News Archives Immaculate Heart of Mary Novitiate - Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation
OMI US JPIC Staff, Advisory Committee Meet in Godfrey, Illinois November 18th, 2022
From November 10 to 11 the OMI JPIC Committee had its first hybrid meeting since the Covid-19 pandemic. The in-person venue was the historic Immaculate Heart of Mary Novitiate in Godfrey, IL.
The group meets twice a year to discuss JPIC’s work and exchange ideas. Meeting discussions centered on JPIC’s socially responsible investing efforts, integrity of creation initiatives through LaVista Ecological Learning Center, the 2021-2023 Synod, and Economy of Francesco, an initiative of Pope Francis that engages young people in dialogue about “a different kind of economy that better respects humanity and nature.”
The group also paused to tour the grounds of the newly renovated novitiate, visiting the LaVista Garden and lodge, which sits on the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.
The US JPIC Advisory Committee is a mix of Oblates and laypersons passionate about issues of justice, economic development and ecology. They serve as a sounding board for the office. Full list of JPIC Committee and office staff:
- Dr. Victor Carmona, Chair, Assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego
- Ms. Patti Radle, Co-Director, Inner City Development
- Fr. Daniel LeBlanc, OMI, Associate, International JPIC Office and Oblate UN Representative
- Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, Director, La Vista Ecological Learning Center
- Mr. Gary Huelsmann, Chief Executive Officer, Caritas Family Solutions
- Mrs. Mary O’Herron, Former OMI JPIC Staff & Honorary Oblate of Mary Immaculate
- Fr Emmanuel Mulenga, OMI, Pastor, St. Augustine Church
- Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI, Director, OMI JPIC & Chief of Faith Consistent Investing – OIP Investment Trust
- George Ngolwe, Associate Director, OMI JPIC
- Rowena Gono, Communications Coordinator, OMI JPIC
Friends of the Oblates Preserves Receives Award @ Illinois State Fair August 25th, 2021
Congratulations to Friends of the Oblates Nature Preserves for receiving a well-deserved “Volunteers of the Year” award from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at the State Fair in Springfield, IL!
In collaboration with La Vista Ecological Learning Center, these faithful workers from O’Fallon, Waterloo, Edwardsville, Godfrey, and Elsah Illinois, collectively contributed 930 hours in monthly workdays. Their efforts in removing invasive species like bush honeysuckle, winter creeper and oriental bittersweet contribute to the preservation of biodiversity by allowing native species to thrive again. In addition they are helping to preserve an ecologically sensitive habitat where threatened and endangered species live or pass through during migration.
Sixteen acres of land at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Novitiate in Godfrey, Illinois were officially preserved in the Illinois Nature Preserve System in 1993. The first priority in preserving land is to protect biodiversity which is necessary for the continuation of life in our common home.
Illinois State Fair at a Glance:
- The Illinois State Fair is an annual 11-day festival celebrating agriculture, farmers and related industries
- First celebrated in 1853 in Chicago, IL, the fair is now in its 158th year.
- The fair has moved to Springfield, IL and is held nearly every year with few exceptions (it was canceled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic)
- Average attendance is around half a million, climbing to nearly 1 million in 2012 and 2013 and dropping back down to about 500,000 in 2019.
- Corn-dogs-on-sticks, a popular edible treat at U.S. fairs is said to have originated at the Illinois State Fair