News Archives » Ecology
Learn about the environmental work of Oblates around the world.
2017 World Environment Day: “Connecting People to Nature” June 1st, 2017
“We are called to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet might be what he desired when he created it and correspond with his plan for peace, beauty and fullness.”(Laudato Si, 53).
Every June 5th people around the world celebrate World Environment Day to raise awareness about environmental issues. The UN designated this day at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972, with the first observance taking place in 1974 and annually since then.
We also celebrate Pentecost a day before World Environment Day, on Sunday, June 4. Given this intersection, we invite you to explore Breath of Love, a very creative and rich new prayer/reflection resource from Sr. Gen Cassani, SSND. It includes a novena of prayers leading up to Pentecost (6/4), as well as quotes and reflections from Laudato Si’ and sacred scripture, plus ideas for commemorating World Environment Day (6/5).
As Sr. Gen has written, “you are invited to add to, create, have conversations, mull over, contemplate, delight in, question, probe, . . . ” – we simply say enjoy!
Click to download Breath of Love, a Pentecost and Environment resource compiled and designed by Sr. Gen Cassani, SSND.
Oblates Give Miners A Voice March 23rd, 2017
(Originally published on OMIUSA.org)
By Mike Viola
The Missionary Oblates are expanding their role as advocates for the rights of miners around the world.
Father Seamus Finn, O.M.I. of the U.S. Oblates’ Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office, participated in a day of reflection on the mining industry sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Mining CEOs, representatives of the Pontifical Council and religious congregations from around the world examined ways mining companies can improve their record on human and environmental responsibilities while also achieving their business objectives.
Father Finn said the day of reflection showed mining executives that their success should not be judged only in monetary terms, but also by the impact their companies are having on the lives of people.
“I now understand better the meaning of a people-directed engagement approach,” said David Noko, Vice President of Sustainability for AngloGold Ashanti, one of the world’s largest gold mining companies. “I am more empowered to include in my business strategy a new way of engagement founded on solid principles of social good and environmental sustainability.”
Father Finn also attended a dialogue in Lima, Peru on the impact of mining in local communities in Latin America. He is helping to develop strategies and networks to address the destructive impacts of mining. “Extractives, mining oil and gas exploration play an important role across the world while also imposing great disruption and damage in local communities and on the environment,” said Fr. Finn. “The search for a way forward that addresses the most serious of these negative impacts has been taken up by a number of different initiatives.”
Father Gilbeto Pauwels, O.M.I. Director of the Center of Ecology and Andean People in Oruro, Bolivia knows firsthand the devastating effects mining can have on communities. The Oblates in Bolivia have been fighting against this injustice for more than 50 years.
In 1960 the Oblates started Radio Pio XII to broadcast support for Bolivian tin miners. The station still broadcasts today despite strong opposition to its message.
Father Roberto Durette, O.M.I. has been the Director of Radio Pio XII for nearly 40 years. Despite having survived several assassination attempts, Fr. Roberto is undeterred in his passionate fight for the rights of the miners.
Father Finn said the day of reflection deepened his awareness of the need to advocate on behalf of miners. “The roundtable at the Vatican was not just a one-time event,” he said. “This is an ongoing project.”
Register Now for LaVista’s Fall Earth Literacy Program! September 9th, 2016
Exploring the Sacred Universe Earth Literacy Program in Godfrey, IL
Dates: Fri., Oct.19 beginning at 6:00 pm – Sun., Oct. 23, ending at 1:00 pm
Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home has brought new life to this classic program as readers look for ways to deepen their relationship with and responsibility for our common home. That is what we offer during these days of interactive community learning. For the second year we are offering a shortened version of our “Exploring the Sacred Universe” Earth Literacy Program.
Participants will be joined by Oblate Novices, young men from several countries currently studying at La Vista. Last year’s very rich experience during beautiful fall days encouraged us to make this an annual event.
Activities will include sacred rituals, journaling, a field trip, dialogue, cooking and gardening. Presenters will include:
Norman Comtois, OMI
Sharon Zayac, OP
Maxine Pohlman, SSND
And other local bioregional specialists
For a detailed description and registration information download the brochure or visit us online at www.lavistaelc.org. You can also call LaVista at: 618-466-5004.
Program cost: $350 (includes lodging and meals). A $50 nonrefundable deposit is due at registration with the balance due upon arrival.
De Mazenod Conference – January 22-24, 2016, San Antonio, TX December 28th, 2015
Oblate Shrine hold workshop on Encyclical Laudato Si for Hispanic Community October 22nd, 2015
This week Fr. Chava Gonzalez, OMI of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleviile, IL led a workshop on Pope Francis’ latest encyclical Laudato Si. This workshop is one in a 4-part series and offered in Spanish for participation by the Hispanic community. The series was organized after parishioners expressed strong interest in discussing the encyclical, which focuses on the environment.