Fr. Guillaume Ingipay, OSA

Welcome our new delegates, interns, and youth representatives

I would like to welcome the new members to the Augustinians International team. Dr. Jean Soto is the delegate from Texas with interest on immigration and women’s issues.  Bro. Jack Tierney, OSA, is a seminarian from Catholic Theological Union and will be an intern this year.  Emma Dillon and Anastassiya  Perevezentseva are both from Lehigh University and will serve as Youth Volunteers. See their descriptions here.

P1000035

Updates

A few things have been added to the Augustinians International website. Reflections on child labor by one of our university Youth Representatives is found in the blog section. Under the tab “Projects,” new information has been added to the Africa section, namely, the various projects in Kenya and the recent refugee conference — “Women and Migration in the African Context” — held in Nairobi, 6-8 June 2017. A section on Kenya is added to the Photo Gallery. 

IMG_2982

Visitors from Germany

During May 9-16, Carsten Meister, OSA and Mr. Bernhard Russ from the Augustinian Church in Wurzburg visited our community at St. Nicholas of Tolentine in the Bronx, NY. When Augustinians are in town, I always invite them to take a couple hours to tour the United Nations complex.  The hour-long tour is valuable in learning the history and mission of the UN. The photo of Carsten and Bernhard is the General Assembly Hall where all the member states gather to discuss issues.

Fr. Guillaume Ingipay, OSA

Migration Conference in Nairobi, Kenya

JUNE 6-8, 2017

A conference on migration and refugees will be held in Nairobi at the Instituto Dimesse. The participants at the conference will include members of religious communities and other interested people who want to come together to discuss and share experiences related to migration. This year’s theme is “Women and Migration in the African Context.” For more information, and registration visit www.nairobi2017.weebly.com.

IMG_2438

Rights of Indigenous Peoples

On April 25, 2017, the UN celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. “Indigenous peoples are equal to all other peoples” and they “contribute to the diversity and richness of civilization and cultures, which constitute the common heritage of humankind.” They have a right to self-determination (Art. 3). Indigenous peoples have the “right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture” (Art. 8.1). During this time of eco-biological crisis, the manner in which indigenous peoples understand the universe and the place of the human within the web of nature can provide orientations toward healing the planet.

To read the Declaration in English: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf

To read the Declaration in other languages, click here.

(Photo R. Dueweke. Bear Mountain PowWow, New York, 2016. Native American with Augustinian candidate Enrique Vasquez of the Dominican Republic.)

augustinians-un_logo

¿Por qué los Agustinos están en las Naciones Unidas?

LOS AGUSTINOS ESTAMOS EN LAS NACIONES UNIDAS: AHÍ ES DONDE NOS PERTENECEMOS

(Reflexión por P. Juan Paul Szura, OSA; traducción por M. Elena del Collado, Cuernavaca)

 Los agustinos participamos en las Naciones Unidas (ONU) como una organización no gubernamental (ONG). Hemos llevado a cabo un servicio en las Naciones Unidas, como ha ocurrido con otros institutos religiosos de hombres y mujeres, tales como los franciscanos, dominicos y los carmelitas. Otras comuniones cristianas que incluyen a los luteranos, los metodistas, a la sociedad religiosa de los amigos (Quakers), así como a las comunidades religiosas de judíos, musulmanes, budistas, hindúes, los creyentes del jainismo y el sintoísmo, tienen también una presencia en la Naciones Unidas. Los motivos confesionales de las ONG incluyen dar testimonio de nuestras creencias en la escena mundial, llevar la fe a la acción mundial, y enriquecer nuestra propia espiritualidad con perspectivas internacionales e información. Más aún, tras arribar a la ONU, las ONG encuentran múltiples posibilidades para la colaboración ecuménica e interreligiosa.

Un motivo importante para las ONG católicas de la ONU, lo es el discurso que el Papa Juan Pablo II pronunció en Nueva York ante las Naciones Unidas, el 2 de octubre de 1979, al declarar la necesidad indispensable de la misión de una ONG en la ONU:

Ninguna organización, ni siquiera las Naciones Unidas o cualquiera de sus organismos especializados, pueden por sí solos resolver los problemas globales que están constantemente atrayendo su atención, si sus preocupaciones no son compartidas por todas las personas. Es entonces la función privilegiada de las organizaciones no gubernamentales: ayudar a llevar estas preocupaciones a las comunidades y a los hogares de las personas; y traer de vuelta a los organismos establecidos, las prioridades y las aspiraciones de la gente para que todos los proyectos y las soluciones previstas puedan ser verdaderamente orientadas y respondan a las necesidades de la persona humana.  

Aunque estas palabras se aplican a todas las ONG en la ONU, Juan Pablo II, en su Carta Apostólica Augustinum Hipponensem, del 28 de agosto de 1986, hace una penetrante observación acerca del alcance del enfoque pastoral de san Agustín, que deberá ser una base sólida para la tarea de la ONG agustina en la ONU. La actividad pastoral de san Agustín “tenía tres campos que se extienden como círculos concéntricos: la Iglesia local de Hipona, que no era grande pero estaba agitada y necesitada; la Iglesia Africana, que fue tristemente dividida entre católicos y donatistas; y la Iglesia universal, que fue atacada por el paganismo y el maniqueísmo, y perturbada por movimientos heréticos”.

Agustín se encauzó a tres niveles de comunidad: local, nacional y mundial, por lo que hoy nuestra presencia agustiniana en la ONU está en su espíritu. Hace siglos, los agustinos lucharon contra el hambre con la ayuda inmediata, dando de comer a los hambrientos. Más recientemente, y sin abandonar el auxilio urgente, empezamos a combatir el hambre a niveles nacionales a través de proyectos de colaboración y promoción de políticas. Y en la actualidad, sin renunciar a la ayuda inmediata y el apoyo nacional, podemos ahora sumarnos a la lucha mundial contra el hambre a través de organismos de las Naciones Unidas: la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (FAO) para fortalecer la seguridad alimentaria mundial; el Programa Mundial de Alimentos (PMA) para proporcionar una eficaz asistencia de alimentos y nutrición donde es gravemente necesario; el Fondo Internacional de la ONU para el Desarrollo Agrícola (FIDA) para combatir la pobreza rural, especialmente en los países en desarrollo. Lo cierto es que al alimentar a los hambrientos, en verdad se sirve a Jesús sufriendo de alguna forma en el menor de sus hermanos y hermanas (Mt. 25).

En 1987, un año después que el Papa Juan Pablo II reconociera la tarea de san Agustín como operante en los tres niveles de la comunidad -local, nacional y mundial- su Encíclica Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (9), encaminó a toda la Iglesia a acoger este mismo alcance pastoral. “Ante todo, es menester eliminar un posible equívoco. El reconocimiento de que la «cuestión social» haya tomado una dimensión mundial, no significa de hecho que haya disminuido su fuerza de incidencia o que haya perdido su importancia en el ámbito nacional o local…Por el contrario, (las cuestiones]) dependen cada vez más de la influencia de factores más allá de las fronteras regionales y las fronteras nacionales”. Esta es la razón por la que la Iglesia está en la ONU. Esta es la razón por la que los agustinos se pertenecen allí.

cropped-cropped-augustinians-un_logo.png

Why are the Augustinians at the United Nations?

AUGUSTINIANS ARE AT THE UNITED NATIONS:  THAT IS WHERE WE BELONG

Augustinians are associated with the United Nations as a Nongovernmental Organization (NGO). We took on UN ministry as have other religious institutes of men and women like Franciscans, Dominicans and Carmelites. Other Christian communions including Lutherans, Methodists and Quakers and faith communities of Jewish, Moslem, Buddhist, Hindu, Jainism and Shinto believers have UN presence too. Faith-based NGO motives include witnessing our beliefs on the worldwide scene, bringing faith into worldwide action and enriching our own spirituality with international perspectives and information. Moreover after arrival at the UN, NGOs encounter multiple possibilities for ecumenical and interfaith collaboration.       

   A motive important for Catholic UN NGOs is Pope John Paul II’s October 2, 1979 New York UN address declaring the indispensable need for UN NGO ministry:

No organization, however, not even the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies, can alone solve the global problems which are constantly brought to its attention, if its concerns are not shared by all the people. It is then the privileged task of the non-governmental organizations to help bring these concerns into the communities and the homes of the people, and to bring back to the established agencies the priorities and aspirations of the people, so that all the solutions and projects which are envisaged may be truly geared to the needs of the human person.

While these words apply to all UN NGOs, John Paul II in his August 28, 1986 Apostolic Letter Augustinum Hipponensem makes an insightful observation about the scope of St. Augustine’s pastoral approach that should be a solid foundation for Augustinian UN NGO ministry. Augustine’s pastoral activity “had three fields which spread out like concentric circles: the local church of Hippo, which was not large, but was troubled and needy; the African Church, which was sadly divided between Catholics and Donatists; and the universal Church, which was attacked by Paganism and Manichaeism, and disturbed by heretical movements.”

Augustine ministered on three levels of community: local, national and world, so our Augustinian UN presence today is in his spirit. Centuries ago Augustinians fought hunger with immediate relief, giving food to the hungry. More recently but without abandoning immediate relief, we began to fight hunger on national levels through collaborative projects and policy advocacy. And most recently but without abandoning immediate relief and national advocacy, we can now join the worldwide fight against hunger through UN agencies: the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to strengthen world food security; the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to provide effective food and nutrition assistance where critically needed; the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to combat rural poverty especially in developing countries. What is true for feeding the hungry is true for all the ministries to Jesus suffering in any way in the least of his brothers and sisters (Mt. 25).

In 1987, one year after Pope John Paul II recognized Augustine’s ministry as operative on the three levels of community – local, national and world-wide—his encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis (9) directed the entire Church to embrace this same pastoral scope. “In the first place, a possible misunderstanding has to be eliminated. Recognition that the ‘social question’ has assumed a worldwide dimension does not at all mean that is has lost its incisiveness or its national and local importance…On the contrary (issues) depend more and more on the influence of factors beyond regional boundaries and national frontiers.” This is why the Church is at the UN. This is why the Augustinians belong there.

(by John Paul Szura, OSA, King City, Canada)

unwomen-logo-blue-transparent-background-247x70-en

Women’s Economic Empowerment (CSW61)

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) took place at the UN in New York on March 13-24, 2017. The theme of the event was Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work. 

The Commission is one of the largest annual gathering of global leaders, NGOs, private sector actors, United Nations partners and activists from around the world focusing on the status of rights and empowerment of all women and girls, everywhere.

This year’s session took place at a critical juncture, as the world of work is changing fast, spurred by innovation, globalization and increasing human mobility. At the same time, it is adversely impacted by climate change, humanitarian crises, rising informality of labour and economic inequality. For sustainable and healthy economies, the world of work must empower women and remove the persisting inequalities that hold women back from getting on equal footing with men.

From equal pay and women’s unpaid work to decent work, removing the barriers of discrimination and investing in women’s access to digital and green economies, UN Women unpacks the key issues for women in the changing world of work.

– See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/csw#sthash.mNNGJqRQ.dpuf

Read more about CSW and how you can become more involved. http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw/csw61-2017.