places where decisions are made.” The Pope denounces both “abuses in the family circle” but also “the various forms of slavery, which do not constitute a demonstration of masculine force but a cowardly degradation.” On the essential role of women in society and in the church he declared: “Woman is the most beautiful thing God has created.”

         Pope Francis has repeatedly stressed the “special abilities” of women and the way they look at the world. “They convey to us the ability to see beyond,” the Holy Father said, “to understand the world with different eyes, to hear, to see things with a more creative, patient, tender heart seeking to build a more humane and welcoming society.” The Pope also invites us to pray that “in all countries of the world women are honored and respected, and that their irreplaceable social contribution be valued.”

         In the book of Genesis 2:18, we read, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help mate. 21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

         God therefore created woman for man so that they may love one another, and become one flesh, and to grow, multiply and fill the land with children.

     To create the first humans, He made them himself. To procreate God in his love and his sovereignty entrusted the unique role of child bearing to the woman.

      In Genesis 3, we see, sin entering the heart of woman and into the heart of man. Because of this, both have fallen into sin and into death. But the Lord is powerful in his ability to restore that which has been destroyed. The plan of salvation came through the Lord Jesus Christ who was born of a woman, a virgin, and born by the power of the Holy Spirit in the body of a woman. He was formed in the body of Mary in a supernatural way by the Holy Spirit, so that the posterity of the woman would crush the serpent’s head. It was the woman Eve, who brought sin into the world, and it was through the woman, Mary, that the world received salvation through her Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

Bayor comes from Chad, Central Africa and is working on her Masters in social work at the Catholic University of America. She recently published a book about the practice of Female Genital Mutilation in Africa called ” L’obscurite sous le Soleil” translated as “Darkness under the sun.” The book is currently being translated into English.

Fr. John Cox, OMI, Heads Delegation to Advocacy Day in Defense of Life March 3rd, 2017

Minnesota faces real challenges to life and human dignity. Catholics are called to respond and on March 9th Minnesota’s bishops, dynamic Church speakers, and over 1,000 Catholics from across the state will convene in St. Paul for Catholics at the Capitol, a day of inspiration and advocacy organized by the Minnesota Catholic Conference. Topics to be addressed include assisted suicide, school choice, and support for struggling families.

Attendees will be informed about the issues, inspired to bring their faith into the public square, and equipped to have meaningful conversations with their legislators.

Among the attendees and making the four-hour drive from White Earth, MN will be Oblate Fr. John Cox, OMI, of St. Ann’s parish along with others from the diocese of Crookston, Minnesota traveling by bus.

Fr. John Cox, OMI, with Fr. Joe Hitpas, OMI, and Fr. Dan Nassaney, OMI, serve the Catholic community of the White Earth Indian (Ojibwe) Reservation in Northwestern Minnesota.  Fr. John will lead the group visiting legislators representing Minnesota State District 2.

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