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By Fr. Séamus P. Finn, OMI, Director of OMIUSAJPIC and OIP
One of the most important developments in missiology, (which I understand to mean “engagement” with the world), at the institutional/organizational level over the last 25 years, has been a consideration of how the vision and mission of different religious entities reflects and integrates the call of the Gospel, the Church’s tradition and the Charism of their founders in both their policies and operations. Put more concretely, “are these entities walking the talk” and how well aligned are their operations and marketing with the religious identity and name that they embrace.
For more than 40 years the Oblates of Mary Immaculate have asked this question and worked assiduously to find ways to integrate this approach into the management of any trusts, endowments or foundations for which they are responsible. For this purpose they have developed and continue to refine a Faith Consistent Investment policy to guide those responsible for managing these funds.
Help Protect the Environment! April 12th, 2021
Reducing consumption, reusing items and recycling whenever possible reduces air and water pollution, keeps landfills from filling up so quickly and saves energy and money for both consumers and governments that have to deal with trash. This is a great way to deal with climate change. Our new brochure offers tips on ways you can reduce, reuse and recycle as individuals and in your communities.
Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI Weighs in on Climate Crisis & Wall Street March 19th, 2021
Reading the writing on the wall’: why Wall Street is acting on the climate crisis
“They are getting pushed by the customer, by the science, by the general public.” — Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI
Wildfires burned nearly 10.4m acres across the US last year. The most costly thunderstorm in US history caused $7.5bn in damage across Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. As the climate crisis swept the globe on a biblical scale it left in its wake a record number of billion-dollar disasters.
And yet out of these ashes has emerged an unlikely savior: Wall Street. After decades of backing polluters and opposing legislation to rein them in, finance says it’s going green.
Our Global Biodiversity Crisis – What You Can Do October 16th, 2020
Submitted by Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, director, La Vista Ecological Learning Center
The loss of biodiversity on our planet is even more urgent than the climate crisis but less well-known, putting people, wildlife, and future generations at risk. Scientists report that one million species are in danger of extinction in the coming decades. Urgent action needs to be taken now to reverse the massive loss of plants, insects, and other creatures we depend on for a stable climate, sustainable food supplies and essential pollination services.
All of us can help by participating in Citizen Science Projects right in our local areas. Projects include observing wildlife, measuring night sky brightness, monitoring water quality, counting birds, monitoring bird nests, and many more. Visit the National Geographic website to get ideas. You will be working with thousands of other volunteers and scientists to gather and share important data to a global database.
Visit the National Geographic website to participate.
Photos courtesy, Unsplash.
Laudato Si’@ 5: Reflect, Pray & Take Action, May 16-24, 2020 May 15th, 2020
Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home was released at the end of May 2015. Missionary Oblates JPIC joined Catholics in welcoming Laudato Si’ and have since worked to integrate the themes into our justice and peace work. As we observe the encyclical’s five-year anniversary, we invite you to join us as we reflect on a few of the encyclical’s themes.
The ecological crisis, Pope Francis wrote, is a summons to profound interior conversion—to renew our relationships with God, one another, and the created world – The lessons of the global financial crisis have not been assimilated, and we are learning all too slowly the lessons of environmental deterioration. (#109)
Laudato Si’: Poor and Vulnerable
“The poorest areas and countries are less capable of adopting new models for reducing environmental impact because they lack the wherewithal to develop the necessary processes and to cover their costs. We must continue to be aware that, regarding climate change, there are differentiated responsibilities” (#52)
- How does preferential option for the poor and vulnerable call us to respond to Laudato Si’?
Laudato Si’: Global Solidarity
“Interdependence obliges us to think of one world with a common plan…A global consensus is essential for confronting the deeper problems, which cannot be resolved by unilateral actions on the part of individual countries. Such a consensus could lead, for example, to planning a sustainable and diversified agriculture, developing renewable and less polluting forms of energy, encouraging a more efficient use of energy, promoting a better management of marine and forest resources, and ensuring universal access to drinking water.” (#164)
- How do you express solidarity with people in your community and around the world?
Laudato Si’: Common Good
“The notion of the common good also extends to future generations. The global economic crises have made painfully obvious the detrimental effects of disregarding our common destiny, which cannot exclude those who come after us. We can no longer speak of sustainable development apart from intergenerational solidarity” (#159)
- With Whom are you called to dialogue about future of the common home? Pope Francis calls for dialogue that include everyone. Who should be included?
Find more ways here on how you can Reflect, Pray and Take Action to Celebrate the 5th anniversary of Laudato Si’.
- Vatican Laudato Si Week page: https://laudatosiweek.org/
- Activities, prayers and resources from Catholic Climate Covenant and partners:
- Archdiocese of Chicago will each day host a virtual presentation on Zoom that focuses on different facets of caring for our common home:
- Watch the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ roundtable conversation as part of #LaudatoSiWeek2020! On May 20th head to http://ow.ly/NLSv50zGqeC at 2pm ET to watch live!
- USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development has several new and updated bilingual resources.
- Join Franciscan Action Network on Tuesday, May 19th Laudato Si’ for a webinar in celebration of the 5th anniversary of the encyclical’s release. Register to join the Zoom webinar, however it will be streamed live on their Facebook page
2019 Year in Review: A Year of Engagement, Outreach and Action January 3rd, 2020
Happy New Year. Here are some 2019 highlights from the OMI JPIC office:
o January 2019, JPIC started the year on a somber note and in solidarity with OMI Province of the Philippines on the Jolo Cathedral Bombing in January 2019.
o February 2019 Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI and Fr Rufus Whitley, OMI presented at the Vatican Conference in Rome on Impact Investing: Scaling Investment in Service of Integral Human Development which focused on concrete ways that capital can help the poor around the world.
o March 2019, JPIC office welcomed and hosted Fr. Ray Cook OMI and Rice University Students
o April 2019, the OMI JPIC Committee met in New Orleans, Louisiana at the historic St Augustine Catholic Church.
o May 2019, JPIC welcomed Br. Joey Methé, OMI for 2019 Summer Intern. And expressed gratitude for the vocation of Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI on 43 Years of Priesthood
o Effective July 1, 2019, Mrs. Mary O’ Herron and Fr Emmanuel Mulenga OMI appointed to a three-year term on the JPIC committee.
o August 2019, launch of the new 360° design for JPIC newsletter:http://omiusajpic.org/2019/08/16/presenting-our-2019-summer-jpic-report-with-a-fresh-new-look/
o US Provincial Fr Louis Studer, OMI joined national leaders in sign-on letter urging the administration to pass bipartisan budget agreement that lifted spending caps for non-defense programs and raises debt ceiling.
o In September 2019, to mark World Day of Migrants and Refugees JPIC launched the podcast featuring Fr. Jesse Esqueda OMI speaking on the migrant crisis in Tijuana.
o October 2019, JPIC social media provided a platform for Oblates updates and happenings at Pan-Amazon Region in Rome and experiences of Oblates at the Amazon Synod such as Fr Roberto Carrasco, OMI
o November 2019, Fr Séamus Finn, OMI, was the keynote speaker at Marquette’s first symposium on Socially Responsible Investing where he explored the history of socially responsible investing, drawing on personal stories and work as board chair of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
o In December 2019, Missionary Oblates joined 80 national religious bodies in sending letter the US Senate urging passage of the ILLICIT CASH Act (S.2563) and the Corporate Transparency Act (S.1978)
o December 2019, another big highlight was a Congressional Hearing on the state of migrant children where JPIC Committee member Patti Radle was among panelists giving powerful testimonies: https://edlabor.house.gov/hearings/growing-up-in-fear-how-the-trump-administrations-immigration-policies-are-harming-children-