What is FaithFest16? It is a celebration of faith and family that will take place on Saturday, June 25 on the grounds of the St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt. It is a day filled with faith sharing, live music, food, recreational activities and fireworks. And, of course, there will be opportunities for prayer and Mass with Bishop Boyea. FaithFest is part of Bishop Boyea’s effort to equip disciples in the diocese to reach out and evangelize the wider community.
A film that opened Nov. 6 draws renewed attention to one of the darkest periods of recent Church history: the clergy sex abuse scandal.
Catholic Charities on the front lines
Following the discovery of lead in the city of Flint’s drinking water, relief organizations have been working day and night to provide safe water to those living and working in the community.
Standing at the front of the battle is Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties, which provides assistance — including counseling, substance abuse treatment, foster care and adoption services — to people in need.
A day with Flint mom Makielah
The routine of running an energetic home with two teenagers and a pre-teen took on a whole new dimension for Makielah Conway when the Flint water crisis seeped into her residence. Raised in Mt. Morris, Makielah has been a Flint local since the age of 18. A full-time mom and part time volunteer at Community Closet based out of Flint Catholic Charities, Makielah shares how she functions in a typical day.
Pope Francis visited Mexico from Feb. 12–17, during which he brought a message of solidarity with the victims of drug violence, human trafficking and discrimination to some of that country's most violent and poverty-stricken regions.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved a formal statement, entitled “Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography,” on Nov. 17, 2015, at its annual Fall General Assembly in Baltimore. The statement, which was developed under the direction of Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, was approved by the full body of bishops 230 to 4, with one abstention.
On Oct. 1, 2015, a Michigan law became effective allowing groups that contract with the state to oversee adoptions to refuse service to any person or couple that conflicts with their “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
The 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops took place from Oct. 4–25, 2015, in Vatican City. The theme was, “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world.” The purpose of the synod was to continue the work of the 2014 Extraordinary General Assembly by reflecting on the challenges associated with the pastoral care of the person and the family as identified in its final relation, and by formulating appropriate pastoral guidelines to address those challenges.
On March 13, 2015, Pope Francis was presiding over a penance service in St. Peter’s Basilica when he announced an extraordinary Jubilee dedicated to Divine Mercy. During his homily for the service, the pontiff drew a clear connection between the sacrament of reconciliation and our heavenly Father, who is “rich in mercy” and who “extends his mercy with abundance over those who turn to him with a sincere heart.”
It would be an understatement to describe Pope Francis’ visit to the United States (Sept. 22-27, 2015) as historic – but historic it certainly was. From his addresses at the White House and a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., to his speeches at the United Nations General Assembly in New York and the Festival of Families in Philadelphia, Pope Francis covered a wide spectrum of subjects while still finding time to celebrate several Masses, canonize a saint, dine with the homeless, bless babies and those afflicted with debilitating conditions and meet with prisoners.