Are you saved?” How many times have you been asked this question? And how many times have we thought this very same question about others who do not share our Christian faith? Fifty years ago, the bishops of the world gathered in Rome for the Second Vatican Council and dealt with this second matter in their decree, Nostra Aetate, on the relation of the Catholic Church to non-Christian religions. This decree started from the line in Lumen Gentium, “Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the People of God.” (LG,16)
From the Bishop
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Gospel of the family”? It is new to me. The document which came out of the Synod of Bishops in Rome uses that phrase a lot. As whenever we use the word, Gospel, we are always to look to Jesus. Thus, the text points us to Matthew 19:8: “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” If we go back to the beginning, we see that God wants marriage to be permanent, the couple to cling to one another and be faithful to one another, and that there be an openness to life.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, election time is almost upon us. We are fortunate to live in a place and time where our vote can have an enormous impact on our society. So, please vote! And more so, vote with a well-formed conscience, that is, a conscience that aligns with the will of God. How do we do that? First of all, through prayer and close attention to the teachings of Jesus, as found in Scripture and taught by his Church.
Excerpts from the homily Bishop Boyea preached at the episcopal ordination of Most Reverend Steven Raica, former chancellor of the Diocese of Lansing, now the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord. In it, Bishop Boyea spoke about Bishop Baraga, whose cause for sainthood is proceeding and whose chalice Bishop Raica used at his ordination Mass.
This fall, Pope Francis will be meeting in synod with bishops from around the world to discuss marriage and family. It seems that this will be a time to zero in on certain issues which will then seek some resolution when the next synod takes place in the fall of 2015.
On Friday, June 27, 2014, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, named Msgr. Steven J. Raica, the chancellor of our diocese, to become the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord. I often tease him that he has the mind of the bishop, such that when I lose my mind I know where to find it! Now what will happen?