On November 21, 2014, the Roman Catholic Church will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. This Second Vatican Council document was issued on November 21, 1964, by Pope Paul VI after the bishops assembled at the council approved it by a vote of 2,151 to 5.
The recent canonization of Pope St. John Paul II offers the opportunity to reflect on the first major teaching of his pontificate (and perhaps the one that will turn out to be his greatest legacy). The setting for this teaching was his Wednesday General Audiences over a period of five years, during which he put forth what he called the Theology of the Body. Through the Theology of the Body, the saint hoped to call everyone to an authentic understanding and living out of what it means to be created male and female; of what it means to be created in the image and likeness of God.
Today, Christians are the most persecuted religious group on the planet. Two years ago, the National Catholic Reporter pointed to a Pew Forum estimate that Christians face persecution in a staggering total of 133 countries, representing two-thirds of all nations on earth. In the same period, the Reporter stated that the German-based International Society for Human Rights, a secular organization, estimated that 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world are directed against Christians.
On Oct. 8, 2013, it was announced that Pope Francis had convened the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops to be held in the Vatican Oct. 5-19, 2014. The theme for the assembly will be “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.”
Most Reverend Steven Raica, formerly Chancellor of the Diocese of Lansing, was ordained and installed as the fifth Bishop of Gaylord on Aug. 29, 2014 at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord. FAITH’s Elizabeth Solsburg interviewed Bishop Raica.
On April 15, 2014, nearly 300 high school girls were kidnapped from their boarding school in northern Nigeria by an extremist Muslim group called Boko Haram, a name meaning “Western education is a sin.” According to a New York Times article by Nicholas Kristof, the kidnapped girls were between the ages of 15 and 18, and included both Christians and Muslims. While approximately 50 girls escaped, the rest were reportedly going to be auctioned off for $12 each to become “wives” of militants, making this a chapter in the ever-growing human trafficking story.
Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Steven J Raica, chancellor of the Diocese of Lansing, as the Fifth Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord. The Holy Father’s appointment was announced on Friday, June 27 at 6:00am EDT at the Vatican. The date of Bishop-elect Raica’s consecration and installation will be Thursday, August 28 at St. Mary Cathedral, Gaylord.
Funerals are so uncomfortable. I never know when it’s appropriate to go or what to say. Are there some guiding principles to follow? Should I go?
"Where We Have Been, and Where We are Going"
A year ago, Bishop Boyea promulgated his pastoral letter, Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord. In it, he addressed the decline in Mass attendance, and called us to respond with new fervor to the New Evangelization. Now, he has written a follow-up: Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going. FAITH asked Bishop Boyea to tell us more about his hopes for the Diocese of Lansing, and for the Household of Faith.
A parishioner at St. Mary’s in Westphalia, Craig Pohl serves as the director of New Evangelization for the Diocese of Lansing. Over the next few months, he is leading the charge to introduce four aspects of discipleship into Catholics’ everyday lives to help them grow in holiness for the work of the New Evangelization.