From the Bishop

Our loss is their gain!

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?

I always knew he was a saint!

I knew he was a saint! The several times I met John Paul II, it was clear to me that this very human man was close to God, was a friend of God, was holy, was a saint. Now it is also clear that he was human, a sinner and perhaps at times mistaken in his judgments about people. Nonetheless, this merely helps us all the more to see that we too, we who are sinners, can also live close to our God.

As we move closer to our diocesan assembly this November, one of the calls to each of us is to develop our relationship with Jesus. Some may wonder what exactly that is.

Make this year a stewardship year

The University of Notre Dame recently released a study of Catholic financial giving. One finding was that Catholics are not nearly as generous as members of other religious traditions. Nonetheless, those Catholics who make a conscious decision to give more money and who follow a regular system of doing so give much more away than Catholics who do not follow such a plan. You might say, OK, that seems pretty obvious.

In the fight against abortion, our role is to offer mercy

Someone gave me a book on the history of 40 Days for Life, a pro-life movement. The book is written by its two directors, David Bereit and Shawn Carney. Their purpose in being present at abortion clinics really struck me: “Our presence on the sidewalks is powerful in two critical ways – we are the last sign of hope for the mother and baby when they arrive, but also the first sign of mercy to the women as they leave.” Thus they offer an opportunity for conversion, but also “the opportunity to find the mercy of God at a time when they feel they’re beyond mercy.”


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