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On the last Saturday of June, the morning began with coffee and quiche. The early sun warmed the morning promising a bright and sunny day as over 2000 demonstrators gathered along the shore of Lake Merritt in Oakland, CA for the Families Belong Together rally. Local geese, families with their children and adults, gathered with the thousands of Americans, across the country, demanding the reunification of immigrant families seeking refuge from the tyranny of physical and emotional violence. Many speakers and musicians addressed the injustice encountered by immigrant families at the southern border of the United States.
However, as I sat with my mother who gladly joined me at the rally, I felt a growing gloom as I considered the anguish of parents and children forcibly separated by the cruel and in-inhumane policies of the government that represents this country. A country once called “a city on the hill.” As I walked to the gathering site for the demonstration, I encountered another aging man who shared my gloomy feelings, asking, “how many times do we have to meet like this?” Indeed, how many times? As the families and adults gathered, I heard in the speeches and music the answer to our common question: “as many times as the vulnerable and powerless are harmed and treated unjustly.” As the crowd swelled my spirits began to rise, there was a spirit of compassion weaving its thread throughout the crowd. Many signs, in one way or another, spoke of “building bridges, not walls.”
While with this crowd, and standing in solidarity with the many children and parents being denied their intrinsic right of being family, I was reminded that my participation in this rally was my solidarity with the nameless children and parents, as well as my solidarity with my Oblate brothers and their parishioners who know the names and their humanity.
Together, compassion has taken to the streets and the national demonstrations and the presence of my Oblate brothers and the many volunteers, echoed the words of St. Augustine: “an unjust law is no law at all.”
Sr. Ann Diehl, CSJ Named Honorary Oblate of Mary Immaculate June 6th, 2018
|Photos courtesy of Janice Cooke|
Congratulations to former OMI US provincial secretary and archivist Sr. Ann Diehl, CSJ, for 26 years of service to the Oblates and still counting. On June 4, Sr. Ann received the designation of Honorary Oblate of Mary Immaculate during a Mass and program held at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. The ceremony was officiated by Oblate Superior General Fr. Louis Lougen, OMI, assisted by US Provincial Fr. Louis Studer, OMI. Following the Mass, a lunch reception was held at the Oblate residence. Sr. Ann has been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 54 years.
Provincial Update Fr. Louis Studer, OMI: Zambia April 6th, 2018
Fr. Louis Studer, OMI describes his recent trip to the U.S. Delegation in Zambia along with U.S. Vicar-Provincial for Personnel, Fr. Art Flores, OMI, and U.S. Treasurer, Fr. Jim Chambers, OMI. (Video runs approximately 6 Minutes)
By Fr. Louis Studer, OMI, Provincial, U.S. Province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate are an international, intentionally intercultural Roman Catholic religious community whose purpose is to evangelize the poor and abandoned with the gospel message of Jesus Christ.
Founded in 1816 in France by St. Eugene de Mazenod, we currently serve in 68 countries of the world. We number 3,700 Brothers and Priests. Our headquarters are in Rome, Italy.
We were called “specialists in difficult missions” by Pope Pius IX. “Specialists” not so much in a professional sense that we are well trained in a particular science or discipline but, rather, that we are adept and flexible in determining what is most needed in a particular mission and, with the advice of the locals, we respond to that call.
We take seriously the mandate of Vatican II that all the baptized are called to a life of holiness and we are easily identified by our closeness to the people we are called to serve. We honor and respect the gifts and talents of those called to mission with us.
Letter of Fr. Louis Lougen, OMI, Superior General for February 17, 2018 February 5th, 2018
L.J.C. et M.I.
Among our celebrations of Oblate history, this year is the bicentenary of the first draft of our Rule. Moved by the Spirit to seek companions to start a society whose aim was re-evangelizing the countryside of Provence, the young Eugene very soon felt the need to give this small, young society a code of life, a rule. It would contain norms to help all its members in the twofold objective that he had already outlined in broad terms to the vicars of Aix when, together with his first five companions, he had asked permission to live in community in the old Carmel of Aix, purchased by him for this purpose.
Upcoming Event: Dialogue on Ethical Dimensions of Extractive industries January 31st, 2018
The Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Office of OMI Lacombe in partnership with Saint
Paul University are pleased to invite you to a morning dialogue.
Attend the event or watch it online. Registration information below.
Where: St. Paul University, 223 Main Street, Ottawa, CANADA – Laframboise Hall
When: February 13, 2018 – 9:30am to 12:00pm EDT
Entitled Ethical dimensions of Extractive industries in Catholic Social Teaching, the event is an opportunity for open discussion about Laudato Si’s calls for change in the mining practices of modern industries. While denouncing the violations on human rights, environment and the non-sustainable and irresponsible approach of current extractive sectors, this is also an opportunity to together find alternatives for change and better practices.
Guest speakers are:
Mr. Jim Cooney, Lecturer at the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada; who will be talking about Mining and sustainable development from a Laudato Si’ perspective
Rev. Seamus Finn, OMI, Chief for the OIP Investment Trust and consultant to the US Province JPIC office, who will be addressing the Catholic Ethical dimensions of Extractive industries.
You are invited to join this important event which aims to feed the thinking of those who want to be part of a grand coalition for social change.
To attend the meeting at Saint Paul, please register here.
For online streaming, no registration is needed. You can join live on February 13, 2018 – 9:30am to 12:00pm EDT by clicking here.
For more information about the event or to register, please feel free to contact:
Fernanda de Castro – JPIC Office
613-236-1393 ext.2661, or
Leonardo Rego OMI