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2019 Year in Review: A Year of Engagement, Outreach and Action January 3rd, 2020
Happy New Year. Here are some 2019 highlights from the OMI JPIC office:
o January 2019, JPIC started the year on a somber note and in solidarity with OMI Province of the Philippines on the Jolo Cathedral Bombing in January 2019.
o February 2019 Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI and Fr Rufus Whitley, OMI presented at the Vatican Conference in Rome on Impact Investing: Scaling Investment in Service of Integral Human Development which focused on concrete ways that capital can help the poor around the world.
o March 2019, JPIC office welcomed and hosted Fr. Ray Cook OMI and Rice University Students
o April 2019, the OMI JPIC Committee met in New Orleans, Louisiana at the historic St Augustine Catholic Church.
o May 2019, JPIC welcomed Br. Joey Methé, OMI for 2019 Summer Intern. And expressed gratitude for the vocation of Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI on 43 Years of Priesthood
o Effective July 1, 2019, Mrs. Mary O’ Herron and Fr Emmanuel Mulenga OMI appointed to a three-year term on the JPIC committee.
o August 2019, launch of the new 360° design for JPIC newsletter:http://omiusajpic.org/2019/08/16/presenting-our-2019-summer-jpic-report-with-a-fresh-new-look/
o US Provincial Fr Louis Studer, OMI joined national leaders in sign-on letter urging the administration to pass bipartisan budget agreement that lifted spending caps for non-defense programs and raises debt ceiling.
o In September 2019, to mark World Day of Migrants and Refugees JPIC launched the podcast featuring Fr. Jesse Esqueda OMI speaking on the migrant crisis in Tijuana.
o October 2019, JPIC social media provided a platform for Oblates updates and happenings at Pan-Amazon Region in Rome and experiences of Oblates at the Amazon Synod such as Fr Roberto Carrasco, OMI
o November 2019, Fr Séamus Finn, OMI, was the keynote speaker at Marquette’s first symposium on Socially Responsible Investing where he explored the history of socially responsible investing, drawing on personal stories and work as board chair of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
o In December 2019, Missionary Oblates joined 80 national religious bodies in sending letter the US Senate urging passage of the ILLICIT CASH Act (S.2563) and the Corporate Transparency Act (S.1978)
o December 2019, another big highlight was a Congressional Hearing on the state of migrant children where JPIC Committee member Patti Radle was among panelists giving powerful testimonies: https://edlabor.house.gov/hearings/growing-up-in-fear-how-the-trump-administrations-immigration-policies-are-harming-children-
Walking with the People of the Amazon September 26th, 2019
Why the Amazon Merits a Synod
By Cardinal-designate Michael Czerny, SJ & Msgr. David Martínez de Aguirre Guinea O.P.
The next Synod of Bishops, to be held in Rome, October 6-27, 2019, is on the Amazon and has as its theme “New paths for the Church and for integral ecology.” It will examine issues that are important to “every person living on the planet” as Pope Francis wrote in the introduction to his Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ (3).
Why is the Amazon so important that a synod is dedicated to it? What is “integral ecology,” and what might be “new paths” for the Church? Finally, what is a synod really all about? 
A few key facts about the Amazon region:
- Its size is 7.8 million square kilometers, approximately the same size as Australia.
- It includes areas of Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
- There are approximately 33 million inhabitants, of whom 3 million are indigenous belonging to 390 diverse groups or peoples.
- Impact on the planetary ecosystem: the Amazon River basin and the surrounding tropical forests nourish the soil and regulate, through the recycling of moisture, the cycles of water, energy and carbon at the planetary level.
Access the full article at La Civiltà Cattolica.
2019 Amazon Synod: Common House in Rome September 13th, 2019
By Roberto Carrasco, OMI – Peruvian Oblate Missionary
In view of the Synod for the Amazon, an articulation process has begun that brings together several Church institutions and organizations with the aim of generating a space for dialogue and listening, that walks alongside the Synod Fathers this October 2019 in Rome. The Amazon Synod will take place in in Rome from October 6-27, 2019.
As we remember what the experience of the Martyrs Tent in Aparecida was – in Brazil in 2007, we all seek to enrich this space of interaction and communication between persons, with the spirit of the Amazon. It is not just presenting various activities, it is rather an exercise in communication and intercultural dialogue, an interaction with the new, the diverse, the still unknown.
Amazon: Common House, is an effort to make present the life of the Amazon and who inhabits it. In the Amazon, maloca is the place where indigenous communities sit to simply be, listen, celebrate and be able to discern what happens in the life of the community. Read the full article here.