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A video tribute to Fr. Kennedy Katongo, OMI (1980-2016) September 22nd, 2016
Produced by Oblate Communications
General House, Rome
Remembering Fr. Kennedy Katongo, OMI September 15th, 2016
Reflection by Fr. Antonio Ponce, OMI
On Wednesday, September 14 we received the sad news that Fr. Kennedy Katongo, OMI, had passed away in Rome at the age of 36. We lost a young, enthusiastic and committed missionary. Over two years ago he happily accepted the task to lead the ministry of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) for the general service of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. As part of his ministry, just a couple of weeks ago he and other Oblates, myself included, attended the World Social Forum in Montreal, Canada. There we spoke about his commitment to continue raising awareness in the congregation around issues of JPIC. It is hard to imagine that he is no longer with us. We are ever grateful for his vocation, ministry and Oblate life.
On behalf of the entire US Missionary Oblates staff, I would like to express condolences to Fr. Kennedy’s family and pray to our Lord to welcome him into his eternal home. May he rest in peace.
Fr. J. Antonio Ponce, OMI
Director, Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation – US Province
Fr. Kennedy Katongo was born in Zambia in 1980. Before entering the Oblate pre-novitiate in Lusaka in 2000, he was a volunteer with the national program “Youth Alive Zambia,” which sponsors programs for youth about prevention of HIV/AIDS, child abuse, unemployment and poverty.
Fr Kennedy did a seminary internship in Kalabo, Zambia where he worked with the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) and Youth Ministry. The CCJP offers outreach programs on civic education, trade and debt in Zambia, human rights, human trafficking, rights of refugees, access to clean water, and food security.
He graduated from the Oblate School of Theology in 2009 with a Master of Arts degree, writing his thesis on the following: “Beyond Vulture Funds: A Catholic Social Teaching Response to Zambia’s Economic Debt Reality”. He also earned a Master of Divinity degree in 2010.
In 2007, Fr. Kennedy did a summer internship at the Oblates JPIC office in Washington DC. During this time he focused on trade and debt advocacy, climate change, human trafficking and corporate engagements.
Fr. Kennedy was ordained to the priesthood in Zambia in 2010 and immediately appointed as associate pastor in Kalabo Mission and director of youth ministry in the Delegation of Zambia. Later, he was named Director of OMI-JPIC for Zambia.
In 2014, Oblates Superior General named Fr. Kennedy Katongo, OMI, Director General for JPIC in Rome, where he remained until his passing on September 14, 2016. Fr Kennedy was also representing the Oblates to the Europe Africa Faith and Justice Network (EAFJN), a coalition that lobbies the European Union and member states to promote sustainable development in Africa.
A Disappointing Ruling For Millions Of Immigrants June 23rd, 2016
By a 4-4 split, the U.S Supreme Court has ruled against President Barack Obama’s immigration plan – Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and the expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
The two initiatives were announced by President Obama to provide some deportation relief and work permits to qualified undocumented immigrants. This means the decision by a lower court upholding the preliminary injunction against these immigration relief measures will stand.
“It is very sad indeed to see that this process is caught up in partisan politics and what continued inaction will mean for immigrant families,” said U.S Missionary Oblates Provincial Fr. Bill Antone, OMI. “These decisions open the door to serious injustices in which talented young immigrants who have grown up in the U.S. and their precious parents and families are torn apart by deportation simply to satisfy short-sighted political interests.”
Missionary Oblates JPIC joins other faith communities, religious leaders and immigrant rights groups in expressing deep disappointment with this ruling. Earlier this year, diverse faith based organizations joined in filing an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in support of these two executive orders to provide deferred action for millions of undocumented families.
The fact is DAPA and DACA would have helped millions of immigrant families to stop living with the constant threat of family deportation.
Congratulations to Bishop-Elect Valentine Kalumba, OMI – Zambia June 20th, 2016
Missionary Oblates JPIC sends congratulations and prayerful best wishes to Bishop-Elect Valentine Kalumba, OMI, who has been named Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Livingstone in Zambia by His Holiness Pope Francis.
Fr. Valentine Kalumba, OMI, was previously Vicar of the Zambian Oblates and Parish Priest at Blessed Mary Theresa in the Diocese of Kabwe. In addition, he held many pastoral assignments in the Zambia Oblate Delegation.
Bishop-Elect Valentine Kalumba always stops by the JPIC office whenever he is in Washington DC for meetings. He last visited with us in May 2016.
Best wishes to Bishop-Elect Valentine Kalumba, OMI, as he takes on his new responsibilities.
A year ago Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate joined the world in welcoming Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home. As we observe the encyclical’s one-year anniversary, we invite you to join us in reflecting on a few of the document’s themes. Please use this resource with your church groups and ministries to further conversation and share your faith. (Theme descriptions and reflection questions adapted from US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Laudato Si resources, 2015)
EXCERPT FROM LAUDATO SI (Spanish translation and photo by Bro. Lester Antonio Zapata, OMI)
San Francisco, fiel a la Escritura, nos propone reconocer la naturaleza como un espléndido libro en el cual Dios nos habla y nos refleja algo de su hermosura y de su bondad: «A través de la grandeza y de la belleza de las criaturas, se conoce por analogía al autor» (Sb 13,5), y «su eterna potencia y divinidad se hacen visibles para la inteligencia a través de sus obras desde la creación del mundo» (Rm 1,20). Laudato Si # 12
Photo courtesy of Bro. Lester Antonio Zapata, OMI
Fr. Séamus Finn, Chief of Faith Consistent Investment at the OIP Investment Trust and Chairman of Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, says companies that obey the law, are transparent, treat their employees well and respect the environment and their communities are likely to be more sustainable in the long run.