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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.
Church representatives vow to defend Latin American areas with mines December 11th, 2014
Thanks to Catholic New Service for this article, which was written by Lise Alves
SAO PAULO (CNS) — Christian leaders from 14 Latin American countries gathered in Brasilia in early December to discuss ways to reduce the impact of mining activities in their communities, especially the contamination of rivers and lakes.
“There is no large-scale industrial mining without water,” said Bishop Guilherme Werlang of Ipameri, president of the Brazilian bishops’ social justice and charity commission. But the bishops say materials used in mineral extraction contaminate groundwater, rivers and lakes in mining regions.
“It has been proven that these toxic materials will remain in the soil and in the water during many centuries,” said Bishop Werlang.
A three-day conference dubbed “Church and Mining: An Option in Defense of Communities and Territories,” was the first of its kind in the region. The conference had the support of the Brazilian bishops’ conference and the participation of the Latin American Council of Churches as about 90 participants tried to define strategies and alliances to reduce the impact of mining activities.
“We discussed the threats, challenges and insecurities that local and indigenous communities throughout Latin America are experiencing where mining companies are operating,” said Oblate Father Seamus Finn of the Oblates’ Washington-based Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Ministry.
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Jubilee USA Network, a religious anti-poverty coalition, along with 78 other religious and development groups filed with the US Supreme Court in the case between Argentina and NML Capital. The Amicus Curiae brief takes the side of Argentina because the precedent of the case impacts predatory behavior on vulnerable populations. The friend-of-the-court brief argues that the case will have a detrimental impact on the poor, undo bipartisan United States debt policy and cause global financial instability. Filers joining Jubilee USA include: American Jewish World Service, Church World Service, Action Aid USA, numerous synagogues and churches across the US and a large number of Catholic religious orders of nuns and priests, including the Missionary Oblates. Read the full list of the 79 groups and Jubilee USA’s Amicus Curiae.
“At the end of the day, this case is about a precedent that could expose developing economies to extreme predatory behavior,” noted Kent Spriggs the attorney representing the 79 groups “The Supreme Court’s decision will affirm or harm current bipartisan US debt policy.”
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FACT Coalition Calls on Congress to Eliminate Corporate Tax Loopholes January 21st, 2014
The Missionary Oblates recently joined other organizations working through the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition in asking Congress to eliminate corporate tax loopholes. The coalition is concerned about corporations shifting jobs overseas, and corporate avoidance of US taxes. The letter calls on Congress to “refuse to extend two recently expired tax breaks that subsidize highly profitable corporations at the expense of ordinary Americans.”
These tax breaks perversely encourage “American corporations to lend, invest and create jobs in foreign countries rather than in the U.S.” The ‘active financing exception’ called out in the letter is one of the primary reasons General Electric has paid, on average, only a 1.8% effective U.S. federal income tax rate over the past ten years. This exception was removed in the tax reform of 1986, but reinstated after fierce corporate lobbying. It has been extended consistently since 1998. “The last two-year extension of the active financing exception was estimated by the Joint Committee on Taxation to have cost taxpayers $11.2 billion.”
A second exception, called the CFC-look through rule, was also targeted in the letter. The groups signing the letter said, “The last two-year extension of the CFC look-through rule was estimated by the Joint Committee on Taxation to have cost taxpayers $1.5 billion.”
As people continue to struggle to find decent work, the outrage over multinational corporations essentially gaming the system is understandable. We hope this outrage will compel Congress to stand up for ordinary taxpayers and stop giving these corporations a free pass.
What You’ve Missed on the Oblate JPIC FaceBook Site January 16th, 2014
Fr. John Cox OMI shared a brief reflection on the social justice ministry at his Oblate community on our Facebook page this week. He says social justice ministry involves building bridges of awareness, acceptance and appreciation between natives (Ojibwe) and non-natives on the reservation. It is encouraging alcoholics, meth and prescription pill addicts and their families to seek recovery; and lastly educating people about domestic violence and the resources and programs available on or near the area that help families.
(Fr. John Cox OMI is a Pastor and Director to Oblate Parish Ministry Team in Waubun in MN. He joined Walter Butor OMI there in the past year. His work includes pastoral ministry to Native Americans. Fr. John is also a former member of the Oblate JPIC Committee)
Dialogue on Life and Mining from Latin America December 10th, 2013
Religious and Lay representatives from Latin America, “moved by the critical situation of our peoples vis-à-vis the extractive industry”, met in Lima in November 2013. Concerned that mining is a source of “constant and serious conflict” in many countries of Latin and Central American countries, the attendees wanted to develop a vigorous and supportive set of local and international networks to help address the destructive impacts of mining. The Missionary Oblates were represented by Fr. Gilberto Pauwels OMI from Bolivia, and Fr. Seamus Finn OMI from the United States and through their participation in VIVAT, a coalition of religious congregations with ECOSOC status at the United Nations.
There are a number of outcomes from the gathering that included reaching out to a larger number of communities affected by mining, engaging with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the Vatican and convening a broader consultation on the challenges of extractives in the second half of 2014.
Extractives, mining oil and gas exploration, play an important role across the world while also imposing great intrusion and damage in local communities and on the environment where they operate. The search for a way forward that addresses the most serious of those negative impacts has been taken up by a number of different initiatives in the academic, business, stakeholder and shareholder and NGO sectors. Hopefully gatherings like the meeting in Lima can make a constructive contribution to that process.