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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Important Advances in Pediatric AIDS Drug Development December 3rd, 2014

moment_quoteWorld AIDS Day saw two important announcements regarding development of much-needed pediatric AIDS drugs. This is an issue on which the Oblates and other faith-based investors in the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) have pressed pharmaceutical companies on for years. Since most pediatric AIDS patients are in poor, developing countries, the usual market incentive for drug development does not exist. And, the development of pediatric AIDS drugs, particularly for infants, is challenging. ICCR members have actively encouraged the major pharmaceutical companies to participate in the Medicines Patent Pool, a mechanism established under the auspices of the UN to ‘pool’ patents for drugs to make existing formulations more readily available for generic production and for innovative fixed dose combinations to be developed.

On Monday, World AIDS Day, Abbvie announced a licensing agreement for lopinavir (LPV) and ritonavir (r), top World Health Organization-recommended medicines for children. The license will enable other companies and organizations to re-formulate and manufacture specially designed LPV/r and r pediatric treatments for distribution in low- and middle-income countries where 99% of children with HIV in the developing world live. [Abbvie is a spinoff of Abbott Laboratories that contains the research-based pharmaceutical business.]

On the same day, the HIV Medicines Research Industry Forum announced that the forum is joining PEPFAR, the Global Fund, and the Pediatric HIV Treatment Initiative (PHTI) in the newly established “Global Pediatric Antiretroviral (ARV) Commitment-to-Action” to accelerate innovation and save children’s lives. The initiative is designed to accelerate the development of new, high-priority pediatric ARV co-formulations for first- and second-line treatment by 2017.

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Faith-Based Shareholders Pushes Bank of America to Reverse Poor Governance Decision November 26th, 2014


Activists protest BofA in Charlotte, NC in 2012;
Credit: photo from Flickr;
Some Rights Reserved

The Missionary Oblates have joined other Faith-based investors in asking Bank of America to require the Chair of the Board to remain independent. BOA recently decided to give the title of Chairman to the Bank’s CEO, Brian Moynihan.

BOA’s action rolls back a bylaw change approved by shareholders in 2009 to separate the titles. Faith-based and other large institutional investors, including the California State Teacher’s Retirement System and the New York City Pension Funds, have called for a shareholder vote on the issue. Continuing fines and settlement payments involving the bank since the financial crisis have shareholders arguing for greater oversight of management by the Board. Giving the CEO the additional authority of Board Chair weakens the independence of the Board.

Fr Seamus Finn, OMI who is Board Chair of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, said the bank’s ongoing fines and settlements show that it needs “to take a serious look at the culture of the institution.” He said it would be better if the two roles were separated.

The Oblates have joined the New Jersey-based Sisters of Charity in co-filing a resolution on this issue, and other faith-based institutional investors plan to do the same. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers has analysts predicting that the bank will put the issue on the ballot for a vote by shareholders.

Canadian Mining Symposium a Success November 9th, 2014

IMAG0670Over a hundred and fifty people gathered on November 7th and 8th, 2014 at St. Paul’s University Campus for a symposium on mining organized by the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation ministry of the Canadian LaCombe Province. The gathering, titled SYMPOSIUM: Mining Extraction and Justice “The Global Cry of the People”, looked at the impacts of mining on affected communities, and their response. The dialog of faith groups with mining companies was also examined. Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI from the US JPIC Office, who has actively engaged a number of multinational mining companies, moderated one of the discussion panels. The symposium featured Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, author of A Theology of Liberation, as the Keynote speaker.

Official Program available here.


Canadian Symposium on Mining and Justice in November October 24th, 2014

The Oblate JPIC initiative in Canada has organized a symposium on mining, called “The Global Cry of the People” Symposium on Mining Extraction and Justice for Friday, November 7th and Saturday November 8th, 2014. It will be held at Saint Paul’s University in Ottawa.

The symposium is designed to create a greater awareness among Canadians about the impact of mining, and will try to create a space for Church, civil society and politicians to learn and discuss the justice issues involved.

Partners in this project include: St Paul University, Canadian Mining Watch, the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, the Halifax Initiative, Citizens for Public justice, Canadian Martyrs Parish, St Joseph’s Parish, Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace-CCCB and KAIROS. The guest speaker will be the theologian Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez Merino, well-known as the founder of liberation theology in Latin America. The symposium will also feature presentations from experts, which will include Canadian politicians, representatives of the mining industry, and spokespersons with direct experience from mining communities in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Canada.

Information and the registration form, are now available by going to the OMI Lacombe website and selecting Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation/JPIC. There you will find all conference materials. You can also register here.

This symposium is free and open to all who might be interested, although a voluntary donation to cover costs will be accepted at the registration table.

For more information, please contact Leonardo Rego, OMI at




JPIC Report Fall/Winter 2014 Issue Now Available On-Line September 17th, 2014

JPIC-Report-logoThe Fall/Winter 2014 issue of JPIC Report is now available on line as a PDF. It will soon be available in print form.

Please contact Mary O’Herron in the JPIC Office if you want to be added to the mailing list.

You can find all issues of JPIC Report on this website in the Resources section. (Download a PDF of the latest issue)


Fr Seamus Finn, OMI Elected Chair of ICCR Governing Board September 2nd, 2014

Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI and Sr. Judy Byron, OP at the ICCR meetings

Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI and Sr. Judy Byron, OP
at ICCR meetings in NY

Our own Seamus Finn, OMI has been elected Chair of the Governing Board of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. This is an acknowledgement not only of his substantial experience in the field of faith constant and socially responsible investing, but also of the value of his strategic thinking in this area, for ICCR and other faith-based investing initiatives.

Learn more about ICCR here.



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