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Oblate Ecological Efforts Praised by Illinois Nature Preserves Commission January 18th, 2024

Thanks to Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI and Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSNDDirector, La Vista Ecological Learning Ctr.

EDITOR‘S NOTE: Fr Séamus Finn, Director of OMIUSA JPIC and OIP, shared an email from Ms. Debbie Newman of the Illinois Dept of Natural Resources praising the Oblate efforts in forest preservation around Godfrey, IL and the work of noted cave explorer and mapper, Fr. Paul Wightman, OMI. Fr. Finn’s enthusiastic introduction is just below, followed by Ms Newman’s email with links to various publications from the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources.

Originally published at OMIUSA.ORG

Thanks to Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI and Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSNDDirector, La Vista Ecological Learning Ctr.

EDITOR‘S NOTE: Fr Séamus Finn, Director of OMIUSA JPIC and OIP, shared an email from Ms. Debbie Newman, a Natural Areas Preservation Specialist with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, praising the Oblate efforts in forest preservation around Godfrey, IL and the work of noted cave explorer and mapper, Fr. Paul Wightman, OMI. Fr. Finn’s enthusiastic introduction is just below, followed by Ms Newman’s email with links to various publications from the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.

Thanks to Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI and Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSNDDirector, La Vista Ecological Learning Ctr.

EDITOR‘S NOTE: Fr Séamus Finn, Director of OMIUSA JPIC and OIP, shared an email from Ms. Debbie Newman of the Illinois Dept of Natural Resources praising the Oblate efforts in forest preservation around Godfrey, IL and the work of noted cave explorer and mapper, Fr. Paul Wightman, OMI. Fr. Finn’s enthusiastic introduction is just below, followed by Ms Newman’s email with links to various publications from the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources.

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From Fr. Séamus P. Finn, OMI:

What a terrific story that OMI USP through our property in Godfrey has been a part of for nearly 30 years. This story that needs to be told, replicated and celebrated.

Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI

Brings to mind the talk that Pope Francis delivered on Thursday to a group of visiting priests this week.

Pope to secular missionary priests: ‘Be in the world, for the world “

  … Pope Francis began by underlining “the value of secularity in the life and ministry of priests.” “Secularity (secolarità),” he stressed, “is not synonymous with secularism (laicità)…

Secularity, he said, is rather “a dimension of the Church,” having to do with its mission to “serve and bear witness to the Kingdom of God in this world.

Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND

Special thanks to Sr Maxine Pohlman SSND who keeps this relationship alive for all of us.

The email clearly lays out the value of the Missionary Oblates Woods Nature Preserve in the big picture and the work we do there. It brings to mind the foresight and guiding hand of (the late) Fr. Bob Moosbrugger, OMI, who was integral to this project in the beginning. Enjoy!

  • Fr. Séamus P. Finn, OMIDirector, OMIUSA JPIC, OIP

Read the full article @OMIUSA.ORG

 

From Ms. Debbie S. Newman

Greetings Landowners, Partners and Volunteers! 

Happy New Year to each and every one of you!  I hope you had a good holiday season.  I hope 2024 will be a great year for you.

Working with volunteers in the preserve are: Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, (far right) and next to her is Natural Area Preservation Specialist, for the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources, and author of the email below, Debbie S, Newman.

Read the full article @OMIUSA.ORG

 

 

 

 


COP28: the Role of Food Systems in the Climate Crisis Will Get More Attention Than Ever December 1st, 2023

Comments by Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI

(Image by Rosy/Bad Homburg / Germany, Pixabay)

 
Day One of COP28 started with an agreement on a “Loss and Damage Fund,” whereby the countries who have caused most of the destructive consequences of climate change will make substantial financial contributions to help developing countries address the challenges that they face from climate change.
 
On the 2nd day, the Role of Food Systems in the Climate Crisis got more attention and is addressing such topics as deforestation, meat and dairy amounts in diets and food waste. Let’s hope and pray that the negotiators will stay at the table long enough and keep in mind not just their own interests but the Common Good of all humanity  including the health of the planet.
 
Finally let’s remember that each of us are called to examine our own lifestyles and see how we can contribute to finding solutions to this urgent challenge.
 
 
ARTICLE: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/01122023/cop28-food-agriculture-climate-change/
 
Practical Ways To Live Sustainably: https://omiusajpic.org/topics/ecotips/ 
 
 

2023 Season of Creation – “Let’s Irrigate Life!” September 15th, 2023

By Maurice Lange, current Justice & Peace Director at Presentation Sisters & former Executive Director of the Oblates Lebh Shomea House of Prayer

green leaves with raindrops

“Love, overflowing with small gestures of mutual care, is also civic and political, and it makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world.” (Laudato Si #231)

READ: 3rd part of Pope Francis’ letter for the 2023 Season of Creation (below) (READ FULL REFLECTION)

REFLECTION: Pope Francis does not mince words in calling us to put an end to war upon Creation. Our calling is to stand with victims of this war, both human and other-than-human. Justice and peace cannot flow when so many bodies of water are drying up. Yes, our human societies are that linked to the natural world! Greed and selfishness, on the part of individuals and industry, are wreaking havoc on Earth’s water cycle. Creation’s heartbeat works in cycles…we Westerners think and act linearly. Can we align our hearts with the way that Earth functions…and live cyclically?

(READ FULL REFLECTION)

ACTION: This week go outside — near a stream, brook or small river — and just be. Ponder the flow of that water…and where it merges with other streams or rivers. How does this increase provide for creatures and habitats downstream? What are some novel ways you can irrigate (and not deplete) “the life of our marvelous planet and our human family”?

(READ FULL REFLECTION)

Reflections in this series:

 


2023 Season of Creation – “Harmonize Our Hearts” September 7th, 2023

White flowers on horizontally displayed guitar

(Image by Shirley Hirst from Pixabay)

By Maurice Lange, current Justice & Peace Director at Presentation Sisters & former Executive Director of the Oblates Lebh Shomea House of Prayer

The Spirit of God has filled the universe with possibilities and therefore, from the very heart of things, something new can always emerge.” (Laudato Si #80)


READ
: 2nd part of Pope Francis’ letter for the 2023 Season of Creation (READ FULL REFLECTION)

REFLECT: Pope Francis calls us during this Season of Creation to dwell upon heartbeats: our own as well as those heartbeats which give us life: our mother’s… Creation’s…God’s… A pilgrimage place (like Lac St. Anne in Canada) is healing…and also inviting of an individual/group to go to the heart of the matter. Francis focuses us this Season by inviting us to journey with him on a pilgrimage. We are called to harmonize our hearts (our perceptions and lifestyles) with the heartbeat of Creation, that which gives life. Where do our hearts beat in harmony with Life? What influences in our society allure us away from such a harmony?

(READ FULL REFLECTION)

ACT: As we begin this year’s Season of Creation, we must admit how out-of-sync our Western hearts are with the rest of the natural world. Is there a link between such disharmony and our Western addiction to screentime (and derived dopamine)? * During this Season of Creation, create a plan to limit screentime. (And thus, have time and attentiveness to harmonize your heart with that which truly gives life.)

In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present.” (LS #245)

(READ FULL REFLECTION)


Reflections in this series:

 


Let Justice & Peace Flow: Season of Creation 2023 August 31st, 2023

2023 Season of Creation

Join in This Global Celebration
 (Background image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay)

The Season of Creation is an annual observance for Christians all around the world to come together in prayer to celebrate and protect God’s earth. It takes place from September 1 to October 4, ending on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.  This year’s theme declares, let “Justice and Peace Flow.” 
Green tree branches in woods with a small bridge over pond

“Let Justice and Peace Flow” — By Maurice Lange, Justice & Peace Director at Presentation Sisters

Green and blue earth showing one house upper right of image

Letter of the Superior General: World Day of Prayer
for the
Care of Creation

Blue background, yellow honeybee diving into pink flower

New Resource!
Practical Ways
We
Can Help Pollinators

Learn more about the climate crisis by visiting these websites:


Season of Creation 
Invites you to use these resources and share them with your church, pastor or other regional authority to join the Season of Creation, and even spread the word to local media.

Laudato Si Movement
The Laudato Si Movement works within the Catholic Church to better care for our common home.

Catholic Climate Covenant
Catholic Climate Covenant inspires and equips people and institutions to care for creation and care

Creation Justice Ministries
Seeks justice for God’s planet and God’s people

Interfaith Power & Light
Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVA) works with hundreds of congregations of all faiths across Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia to save energy, go green, and respond to climate change. Together, they are building a religious response to the climate crisis.

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