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Introducing the Lavista Learning Garden June 17th, 2020
Since its inception in 2001, La Vista Ecological Learning Center has taught that how we eat determines, to a great extent, how we care for creation. That is why we were aligned with the Community Supported Garden at La Vista for 15 years. Since that project ended in 2019, we have established La Vista Learning Garden under the umbrella of the Oblate Ecological Initiative.
The Learning Garden will be a model and gathering place for novices and area participants to learn and practice:
- sustainable gardening skills like creating a garden plan organic soil preparation and fertilization crop rotation choosing vegetables and their planting times methods for harvesting vegetables growing fruit trees native flower propagation a variety of composting methods
- raising and caring for chickens
- backyard beekeeping
- cooking and nutrition
- hand-carving kitchen utensils
- DIY recycled garden decorations
Vernon DePauw is our head gardener and teacher. He is a nationally known wood carver as well as a backyard gardener, poultryman, and beekeeper. Vernon has been a presenter at the Learning Center for several years. Vernon is faithfully supported by his wife Kathy who is also a volunteer.
Sister Maxine collaborates with Vernon to plan, organize, advertise and execute programs.
Volunteers – A small group of volunteers contribute their skills.
This project has been made possible with the support, encouragement and help of Seamus Finn, OMI, and OMI Novitiate Leadership: Pat McGee, Frank Kuczera and Humphrey Milimo.
OMI JPIC Joins Investors Urging the SEC to Mandate Disclosures on COVID-19 Risks & Responses June 16th, 2020
Investors and the general public are struggling to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the economy and the financial markets. At the same time, the federal government is distributing trillions of dollars in financial support to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.
OMI JPIC recently joined 98 investors, state treasurers, public interest groups, labor unions, asset managers & securities law experts to urge the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to institute new disclosure requirements that would allow investors and the public to analyze how companies are acting to protect workers, prevent the spread of the virus, and responsibly use any federal aid they receive.
The Oblate residence and offices are directly across Michigan Avenue from the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is nearby the St John Paul II National Shrine which the President and First Lady planned to visit on Tuesday. In anticipation of the President’s visit, a gathering of demonstrators was sponsored by Catholics for DC, many of whom are colleagues the Oblates work with on a regular basis. Therefore, hundreds of protestors found a front-row seat in the Oblate’s front yard. Oblate participants included Fathers Séamus Finn, Jim Brobst, George Kirwin and Brother Joey Methé.
Read the full story at OMIUSA’s website.
Diplomas testifying to so much more June 1st, 2020
By Patti Radle
(Mrs. Patti Radle is president of the San Antonio Independent School District Board of Trustees & a longtime JPIC Committee member)
Dear Graduating Class of 2020:
San Antonio is such a compassionate city. It is easy to understand why we have such caring people working in our school systems. Understanding compassion to be the ability to recognize and sympathize with the pain of others, it is with this position that the hearts of teachers, staff, parents and siblings suffer with you.
We have seen you dream for 12 to 14 years of donning the gown and cap, and walking across the stage to finally receive that piece of paper that says you are accomplished and ready for your future.
We will celebrate you! It might not be what you imagined with the full pomp and circumstance of the traditional ceremony — that exclamation point of all your accomplishments. This virus has us all trying to figure it out, abiding by safety guidelines. In person? Virtually? A combination?
How can you — how can any of us — handle this disappointment?
Perhaps it is possible with a different vision. You will have the diploma to hang on the wall. But if you pay close attention to everything happening around you today, it will tell a very different story that will define a milestone in your life and the life of the world. Not of a walk across the stage but of a walk through a very extraordinary time.
You can tell your children that the diploma on the wall stands as a certification of living at a time:
Laudato Si’@ 5: Reflect, Pray & Take Action, May 16-24, 2020 May 15th, 2020
Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home was released at the end of May 2015. Missionary Oblates JPIC joined Catholics in welcoming Laudato Si’ and have since worked to integrate the themes into our justice and peace work. As we observe the encyclical’s five-year anniversary, we invite you to join us as we reflect on a few of the encyclical’s themes.
The ecological crisis, Pope Francis wrote, is a summons to profound interior conversion—to renew our relationships with God, one another, and the created world – The lessons of the global financial crisis have not been assimilated, and we are learning all too slowly the lessons of environmental deterioration. (#109)
Laudato Si’: Poor and Vulnerable
“The poorest areas and countries are less capable of adopting new models for reducing environmental impact because they lack the wherewithal to develop the necessary processes and to cover their costs. We must continue to be aware that, regarding climate change, there are differentiated responsibilities” (#52)
- How does preferential option for the poor and vulnerable call us to respond to Laudato Si’?
Laudato Si’: Global Solidarity
“Interdependence obliges us to think of one world with a common plan…A global consensus is essential for confronting the deeper problems, which cannot be resolved by unilateral actions on the part of individual countries. Such a consensus could lead, for example, to planning a sustainable and diversified agriculture, developing renewable and less polluting forms of energy, encouraging a more efficient use of energy, promoting a better management of marine and forest resources, and ensuring universal access to drinking water.” (#164)
- How do you express solidarity with people in your community and around the world?
Laudato Si’: Common Good
“The notion of the common good also extends to future generations. The global economic crises have made painfully obvious the detrimental effects of disregarding our common destiny, which cannot exclude those who come after us. We can no longer speak of sustainable development apart from intergenerational solidarity” (#159)
- With Whom are you called to dialogue about future of the common home? Pope Francis calls for dialogue that include everyone. Who should be included?
Find more ways here on how you can Reflect, Pray and Take Action to Celebrate the 5th anniversary of Laudato Si’.
- Vatican Laudato Si Week page: https://laudatosiweek.org/
- Activities, prayers and resources from Catholic Climate Covenant and partners:
- Archdiocese of Chicago will each day host a virtual presentation on Zoom that focuses on different facets of caring for our common home:
- Watch the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ roundtable conversation as part of #LaudatoSiWeek2020! On May 20th head to http://ow.ly/NLSv50zGqeC at 2pm ET to watch live!
- USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development has several new and updated bilingual resources.
- Join Franciscan Action Network on Tuesday, May 19th Laudato Si’ for a webinar in celebration of the 5th anniversary of the encyclical’s release. Register to join the Zoom webinar, however it will be streamed live on their Facebook page
OMI JPIC Reflection On Hope in Uncertain Times May 12th, 2020
During the Coronavirus pandemic, Oblate ministries reflect on their work and provide reflections of hope. The OMI USA JPIC team is grateful to present a snapshot of their work. Video narration by Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI.