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Oblates Host 2019 McLean Center Scholars September 17th, 2019
The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy held its 2019 Annual Seminar from August 18-September 20 under the theme The Meaning of Democracy: Foundations & Contemporary Challenges. The seminar is an interdisciplinary and intercultural initiative with 15 scholars from different countries around the world participating. One objective of the seminar is for participants to practice mutual understanding and so achieve lasting forms of academic friendship and cooperation.
Participants twice visited the Oblate community in Washington DC during the month of September. On September 8th they participated in liturgy at the chapel and on September 10th they joined the community for lunch and listened to a lecture, “Issues of Justice/Democracy and Finance Today” presented by Fr. Séamus Finn OMI.
On Monday September 16th Fr, Séamus Finn, OMI also served on a panel of scholars and practitioners at a public event –Contemporary American Economic Culture and Its Values– organized by the McLean Center for the Study of Culture and Values.
Rev. George F. McLean, OMl (1929-2016), was the Founder of Catholic University of America’s (CUA) Center for the Study of Culture and Values, and the International Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (RVP, www.crvp.org). He taught philosophy at CUA from 1956-1993 but devoted his entire life to promoting dialogue and cooperation among different peoples, cultures and religions around the globe.
In 2017 to honor Fr. McLean the university officially inaugurated the CUA McLean Center for the Study of Culture and Values (MCSCV). Fr. McLean initiated an annual seminar in 1984 to invite scholars and philosophers from diverse cultures and civilizations to participate in five to ten week seminars in Washington, D.C. to discuss current and urgent philosophical issues.
For more information about the Center visit http://www.crvp.org/McLean/McLean.html
(Click photos twice to increase size)
United Nations and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate December 11th, 2018
Fr. Daniel LeBlanc is a Canadian Oblate who was also a missionary to Peru. At present, he is the OMI representative at the United Nations. Here in the video, he explains how and why we are there at the biggest international body in the world.
Breaking: U.S. Provincial Issues Statement on Border Wall’s Impact on La Lomita November 29th, 2018
November 29: The Very Rev. Louis Studer, OMI, has issued a statement regarding the proposed border wall’s encroachment on an historic, sacred space in Texas.
August 9 is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples August 3rd, 2018
This day is celebrated around the world and at the United Nations Headquarters in New York each year, bringing together indigenous peoples’ organizations, UN agencies, Member States, civil society, academia and the general public. This year’s theme is “Indigenous peoples’ migration and movement.” The 2018 theme will focus on the current situation of indigenous territories, the root causes of migration, trans-border movement and displacement, with a specific focus on indigenous peoples living in urban areas and across international borders.
There are an estimated 370 million indigenous people in the world, living across 90 countries. They make up less than 5 per cent of the world’s population, but account for 15 per cent of the poorest. They speak an overwhelming majority of the world’s estimated 7,000 languages and represent 5,000 different cultures.
To learn more about this international observance visit the UN’s website.
Visit the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) page to download the event program and key messages.
From July 8-10, 2018 the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (IHD) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) co-hosted the third conference on impact investing with the theme, Scaling Investment in Service of Integral Human Development. Information about the conference can be found by clicking here.
Held in Rome, the event drew experts and Catholic leaders from around the world, including Frs. Séamus Finn, OMI and Rufus Whitley, OMI. Fr. Séamus spoke on the panel Advances within the Catholic Church and Fr. Rufus participated in discussions on Deploying Capital for Impact at the Base of the Pyramid.
Other panels addressed issues like climate change, health, migrants, refugees, and youth unemployment and how impact investment can improve conditions for people affected. The conference was billed as a ‘results-oriented’ event and a long-term global commitment.
25th Anniversary Dedication Celebration of the Missionary Oblates Woods Nature Preserve July 13th, 2018
Down-to-Earth Oblates Break Ground 1993
by Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND
In 1993 two local women, Margaret Morrissey and Annie Hoagland, had a special vision for the River bluff area in Alton and Godfrey. Wanting the land along the bluffs to be preserved for future generations, they tried to persuade area landowners to enter into legal agreements to preserve their land, but they were unsuccessful until the Provincial Council of the Oblates agreed. Then other landowners also signed on! Father Lou Studer was on the Council at the time, and he remembers this visit and their follow-up letter campaign. He also remembers that the Council agreeing unanimously to dedicate 16 acres as an Illinois Nature Preserve! These acres is now named the Missionary Oblates Woods Nature Preserve.
“More Important Now Than Ever” was the theme of our celebration. In the past 25 years more land has been developed and forests have continued to degrade; so, preserving high quality forested area has only increased in importance. It was truly visionary to begin preserving as much forested area as possible twenty-five years ago.
The celebration was held on Saturday, July 7th outdoors from 2:00 – 4:00 pm and was attended by over 40 people, including Mayor Mike McCormick, representatives of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission and the Great Rivers Land Trust, faithful Preserve volunteers, friends and the Novitiate Community. The program included a luncheon for special guests, several presentations and a guided hike into the Preserve.
Jack Lau, OMI, served as the emcee, expertly weaving together the presentations with his passion for land and La Vista in particular. Speakers included:
- Debbie Newman, Natural Areas Preservation Specialist with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, who shared the history of the preservation movement in Illinois, pointing out that the Oblates were the first faith-based group to preserve land in the state
- Pen Daubach, an Illinois Nature Preserves Commissioner, who highlighted the name “Oblate” as “one who offers”, saying that the Oblates have made a big commitment in offering their land to protect biodiversity and to preserve habitat.
- Father Lou Studer, OMI, pointing out that Oblates are “down-to-Earth” priests and brothers seeking practical solutions to issues. “Oblates are close to the people,” he said. “Oblates preach the message of Jesus who often used images from nature in his teaching.” Father Lou also summarized for us the work of Oblates in the
justice, peace and integrity of creation priority, sharing this aspect of the Oblate spirit.
- Maxine Pohlman, SSND, who works with the Preserve volunteers, said that it was the work of this group of highly dedicated people who healed the acres by removing trash, invasive species, and planting native wildflowers. “They work hard, meeting monthly, to tackle a job that looked impossible, but the volunteers have made a huge difference in a few years.” For several years OMI novices have taken part in Preserve work, putting up boundary markers, removing honeysuckle, and participating in controlled burns.
After the presentations, the hike into the Preserve was a real eye-opener for participants who got to experience firsthand what land can look like when it is maintained by people who have learned to do the task correctly. A clear view of the River, the presence of native wildflowers, and the absence of big honeysuckle bushes and invasive trees make the Preserve a beautiful example of what protected land can look like and how it can serve the community of life in this region.
Everyone took away with them a good share of Oblate spirit, esteem for the work of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and the peace that comes with spending time in a beautiful place.