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OMI US JPIC Staff, Advisory Committee Meet in Godfrey, Illinois November 18th, 2022

OMI JPIC Staff & Committee

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 RadleCo-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 HuelsmannChief 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, OMIDirector, OMI JPIC & Chief of Faith Consistent Investing – OIP Investment Trust
  • George NgolweAssociate Director, OMI JPIC
  • Rowena Gono, Communications Coordinator, OMI JPIC

OMI JPIC Hosts Bi-annual Meeting of Advisory Committee May 1st, 2017

Last week JPIC hosted the US JPIC Advisory Committee at a twice-yearly meeting to review and share progress on JPIC’s work. The Committee offered feedback on recent JPIC initiatives and discussed future opportunities.

The meeting’s highlights included viewing and discussing the film, Doctrine of Discovery, presented by Gary Elie and Carleton of the Presbyterian Eco Ministry movement in St. Louis, MO.  They shared their insights on dismantling the ‘doctrine of discovery’, which Christian explorers used to lay claim to indigenous lands and called on the faith community to pursue environmental justice and protect the rights of indigenous peoples.


Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, shares latest happenings at La Vista Ecological learning Center in Godfrey, IL.

A second guest presenter was Fr. George Kirwin, OMI, archival researcher and former president of Oblate College, who gave a fascinating talk on the history of the Oblate property in Washington, DC from 1916 to present.

(From L to R) Bayor Chantal, JPIC Volunteer, Fr. Daniel LeBlanc, OMI and Fr. Quilin Bouzi, OMI

The group also toured 3-Part Harmony Farm, the District’s first commercial farm operation located on the grounds of the Oblate residence and listened to a owner/manager Gail Taylor’s update on the farm’s growth.

On Saturday, April 29, some committee members and staff attended the People’s Climate March in Washington, DC, a national event coinciding with President Trump’s 100th day in office.

(From L to R) Fr. Antonio Ponce, OMI, Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI, Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, Christine Ilewski-Huelsmann (Gary’s wife) and Gary Huelsmann (Committee Chairman)

The US JPIC Advisory Committee is a mix of Oblates and laypersons passionate on issues of justice, economic development and ecology. They serve as a sounding board for the JPIC Office. The US OMI Provincial Administration is inviting new members to serve on the committee. Oblates are always encouraged to consider joining this committee. If you are interested please let us know at
Current US JPIC Advisory Committee members are: 
  • Mr. Gary Huelsmann, Chair, is Chief Executive Officer at Caritas Family Solutions, Belleville, IL
  • James Brobst, OMI, Consultant and Liturgical Organist and Midwest Area Councilor for the US Province
  •  Séamus Finn, OMI, is Chief of Faith Consistent Investing – OIP Investment Trust & Consultant
  • Fr. Quilin Bouzi, OMI, is Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Hope Parish in Buffalo, NY
  • Dr. Victor Carmona, is Assistant Professor of Moral Theology at the Oblate School of Theology, San Antonio, TX
  • Antonio Ponce, OMI, is Director of JPIC
  • Sr. Maxine Pohlman, SSND, is Director of the Oblate Ecology Initiative 
  • Ms. Patti Radle, is Co-Director of Inner City Development, San Antonio, TX
  • George Ngolwe, is Associate Director of JPIC

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