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2017 Novena of Prayer for Oblate Vocations May 17th, 2017

From May 21st to May 29th, Missionary Oblate communities and parishes around the world are encouraged to offer prayers and reflection for vocations to Oblate life and mission. May 21 is the Feast of St. Eugene and May 29 is the anniversary of Blessed Joseph Gerard, OMI, the Oblate Missionary who worked in Lesotho. These nine days bring oblates, associates, parishioners, mission partners and friends together in prayer and reflection on oblate life and mission.

The Oblate JPIC office would like to invite you to pray and take action for the poor and marginalized people in your local community and around the world.

We’ve prepared a two-page novena on justice and peace themes. Commit to one, some or all of the days of Novena for Oblate Vocations.

Please also share this resource with others and invite your community to use it to promote vocations to the Missionary Oblate family.

Download the Novena here.

Support our Haitian Brothers and Sisters: Extend the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status May 15th, 2017

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate JPIC is joining with other Catholic groups and interfaith coalitions in calling to extend the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for an additional 18 months.

People of faith are concerned that thousands of hardworking Haitians in the U.S. may be at risk of having their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) terminated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians is the right action to take because Haitian migrants will temporarily remain in the United States and support themselves legally while Haiti is being rebuilt.

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate has been present in Haiti since the 1950’s. Today Oblates in Haiti are still doing active missionary work in the northeastern part of the country. In the United States, Missionary Oblates are doing Catholic parish work, ministering to diverse immigrants including Haitians.

TAKE ACTION: Join the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops / Migration and Refugee Services to call to Extend TPS for Haitians

Cardinal Urges Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Participants to Live a Unique Statement May 8th, 2017

By Fr. Harry Winter, OMI

As Antonio Ponce, OMI, and I took part in the 2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, held in Minneapolis May 1-4, we listened to a first ever message from a cardinal to the participants of this event (started in 1969 and held annually). Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, asked us to examine and live together the short and vital 5-page statement “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World, Recommendations for Conduct.”  

One reason the document is so extraordinary is that it was approved by three very different groups: the World Council of Churches, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the World Evangelical Alliance. Another reason is that it begins by affirming, “Mission belongs to the very being of the church,” and then bonds social justice, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue.

Although approved in late January, 2011, we are all puzzled and disturbed that this statement remains virtually unknown. The 400 participants in the Week of Prayer have resolved to make it publicized.


Most Rev. Denis J. Madden, retired Auxiliary Bishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Participants of the National Workshop on Christian Unity 2017

Three Part Harmony Farm and WhyHunger Interviewed by ABC News May 3rd, 2017

Ahead of the April 29 Climate March in Washington, D.C., on Friday, April 28 Veronica Johnson of the local ABC7 news affiliate visited Three Part Harmony Farm with WhyHunger to learn more about their missions to “end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food and by supporting grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment.”


Visit Three Part Harmony Farm’s website.

Learn more about poverty and hunger at

OMI JPIC Hosts Bi-annual Meeting of Advisory Committee May 1st, 2017

Last week JPIC hosted the US JPIC Advisory Committee at a twice-yearly meeting to review and share progress on JPIC’s work. The Committee offered feedback on recent JPIC initiatives and discussed future opportunities.

The meeting’s highlights included viewing and discussing the film, Doctrine of Discovery, presented by Gary Elie and Carleton of the Presbyterian Eco Ministry movement in St. Louis, MO.  They shared their insights on dismantling the ‘doctrine of discovery’, which Christian explorers used to lay claim to indigenous lands and called on the faith community to pursue environmental justice and protect the rights of indigenous peoples.


Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, shares latest happenings at La Vista Ecological learning Center in Godfrey, IL.

A second guest presenter was Fr. George Kirwin, OMI, archival researcher and former president of Oblate College, who gave a fascinating talk on the history of the Oblate property in Washington, DC from 1916 to present.

(From L to R) Bayor Chantal, JPIC Volunteer, Fr. Daniel LeBlanc, OMI and Fr. Quilin Bouzi, OMI

The group also toured 3-Part Harmony Farm, the District’s first commercial farm operation located on the grounds of the Oblate residence and listened to a owner/manager Gail Taylor’s update on the farm’s growth.

On Saturday, April 29, some committee members and staff attended the People’s Climate March in Washington, DC, a national event coinciding with President Trump’s 100th day in office.

(From L to R) Fr. Antonio Ponce, OMI, Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI, Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, Christine Ilewski-Huelsmann (Gary’s wife) and Gary Huelsmann (Committee Chairman)

The US JPIC Advisory Committee is a mix of Oblates and laypersons passionate on issues of justice, economic development and ecology. They serve as a sounding board for the JPIC Office. The US OMI Provincial Administration is inviting new members to serve on the committee. Oblates are always encouraged to consider joining this committee. If you are interested please let us know at
Current US JPIC Advisory Committee members are: 
  • Mr. Gary Huelsmann, Chair, is Chief Executive Officer at Caritas Family Solutions, Belleville, IL
  • James Brobst, OMI, Consultant and Liturgical Organist and Midwest Area Councilor for the US Province
  •  Séamus Finn, OMI, is Chief of Faith Consistent Investing – OIP Investment Trust & Consultant
  • Fr. Quilin Bouzi, OMI, is Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Buffalo, NY
  • Dr. Victor Carmona, is Assistant Professor of Moral Theology at the Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, TX
  • Antonio Ponce, OMI, is Director of JPIC
  • Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, is Director of the Oblate Ecology Initiative 
  • Ms. Patti Radle, is Co-Director of Inner City Development, San Antonio, TX
  • George Ngolwe, is Associate Director of JPIC

Seven Christian Leaders Arrested Protesting Trump’s Budget Proposal April 26th, 2017

Seven leaders from various faith traditions including Catholic, United Methodist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and the National Baptist Convention were arrested on Monday after protesting on Capitol Hill in opposition to President Donald Trump’s “immoral” budget proposal. The detainees were part of a larger march of people attending the annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice, an ecumenical event to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues.

Read the full article here.

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