What is the Oblate Ecological Initiative?
The Oblate Ecological Initiative is a new ministry of the United States Province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a world-wide congregation of priests and brothers dedicated to bringing the Good News to the poor and most abandoned. The Ecological Initiative is part of the ongoing effort of the Congregation to respond to the priority of Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation. In the spirit of Eugene de Mazenod, the founder of the Oblates, this ministry calls forth that which lies deepest within us.
Why This New Ministry?
The times in which we live are full of both promise and threat.
"Promise" seems to result from a broadened vision. Only in the last century did humans realize that we live in a Universe that is both expanding and developing. This is very good news! Even more recently did we see for the first time the Earth from space − an image that has become an icon for many. There has been an increasing realization that, indeed, humans live in dependence upon the rest of God's Creation. This insight has evoked a dimension of religious faith and an impassioned zeal for all life!
"Threat" appears to result from restricted vision. We see so many of our governments, institutions, and corporations not acting in accordance with the knowledge of the integrity of the Earth. Thus, humans are abused, other species are annihilated, and the life-support systems of the planet are poisoned. Actions to create (what is perceived as) "profit" in the short term can result in the breakdown of eco-systems in the long run.
In response to these times of promise and threat we Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate have created a new ministry: the Oblate Ecological Initiative. This initiative is part of the ongoing effort of the Oblates to respond to our priority of Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation as expressed in our Constitutions and Rules − "Action on behalf of justice, peace and the integrity of creation is an integral part of evangelization."