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Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation

A Ministry of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

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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.

 

St Mary’s fairtrade program


St Mary’s Parishioner

 

 

 

 


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!

Hu Yeping
(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.

 

 


Just Wages for a Flourishing Society September 4th, 2018

In his 2018 Labor Day statement, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, calls for all persons to work together for just wages, which are necessary for families to flourish. A just wage is one that “not only provides for workers’ financial well-being, but fosters their social, cultural, and spiritual dimensions as individuals and members of society.”

The full statement is available in English is at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/labor-employment/labor-day-statement-2018.cfm

A Spanish translation of the statement is available at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/labor-employment/labor-day-statement-2018-spanish.cfm

Visit the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website


Unite with Christians Around the World to Protect Our Common Home August 30th, 2018

JPIC Committee members participating in 2017 People’s Climate March, Washington, DC  (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 (former JPIC Committee Chairman)

The Season of Creation is is an ecumenical observance and time of year when the world’s 2.2 billion Christians are invited to pray and care for creation. It runs annually beginning with the Day of Prayer for Creation on September 1 and ending on October 4. The event unites the global Christian family around one shared purpose. It also provides flexibility in celebrating prayer services and engaging in a variety of actions to care for creation. 

RESOURCES FOR 2018 SEASON OF CREATION

 


Ecological Initiative: U.S. Provincial Fr. Louis Studer, OMI, Reflects on 25 Years at La Vista August 24th, 2018

I am proud to say that I was a member of the Central Province Provincial Council in 1993 when we were asked, as a province, to dedicate and preserve sections of the Novitiate property at Godfrey, IL, as a nature preserve.

Whenever I tell people about that, they immediately ask me whether I voted for or against the proposal! I am also happy to say that I remember that the decision of the council was unanimous to devote a large parcel of our Novitiate as a protected nature preserve, particularly some very valuable land along the Mississippi River bluffs.

This was the beginning of what later developed into the Oblate Ecological Initiative at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Novitiate which began in 2001.

This initiative began under the leadership of former Oblate, Maurice Lange, along with the community – supported garden and the Ecological Learning Center. He was soon joined by Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, who has continued as Director of the Center these many years since.

The garden is now independent and this is a real sign of its progress and success. Some of these farmers at the Novitiate have begun other similar agricultural projects which furthers the work begun here.

The Ecological Initiative is a mission of our office of “Justice and Peace,” headquartered in the Provincial office building in Washington, DC which has expanded its name with “and Integrity of Creation.”

This office of “Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation” (JPIC) owes a great debt of gratitude most especially to Séamus Finn, OMI, who successfully guided and promoted its mission over two decades as its Director and Mentor. Special thanks as well to the ministry of Antonio Ponce, OMI, as Director more recently, and to Oblates Norm Comtois, Darrell Rupiper and several other Oblates and friends who served on the JPIC Committee over these many years. Special thanks as well to Mr. George Ngolwe and Ms. Mary O’Herron, for their dedication and vibrant spirit of service, at our Washington office.

Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick, Debbie Newman, Natural Areas Preservation Specialist, Fr. Lou, Sr. Madeleine Lane, SSND, representing her community, and Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, Oblate Ecological Initiative director

The Ecological Initiative has also been supported by many retreats at the Lebh Shomea Contemplative and Retreat Center in Sarita, Texas, on the theme of “Integrity of Creation” as well as the support by the Missionary Oblates of the Three Part Harmony Farm on the property of the U.S. Province in Washington, D.C. Yes, a community supported garden in the center of the city in Washington, D.C. at our Oblate headquarters!

Going even further back in history, as an Oblate Congregation and as a U.S. Oblate Province: As Missionary Oblates, we are known to be “down to earth in our preaching, giving practical application of the gospel to the lives of the people we serve and close to the people we serve.”

We preach the message of Jesus who often used parables and examples relating to soil and food and weather.

Our faith teaches us that all of creation was made in and through Jesus Christ (St. Paul) and in the book of Genesis, after God had finished the work of creation, He saw that it was good.

Each year, the Oblate novices have the opportunity to have their spirituality shaped, in part, by the beauty of this Novitiate property and to encounter God’s grace and generosity on this “holy ground.” More than 20 years before the Encyclical of Pope Francis, “Laudato Si,” this ministry of preserving a forest area and the development of shared farming by the Missionary Oblates was a forerunner of Catholic Ecological Awareness.

It is our sincere hope that the Oblate stewardship of this land, with all of its ability to teach us about God’s generosity and goodness to us, will continue for many years into the future.

On behalf of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, I offer our sincere thanks and congratulations to all who have supported this effort these past 25 years and to all who will continue to support it for many years into the future.

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