We have a lot going on in the Diocese of Lansing as well as in your parishes! In 2012 we began, as a diocese, to reflect on the Church’s call to us to Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord. We are currently in the second year of building up the Household of Faith as a way to get us ready to announce that Gospel. We first need to encounter Christ, to engage our practicing Catholic sisters and brothers in prayer and faith-sharing and thus become more welcoming parishes. We need to become better disciples of the Lord. Obviously, this holy work is not completed in two years or a hundred.
From the Bishop
Our diocese is blessed with four wonderful and very faith-filled Catholic high schools. At least once a year, I visit each school, celebrate Mass for the community and then meet with the senior class.
The phrase, “the common good,” is a key to Catholic social teaching. The Catechism quotes the Second Vatican Council in defining this term: “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.” (CCC 1906) The Catechism then lists three qualities which the common good presumes: 1) Respect for the human person; 2) Seeking the social well-being and development of the group; and 3) Promoting peace as the context for a stable and just order. (CCC 1907-09)
Before Priests and Deacons and Religious end their evenings, they pray the prayer called Night Prayer or Compline. At the beginning of this prayer, we take a few moments in silence to go over the day and seek pardon for our sins of that day. Some religious groups, such as the Jesuits, make it a point to review their day a couple of times a day. The philosopher, Socrates, is supposed to have said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” This is quite a powerful claim. Yet, to know ourselves, especially in the light of God’s love and grace, is to open ourselves to true life.
We Catholics in the State of Michigan have been praying this year for married couples and for families. This work of prayer has been taken on in light of the two synods on the family being held in Rome last year and this year. Well, this month, representative bishops from all the bishops’ conferences in the world will gather in Rome to hold this second synod with Pope Francis.
I recently came across a column written on Oct. 23, 2008 by Cardinal Edward Egan, the late former Archbishop of New York. He began the column with a photograph of a 20-week-old baby in its mother’s womb. He asked his readers to look at the photo carefully and then he asked: