From the Bishop

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.”

Why aren’t we listening to God’s call?

Why aren’t there more priests? Ah, this is not really the question we should be asking ourselves. After all, Jesus promised not to leave us as orphans. He loves us and cares for his Church. So we can be fully assured that Jesus is calling men to the priesthood. The issue is that those being called are not hearing that call. So that is the question we should be asking, “Why are young men not hearing this call?” Yet, the real question is much broader, “Why are any of us not hearing God’s call in our lives?”

No Meat on Fridays all year long?

In my pastoral letter of Holy Thursday 2012, I invited the active Catholics of the Diocese of Lansing – those already in the Household of Faith – to a deepened commitment to prayer and purification. As we prepare to reach out to inactive Catholics and those who do not yet know the Lord – the Lost Sheep and those in the Court of the Gentiles – we first need to prepare our minds and hearts. We must know Jesus well, if we are to be his authentic disciples in this confused and troubled world.

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