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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Oblate JPIC Signs Letter to US Congress Opposing Fast Track Authority for Trade Agreement March 2nd, 2015

FastTrackOn February 17, Missionary Oblates JPIC office joined in an interfaith letter signed by nearly three-dozen faith communities to oppose fast-track authority for the passage of an upcoming international trade agreement by Congress. The letter has been sent to all Members of the US Congress. Fast-Track authority paves the way for Congressional approval of trade agreements such as the looming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with little or no debate, and with no changes possible to the agreement that has been negotiated by the US Trade Representative, largely behind closed doors. This is an undemocratic process, which potentially denies a comprehensive analysis of the impacts of trade agreement provisions on vulnerable communities, workers and the environment, and which does not provide for detailed public hearings, despite the potential for significant public impacts.

Members of the Interfaith Working Group on Trade and Investments who signed the letter write, “Our faith traditions call for community participation in the democratic process because we believe this is the only way to ensure all people have a meaningful opportunity to participate in the creation of good policies. “Fast track” is a broken and undemocratic process because it privileges the views of powerful global corporations in defining the terms of trade agreements, while excluding voices of those adversely impacted. This impedes progress towards a more just world.”

Full text of the letter with signatories (Download PDF)


Engaging for Impact March 2nd, 2015

Why Do Faith-based Shareholders Engage Mining Companies? 

The Rev. Seamus Finn, OMI was interviewed recently by SUSTAIN, a publication of the International Finance Corporation, a lending arm of the World Bank that focuses exclusively on the private sector. The IFC is interested in how the Church has engaged in recent years with the extractives industry. Fr. Finn has been centrally involved in high-level meetings called by the Vatican and the Archbishop of Canterbury with mining CEOs and faith-based representatives to discuss ways to increase respect for the rights of, and lessen the impact of mining operations, on local communities. He is Director of Faith-Based Investing for the Oblate International Pastoral (OIP) Investment Trust, and Executive Director of the International Interfaith Investment Group (3iG)

Some of the questions asked in the interview are: “Why should the church care about extractives?”, “Why social justice through investment?”, and “Is there a way to secure societal fairness? Is it always a dynamic or is there a sweet spot?”

Read the full article here…



Justice for Immigrants – Lenten Materials February 23rd, 2015

Justice_for_Immigrants_logo_CNA_11_8_13Recently, Congress has been deadlocked in attempting to pass a bill that would roll back executive legislation on immigration. This Lenten season, let us uphold the dignity of all people and offer our prayers and action for immigrant families.

Both the Justice for Immigrants Campaign and the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC) have posted Lenten resources on their websites. The Justice for Immigrants Campaign resource is a 30-page toolkit available in both English and Spanish that can be downloaded and used throughout the season of Lent.


Sustainable Development: The World We Want February 3rd, 2015

sgs-synthesis-report-imageWhich of these Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are you working for?

  • Dignity: to end poverty and fight inequalities
  • People: to ensure healthy lives, knowledge and the inclusion of women and children
  • Prosperity: to grow a strong, inclusive and transformative economy
  • Planet: to protect our ecosystems for all societies and our children
  • Justice: to promote safe and peaceful societies and strong institutions
  • Partnership: to catalyze global solidarity for sustainable development

2015 is the last year for the millennium development goals, which were launched in 2000 to make global progress on poverty, education, health, hunger and the environment. UN member states, on the basis of a broad international consultative process, are finalizing sustainable development goals to replace them. What do the SDGs aim to achieve? How are they different from the MDGs? What progress was made in meeting the Millennium Development Goals? See how the MDGs have shifted into the SDGs, and explore each SDG in more detail: An Interactive on The SDGs: all you need to know

For more information on the SDGs, read the UN Secretary General’s 2015 Report: The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet

 Thanks to Daniel LeBlanc, OMI, Oblate representative at the UN, for this information.


Filipino Oblate Reflects on Pope’s Visit in NCR Story January 28th, 2015

katolikong-pinoy-timeline-pope-in-the-philippines1Fr Eliseo (Jun) Mercado, OMI, quoted in an article in the National Catholic Reporter about Pope Francis’ recent visit to the Philippines, said that the Pope “communicated very effectively” the theme of mercy and compassion and did not dwell on rituals, structures and “the many things we have accumulated over centuries about the Catholic church.” He commented on how Pope Francis would drop his prepared speeches to stress points, teach or to express his own personal feelings. “It’s very touching, especially for priests like me,” Fr. Jun said. He added that he thought the church had lost touch with the poor and was trying to re-engage them.

“The poor are the very heart of evangelization. Remove the poor from the message of Jesus, and there’s nothing there anymore,” he said. However, Francis focused on the poor in most of his speeches and drew many people from poor communities to his various activities.

Thanks to the National Catholic Reporter for their permission to the Oblates to use the article from which this information came. Read the article in full..


J.P. Morgan Chase Issues How we do Business Report in Response to Faith-based Shareholders December 19th, 2014


Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility welcomed today’s release of JP Morgan Chase’s (JPMC) How we do Business Report. The report was, in large part, issued in response to shareholder pressure as a result of the billions of dollars in fines and penalties the company has faced over the past several years.

The report was largely brought about by shareholders pressing for structural changes as a result of the multiple ethical lapses which resulted in billions of dollars in fines and penalties.

Rev. Séamus Finn, of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and Board Chair of ICCR, said, “We welcome the report and look forward to the opportunity to review it in greater detail. The report appropriately acknowledges the lapses in ethical conduct that resulted in significant damage to the company’s reputation and details steps taken to reduce the possibility of such lapses in the future. That their actions have broader, societal repercussions beyond the scope of the company seems also to have been recognized. We are hopeful that management sees the value in this type of self-examination as a bridge to begin to restore trust and confidence between Main Street and Wall Street.”

Read the ICCR press release on the JP Morgan Chase report



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