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Dominican Sisters in Iraq Struggle as Refugees August 26th, 2014
We are sharing these messages from the Adrian Dominican Sisters in the US about the Dominican Sisters in northern Iraq, who are now refugees. The Sisters asked, “Please share the letter with other people. Let the world hear the cry of the poor and the innocent.” (Download a PDF of the Letters)
The first message was received on Saturday, describing the plight of refugees in the wake of the attacks by ISIS. A second email came a short while later from Sister Luma, describing a terrifying journey that involved one of the Sisters walking miles beyond the protection of the Erbil checkpoints into the Nineveh Plain to rescue her elderly parents, who had fled Qaraqosh and were stranded with little food or water by the banks of the Al-Khazi River.
Your prayers and support are deeply appreciated.
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Spring/Summer 2014 Issue of JPIC Report Available On-Line April 28th, 2014
Please contact Mary O’Herron in the JPIC Office if you want to be added to the mailing list.
You can find all issues of JPIC Report on this website in the Resources section. (Download a PDF of the latest issue)
Solidarity with the Fast for Families Seeking Immigration Reform December 14th, 2013
On November 12th, activists and faith leaders in San Antonio, Texas, offered support to the fasters on the Mall in Washington, D.C. calling for the US Congress to take action on immigration reform. As the D.C. fast came to an end, members of the San Antonio community participated in two activities designed to keep consciousness of the effects of the fast alive.
In the morning, a press conference was held at the Cesar E. Chavez Education and Legacy Foundation to announce the beginning of the passing of the “cruzita” (cross), much like Cesar Chavez did during his famous hunger strike. The Foundation passed a cross to its members asking them to fast for at least a day, to let people know why they are fasting, and then to past the cross on to someone else.
In the evening, as people gathered for prayer and Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in the inner city, the Foundation came to the church to announce the passing of the cruzita and to ask organizations and individuals, “Who will join this fast?” Community volunteers made small crosses and offered them to people as they entered the church. All 20 crosses that were made were accepted and more could have been distributed. San Antonio will continue to raise its voice for justice and dignity for immigrants.
(With gratitude to Patti Radle, a member of the Oblate JPIC Committee who helped to organize this fast for families, and Fr Bob Wright OMI, who also participated in the event.)
Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Denis Hurley, OMI December 12th, 2013
This story is written by Father Harry Winter, OMI and comes to us courtesy of the OMI US Province website.
The passing of Nelson Mandela on Dec. 5 reminds Oblates that it took three great leaders to accomplish the abolition of apartheid in South Africa: Mandela, Hurley, and the Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Now is a good time to recall what Paddy Kearney wrote in 2009 in his well received biography of Hurley: Guardian of the Light, about Hurley and Mandela working together.
When Hurley was hauled before a court in February, 1985 and threatened with jail for publishing “untrue facts” in relation to action by police (p. 211), Mandela wrote from his prison: “Archbishop Hurley is often in my thoughts, especially now. I would like him to know that” (p. 223).
In 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Hurley was a special guest. Kearney writes “He regarded it as the second great highlight of his life, after Vatican II. In a letter to his friend Petal O’Hara, he described the occasion:
The function of the Inauguration was magnificently performed, every person doing his or her part perfectly . . . The mood of the crowd rose to a joyous fever pitch. The final act was the firing of a twenty-one-gun salute and a flyover in tight formation of several SAAF squadrons, the last one consisting of six planes that left trails in the many colours of the South African flag. The crowd was ecstatic. ‘Our air force’, shouted the African citizens . . . Lunch followed, very well organized—plenty of food and drink, easy access to supplies and to tables. And by 3:00 p.m. we were climbing onto buses and heading for the airport full of the joy of having participated in perhaps the greatest day in the history of South Africa.
When Brother Jude Pieterse saw Hurley after the inauguration, he noticed ‘an excitement I had never really associated with him before . . . He was almost . . .bubbling over, you know. Normally he kept his emotions pretty well under control, but [that day] there was a real joy in his whole approach’. “(p. 306).
In 1999, President Mandela conferred on Hurley the Order of Meritorious Service (Class 1) (p. 309). When Hurley died on Feb. 13, 2005, Dominican Sister Marie-Henry Keane, who as a young nun had benefited from his special attention in explaining Vatican II to women religious, called him “the Nelson Mandela of the Church” (p. 325).
Now they are together, rejoicing at the continued growth of justice, truth and opportunity in South Africa.