Archive for April, 2017

Update on Justice and Peace in the Philippines

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Two OLMs attended a talk organized by Kairos in Toronto.  The speakers were a delegation of people from the Philippines who are asking Canadians for mining justice and reporting on the progress of the peace process in the Philippines in which all sectors, including the Indigenous People have been actively involved.

According to Bishop Ablon, IFI and two Indigenous People; Nenita Condez  and Eufemia Campos Cullamat,  the Philippines faces a range of threats which they frequently describe as development aggression. Much of the land they struggle to defend is in areas of forests or mountains that are rich in natural resources.  Conflicts often arise with companies, many of them based outside the Philippines, that want to exploit those resources – usually without the consent of the Indigenous Peoples.

One of the major problems that Indigenous Peoples face is that of large-scale Canadian resource extraction corporations digging up their land, logging their forests and constructing large-scale dams that flood their land.

All of these activities lead to conflict which in turn, leads to militarization in the area.  The Indigenous activists on the delegation have been forced to leave their home and livelihood and live as internal refugees for over a year now.

by Lorie Nunez, OLM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gratitude Means Involvement

Monday, April 17th, 2017

A flower arrangement by Sr. Noreen, OLM

We know the season of Easter we are now entering as a time of joy and celebration, of gratitude for God’s promise that life triumphs over death and good is stronger than evil.

If this attitude of hope can seem difficult to enter into because we feel surrounded by violence, oppression and fear, perhaps it has never been more needed. It is a call to recognize the signs of God’s presence, of goodness, beauty and life and know that they too are all around us.

The budding of peonies in our backyard garden

The earth is coming to life after the cold and darkness of winter. People, individually and courageously, or gathered in hundreds and thousands, declare publicly and honestly their opposition to oppression of any group. Refugee families help others who come after them, providing the welcome and support for which they themselves are grateful. In endless examples of kindness and generosity women, men and children put the welfare of others ahead of personal gain or convenience.

 

The blooming of daffodil in our backyard garden

Looking around us we can see that the miracle of Easter continues. Our acceptance of God’s promise is not passive. Our gratitude means involvement. The Spirit of God is so wonderfully present in and among us and it is up to us to make it more visible, more tangible.

May your Easter season be filled with hope and possibilities.

-By Frances Brady, OLM

Islamophobia

Monday, April 10th, 2017

On a Sunday afternoon in March the Partners with OLM group gathered at our Central House to learn from Samira Kanji, President of the Noor Cultural Centre.  We had asked Samira to speak about Islamophobia.  She decided to focus on the topic of women in Islam since this is the source of much of the confusion and ignorance that leads to Islamophobia.

Samira Kanji, President
Noor Cultural Centre

Samira explained that there is a metaphysical equality between women and men in the Qur’an and cited several verses.  One of which was:

40:40: “Whoever commits a sin will be repaid only with its like. But whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, and is a believer—these will enter Paradise, where they will be provided for without account.”

She then reminded us that there are 1.6 million Muslims spread out across some 50 Muslim-majority countries.  We often forget that just as there is much diversity among Christians, so is there much diversity among Muslims and a great deal of variety in how Islam is lived out around the world.

This reminded me of a workshop that a Muslim friend and I used to give on Muslim-Christian dialogue in the Philippines.  We would always remind participants of the tendency we ALL have to compare the ideal of our religion with the less than ideal lived reality of the other’s.

Our afternoon included a lively question and answer session.  Many of the participants asked that we continue with the same topic at our next gathering.

– By Christine Gebel, OLM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interested to learn more?  Check out the reading list that Samira left with us:

Welcome to the Party, America! 11 Muslim women who have been PM or President: https://www.juancole.com/2016/06/welcome-america-president.html

 

Gender Equity in Islam, by Dr Jamal Badawi: http://www.sultan.org/books/gender_equity_in_islam.pdf

(Noor CC Report) Muslims & Multiculturalism: http://www.noorculturalcentre.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/noor-muslims-and-multiculturalism-nov-30-2013-13.pdf

(Noor CC Report) Response to Honor Diaries film: http://www.noorculturalcentre.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/ncc-critique-of-honor-diaries1.pdf

Islamophobic feminism: http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/islamophobic-feminism-doesnt-help-muslim-women

https://www.juancole.com/2013/04/terrorism-other-religions.html

 

Called to Something New and Unexpected – Our Life is Mission!

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

On March 25th 2017, OLMs and some of our friends gathered at Leander house to celebrate the feast of the Annunciation, our principal Feast Day which is also the day when Father Dan celebrated the first Mass of thanksgiving in Immaculata House in 1949.

Commemorating this event invites us to ponder Mary’s fiat as Christine inspired us to reflect:

As we join Mary in saying “Let it be done to me according to your word,” what is THE WORD to which we are referring? What is our role in God’s creation? What are the broad strokes of the graces and challenges that will come our way?”

Being in the process of diminishment, we truly believe that like Mary, we are being called to something new and unexpected.  We are all aware that we are in a time of transition and will soon live a different community life that we will share in Presentation Manor.

Furthermore, like Mary, who asked a question so that she could better understand and live in harmony with THE WORD in her life, we too can ponder and ask questions leading to reflection and discernment around THE WORD in our lives.

The feast of the Annunciation inspires us to ponder even more deeply to constantly say  YES by holding on to this quote from our last Chapter Mission statement: “Always and everywhere in union with God – Our Life is Mission!”