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.
The arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children and teens in the southwestern United States has generated a humanitarian and political crisis. It is a crisis marked by the images of large numbers of immigrants in overcrowded facilities, protestors blocking buses full of immigrants from entering their towns, pleas for compassion, concerns over the lack of available immigration attorneys, and frustrated calls for more help from the federal government.
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.