Oblate Voices is a JPIC blog that follows stories of hope and is about how Oblates and associates live and experience mission work in the spirit of the Oblate founder, St Eugene De Mazenod of responding to the needs of poor and most abandoned around the world.

Monday, January 11, 2016

An Interfaith Gathering for Solidarity, Understanding, and Peace

By Sr. Nathanael Lee

Sr. Nathanael Lee is from South Korea and a member of the Little Servants of the Holy Family congregation. She is interning at JPIC's office in Washington, DC.

On December 16th I was privileged to attend an extraordinary event at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. When I read promotion materials I was captivated right away by the event’s title: “An Interfaith Gathering for Solidarity, Understanding, and Peace.” This turned out to be among the most inspiring prayer services I have ever participated in.

The world is still reeling from the unspeakable tragedies in the wake of the Paris terror attacks and San Bernardino, CA massacre. These events have further escalated our concerns and worries about security in public places. We have learned from both tragedies that violence of this kind can be unleashed not only on a battlefield, but also against regular civilians going about their normal lives. These tragedies have also made us feel angry, fearful and suspicious of people we perceive as different from us.

During these difficult and stressful times we need interfaith events like these more than ever. We are witnessing an increase in terror attacks on a global scale, and Mr. Donald Trump’s recent statements calling for a ban on all Muslims traveling to the U.S. have resulted in further backlash against the Islamic community. This is why I felt so honored to be a part of an interfaith audience that stood together for solidarity, understanding, and peace.

At some point during the event each faith representative read from their religious book and offered prayerful reflections in their own way. It was thrilling to see them all on one stage praying TOGETHER and conveying the following messages: we respect you, we listen carefully to what you are saying, we call you friend, and we stand with you. 

Adding to the excitement and to the surprise of many present, Vice President Joe Biden showed up and gave a great “This is America” talk. Please see the video here at http://www.georgetown.edu/joe-biden-interfaith-event-2015.

I was pleased that it was an interfaith prayer gathering and not an academic seminar that motivated and moved me so greatly.

Towards 200 Years of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

“In solidarity with persons of goodwill, especially those, Christians and Non Christians alike, who are dedicated to the pursuit of Justice and Peace, we commit ourselves to a dialogue with society”

(Witnessing as Apostolic Community# 24)

*Photo Courtesy by OMI Assumption Province-Canada

Friday, January 8, 2016

1816 - 2016: 200 Years of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

Action on behalf of justice is an integral part of evangelization….Whatever their work, Oblates will collaborate, according to their vocation and by every means compatible with the Gospel, in changing all that is a cause of oppression and poverty.” 

(OMI Rule 9)