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A Ministry of Presence: Ceasefire Walk in Oakland, California July 17th, 2024

Republished from OMIUSA.ORG 

By Jack LAU, OMI

[On Friday June 28, 2024, Bro. Noel Garcia, OMI (Secretary General), joined Fr. Jack Lau, OMI, and Ms. Carrie McClish, an Associate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, for their weekly walk against gun violence in Oakland.]

Group of people holding up anti gun violence signs

For the past three years, they have walked every Friday night, seeking an end to the violence that plagues their city. They are part of Faith in Action East Bay, a faith-based community organization dedicated to promoting peace and ending gun violence through shared values from diverse faiths, races, and social backgrounds.

Bro. Noel Garcia, OMI (front) Fr. Jack Lau, OMI (rear)

The evening begins at a local church with a prayer, followed by a review of the safety rules. Equipped with signs, they then take to the streets.

The group usually walks between five and ten blocks, eventually standing on a busy corner with signs displaying messages like “Stop the Violence,” “Violence is Not an Oakland Value,” and “Honk for Peace.” Drivers frequently show their support by honking as they pass. This is a ministry of presence, signaling to the neighborhood that the “beloved community of varied faiths” stands with them.

Oakland Ceasefire employs an evidence-based strategy to reduce community violence. This initiative, driven by a community-police partnership that includes clergy, street outreach workers, service providers, and law enforcement, uses data to identify those most at risk of being shot or killed. The program then engages these individuals, offering them options and opportunities for change.


Happy 2024 Earth Day! April 22nd, 2024

By Fr. Jack Lau, OMI, Sacred Heart Church Oakland GreenTeam
As the parishioners of @SacredHeart Oakland and Pax Christi North California prepared to go out into the Longfellow Neighborhood in North Oakland, we gathered for an interfaith prayer in front of the Hiroshima Peace Garden @ Sacred Heart. This garden is an oasis of peace for the wider community.
We collected over 300 gallons of trash, not including tires and larger items that were dumped in our neighborhood.


We gather in the mystery and depth of the cross, the intersection of life and love, of pain and perseverance, of injustice and determination, of tenderness and solidarity, of Ongoing Care and Co-Creation. (+).

We invite you to join us for the Stations of the Cross under the Care of Creation theme. This resource was created by Fr. Jack Lau, OMI, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Oakland CA

Download Stations of the Cross/Care of Creation. (Some text adapted for parish use)

Join Sacred Heart parish every Friday during the season of Lent for Stations of the Cross livestreamed through Zoom. Visit the Parish’s website for more information.


OMI JPIC – Most Viewed Stories in 2020 January 19th, 2021

Want to know which stories received the most attention on OMI JPIC’s website and Facebook page in 2020? Click the link for the list and happy reading! in a new tab)

Laudato Si Put Into Action at Sacred Heart Parish August 31st, 2020

We join the global ecumenical family in prayer and action for the Season of Creation which begins on September 1. We are also inspired by Fr. Jack Lau, OMI’s efforts to turn Pope Francis’ Laudato Si message into concrete action at Sacred Heart Parish, Oakland, CA.

Years ago gardens were built for St. Martin’s de Porres School (now a Mandarin immersion charter school). But the gardens were recently abandoned and when the school switched to virtual learning earlier this year, Fr. Jack, with help from a parishioner,  got to work reviving the gardens.

Here is a before photo.

Fr. Jack recently completed training to become a Laudato Si Animator and with proper care and attention, the garden is already producing a bounty of vegetables.

Although churches remain closed in the California Bay area, Sacred Heart Parish hosts Sunday zoom Masses and drive-thru communion.

Immediately after Mass and drive-thru communion, fresh vegetables from the now flourishing gardens are available for parishioners who may have been laid off or otherwise in need. As a multicultural parish, some parishioners have enjoyed touring the gardens just to remind themselves of gardening back in the Philippines, Vietnam or Nigeria.

This past Sunday, Fr. Jack as usual picked what vegetables were ready to share with the parish after Mass and before drive through communion. Parishioners then brought in vegetables from their own gardens, day old bread and fruit for sharing as well.  A beautiful synergy is taking place!

Like many of us, throughout the month of September Sacred Heart Parish joins in acknowledging and celebrating “the Season of Creation.”


From September 1 to October 4, participate with Christians around the world in a celebration of restoration and hope to heal our relationships with creation and with each other. Learn about and participate in events by visiting this link:

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