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Bangladesh: Fr. Valentine Talang, OMI, Visits Chittagong Hill Tracts October 10th, 2018
Fr. Valentine Talang, OMI, recently paid a pastoral visit to a Tripura village in the Chittagong hill tracts at Bandarban district of Bangladesh that borders Myanmar and India.
Chittagong Hill Tracts has a long political history in Bangladesh. It covers 3 districts (Rangamati, Khakrachory and Bandarban) and most of these areas are mountainous. There are 13 indigenous tribes and Bengali people who live in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The Oblates are working in two parishes namely Lama and Alikodom, under Bandarban district. I am working at Alikodom parish as an assistant priest and a member of the JPIC team in the Bangladesh Delegation.
Click here to read about Fr. Valentine’s visit to Chittagong Hill Tracts earlier this year to celebrate Easter Mass.
October is Respect Life Month October 9th, 2018
October is Respect Life Month! This year’s Respect Life theme is “Every Life: Cherished, Chosen, Sent,” highlighting our call to build a culture of life as missionary disciples. It’s time for us to renew our commitment to defending those most vulnerable in our midst. There are many ways we can get involved in our parishes, and our own prayer lives.
In a recent statement, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), wrote on July 6, urging that support for Roe v. Wade not be used as a litmus test for judicial nominees in their deliberations about the recent vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States. You can read Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston’s entire statement here. Statement to the members of the Senate.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has prepared a number of excellent resources to share with members of parish communities. Many of these are available to print for free. Visit the FAQ page to learn more about available materials and suggested ways to use them: http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/respect-life-program/2018/respect-life-program-faq.cfm
The Missionary Oblates JPIC continues to advocate that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.” CCC 2270.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has a strong commitment to pro-life issues and their website is rich with related information. Visit the USCCB Pro-Life Initiative
Above all, let us remember to pray for an end to abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, war, and all violations of human life. “Only with prayer – prayer that storms the heavens for justice and mercy, prayer that cleanses our hearts and souls – will the culture of death that surrounds us today be replaced with a culture of life.” -Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Catholic Bishops
Fr. Séamus P. Finn OMI, Among Presenters at 2018 G20 Interfaith Forum October 1st, 2018
The G20 Interfaith Forum took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina from September 26th – 28th, 2018 in advance of the G20 2018. The 2018 theme is “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development: Religious Contributions for a Dignified Future.”
(The work of the OIP Trust, the Missionary Oblates and the members of the ICCR www.iccr.org was represented on two panels by Rev. Séamus P. Finn OMI)
The Imperatives of Better Governance: Fighting Corruption is a Sine Qua Non for Global Agendas
Panelists from regions throughout the world referenced the teachings of the faith traditions on the ways that corruption is reflected in the lives of individuals and in the institutions and organizations that they rely on each day. It was recognized often in their comments that corruption remains both a deep disorder and disease that operates in all societies across the world.
Generalizations about groups of individuals and specific cultures and particular industry sectors are not very helpful in any analysis of this topic and in fact can be instrumental in profiling and stereotyping groups of people and certain organizations and institutions.
Recent decades have shown a marked breakdown in the trust and confidence that many citizens have in their governments and many customers, clients and investors have in their institutions and organizations. Much of this rupture has been traced to the arrogance, misbehavior and lack of responsiveness of representatives, leaders and managers.
The erosion of this trust and confidence will continue to result in serious consequences for the social bonds that hold a society together and on the many relationships that individuals rely on as they seek to live fulfilling and meaningful lives. The importance of adopting education curricula in all countries that are comprehensive and not hostile to the teachings and experience of faith traditions was emphasized in the formation of individuals and communities that are able to resist the vices that enable and promote corruption.
Religions have an important role to play is helping people and institutions to create and promote cultures that value transparency, accountability and trust while protecting and sustaining institutions that promote the common good and care for Mother Earth, our common home.
Human Rights, Faith and Sustainable Development: Institutional Contributions to Global Priorities.
This panel reviewed the numerous ways that faith traditions have worked to integrate their beliefs and values in the ways that they manage their assets both fixed and liquid. A question that often guides this review is to ask if we know what our money is doing while we sleep or whether our property and institutions are seen as witnessing to the principles that our institutions are founded on. This has often been accomplished by refraining from investments in certain sectors and companies as well as actively engaging the managers of those institutions where investments are held.
The panelists recalled the contributions of the faith traditions to the establishment and expansion of microfinance and microcredit as well as their work on revolving loan funds and community development funds. Much of this work has recently been enhanced by giving priority to “Impact Investing” whereby practitioners are no longer focused on what they want to exclude from their portfolios but on the projects, sectors and funds that they want to support. The Sustainable Development Goals adopted by 193 countries at the UN in 2015 provide a good working framework for those who are committed to “Impact Investing”.
Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI, Visits Oblate Parish in Edinburgh, Scotland September 26th, 2018
On September 21 Fr Séamus Finn, OMI, visited St Mary’s Star of the Sea, an Oblate parish in the Leith district of Edinburgh, Scotland which falls under the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh. The Oblates have had a missionary presence there since 1849.
September 21 was also the feast day of St Matthew and the day’s schedule included Noon liturgy followed by fellowship. Fr. Séamus met with the pastoral team to discuss JPIC issues and programs and to hear about projects the parish is pursuing. They also talked about Faith Consistent Investing and how people of faith, as well as religious institutions, need to continue pushing their financial consultants to help them integrate their beliefs into the investment opportunities and funds that they recommend to them.
St Mary’s Star of the Sea has an active justice, peace and integrity of creation group. They work on practical projects, focusing on a different theme every couple of months. Some of their recent JPIC pursuits include:
- Fairtrade – the parish participated in Fairtrade Fortnight, a two- week annual campaign organized by the Fairtrade Foundation that invites people to consider fair trade options when making purchases, including in the workplace.
- Sanitation –they successfully organized a fundraiser and raised money to purchase 10 latrines for people in a developing country through the humanitarian group Toilet Twinning
The parish also joined Christians worldwide to celebrate the 2018 Season of Creation – www.seasonofcreation.org – which kicked off on September 1 with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. The observance runs from September 1 and ends on October 4, also the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Major Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, and Anglican organizations have joined to encourage the 2.2 billion Christians worldwide to pray and act on ecological issues.
Oblates Host 2018 Scholars from McLean Center for the Study of Culture & Values (MCSCV) September 12th, 2018
(Click twice on photos to enlarge)
Rev. George F. McLean, OMl (1929-2016), was the Founder of Catholic University of America’s (CUA) Center for the Study of Culture and Values, and the International Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (RVP, www.crvp.org). He taught philosophy at CUA from 1956-1993 but devoted his entire life to promoting dialogue and cooperation among different peoples, cultures and religions around the globe.
In 2017 to honor Fr. McLean the university officially inaugurated the CUA McLean Center for the Study of Culture and Values (MCSCV).Fr. McLean initiated an annual seminar in 1984 to invite scholars and philosophers from diverse cultures and civilizations to participate in five to ten week seminars in Washington, D.C. to discuss current and urgent philosophical issues. The program continues today with the 2018 seminar taking place from August 20-September 21 under the theme Power, Truth, and Trust: In Search of More Human Governance. Participants in this year’s program come from Belgium, China, India, Italy/Portugal, Poland, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and Vietnam.
To mark the 2nd anniversary of Fr. McLean’s death, on September 6 the Oblate Community in Washington, DC and participants from the McLean Center celebrated a Memorial Mass in the residence’s chapel. This was followed by lunch and discussions on “governance and trust” led by Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI.
For more information about the Center visit http://www.crvp.org/McLean/McLean.html
Poem for the occasion contributed by: Professor Hu Yeping, Executive Director, McLean Center for the Study of Culture and Values
Today sees the moment of yesterday
humbly walk into the goodbyes
full of gratified blessings, unutterable peace
continuing another dialogical conversation
among unseeable yet named souls
in a world of sole beings
housed by trees and stones, stars and rainbows
full of wordless silence, soundless smiles
forever and ever
in you, in me, in many
from yesterday to today
What a Day!
(Washington, DC, September 6, 2018)
Socially Responsible Investment Coalition (SRIC) Publishes 2018 Annual Report September 4th, 2018
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate – JPIC partners with the Socially Responsible Investment Coalition (SRIC), a group of religious organizations or their affiliates working together to monitor corporate social responsibility and to empower its members to use their economic power (as shareholders and consumers) to promote social and environmental justice for all people.
SRIC is a non-profit religiously sponsored organization headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. Institutions and individuals belonging to SRIC work to balance their economic policies and practices with their fair and social concerns. As investors and shareholders, members act to influence corporations toward social responsibility.
SRIC assists members with their corporate shareholder engagements through dialogues and resolution filling. SRIC’s 2018 annual report is now available. Download the 2018 Annual Report.
Visit Socially Responsible Investment Coalition (SRIC)’s website to learn more about their work.