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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Midwest Oblates join Faith-Based Community Organizing Coalition November 20th, 2014

handsThe Missionary Oblates of the Midwest Area are now official members of United Congregations of Metro East. This ecumenical faith based organization provides a cooperative forum for member congregations in promoting issues of Social Justice, and offers social organizing training on behalf of the poor. They already have been working informally with the Ecological Learning Center in Godfrey, and look forward to partnering with the Hispanic Ministry at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in order to have greater influence in the surrounding Latino community.

UCM was established in early 2000 with six churches. With technical assistance and training from the Gamaliel Foundation, they have grown to represent over 34 congregations with approximately 27,000 members. Member congregations represent the full range of communities in southwestern Illinois: older urban communities and new suburban areas, white, African-American and Hispanic, wealthy and impoverished.

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Mary Immaculate, Santa Rosa, St Elisabeth & OneLA Make Waves with LA County Supervisors May 23rd, 2014

Thanks to Edward Chavez, OneLA organizer in Mary Immaculate and Santa Rosa parishes for sending this statement on the group’s latest success in LA!

2104Over eight hundred people from churches, schools, synagogues, and civic organizations throughout Los Angeles packed the Los Angeles Supervisor’s boardroom on May 20, 2014. The message was clear: We are united in our call for increased funding for Healthy Way LA, the county’s health coverage program for the undocumented and remaining uninsured.

IMG_2610Reactions from the Supervisors were mixed. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas showed signs of support and was pleased with the large turnout from schools, clinics, synagogues and churches in his district. However, it was obvious that much work needs to be done to ensure a second and third vote to increase funding.


During the board meeting, OneLA leaders were successful in securing a follow up meeting with Supervisor Gloria Molina and her staff. Supervisor Yaroslavsky has also agreed to continue the conversation.

As a result of OneLA’s packing the Board meeting, the Supervisors called the Director of the County’s Health Services Department to drop what he was doing and come to the Board meeting. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas asked Director Mitch Katz to offer an explanation for why nearly one thousand County residents are calling for more funding. Dr. Katz offered a weak response, reasserting that he does not see a need for additional funding. Our big turnout was instrumental in demonstrating to the Board that Dr. Katz’ assessment of the County’s need does not accurately reflect the real need in our communities. We must continue to make sure that the community’s voice is heard loud and clear- more funding is essential!photo 1-1

We thank Supervisor Antonovich and his staff for ensuring that our leaders were recognized and given time to address the board. Speakers included: Jim Mangia, Director of St John’s Well Child and Family Center, Fabiola Sandoval of the Boyle Height’s Building Healthy Communities Collaborative, Mary Jackson from St Brigid Church and Fr. Bruce Wellems, pastor of San Gabriel Mission Catholic Church. As our speakers closed, hundreds One LA and other organizations rose to their feet and applauded the Supervisors for their leadership thus far. We then left the boardroom together, determined to continue the fight- together as One LA.

A follow up meeting will be held on Thursday May 29th 7:00pm, place to be announced.




Northern Virginia Community Organization Develops $30 Million Redevelopment Fund October 1st, 2013

fd81abd254d7751c4d3d0b1efc49d95fVOICE, the northern Virginia community organization that has been addressing housing blight in the region, was highlighted in a Washington Post article recently. The organization has put together the $30 million “Prince William, VA Restoration Fund” from mortgage lenders responsible for a major foreclosure crisis in the area. The fund is designed to address neighborhood blight caused by the foreclosure & predatory loan crisis in town home communities like Georgetown South in Manassas, VA.  The Oblates have actively supported VOICE’s efforts to develop this community redevelopment fund through our activist shareholder connections.

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VOICE Wins Significant Housing Agreement with Bank of America October 12th, 2012

On the evening of Monday October 1st, VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) had a remarkably successful action to push forward mortgage relief for affected homeowners in Prince William County, VA. Following all-day, intense negotiations, last minute accommodations, and a lot of fluid politics, 800+ VOICE leaders packed St Paul United Methodist Church in Woodbridge, VA and emerged with some impressive agreements.

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Faith Based Community Organizers host Public Gathering on Foreclosure Crisis in Virginia October 6th, 2011

On October 30th VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) member institutions will hold a public gathering with more than 1,000 people to celebrate progress on their recent campaigns, especially their work to address the foreclosure crisis in Prince William County, Manassas, & Manassas Park. The Oblates have supported VOICE’s work on foreclosures by having given the organization access to company meetings and  connecting them with other faith-based shareholder activists.

The upcoming action will be an opportunity to celebrate successes (in Prince William County and across Northern Virginia) and to announce next steps to address local reinvestment needs.

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and senior bank executives will be in attendance.

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