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Catholic Charities West Michigan · 360 Division Ave. S · Suite 3A · Grand Rapids, Mi 49503 · USA

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Faith In Action Diocese of Grand Rapids Catholic Charities of West Michigan

Join us for our next Social Justice Gathering: March 2


We will have the special privilege to be part of the Catholic Relief Services Lenten Speaker Tour.


Kirtimayi Mishra, Head of Office, CRS India, will share her personal background and what it is like to live in their country. Learn how CRS and the Catholic Church is working to strengthen communities around the world.  

Come be inspired as we enter Lent and build solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world. Come hear about the work Kirtimayi is engaged in through the  CRS Disaster Preparedness and Community Resilience Programs


Thursday, March 2

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Cathedral Square

360 Division Ave S

Grand Rapids


A simple lunch will be served.

A free will offering to help cover the cost of lunch would be appreciated.


R.S.V.P.  to or (616) 340-1824


During Poverty Awareness Month, join the U.S. Bishops, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Catholic Community in the United States in taking up Pope Francis' challenge to live in solidarity with the poor! In addition to the calendar below, longer daily reflections are also available.  All of these are also en Español. You can sign up. . . to have the daily reflections emailed to you during Poverty Awareness Month!



“To clothe the naked: what does it mean if not to restore dignity to one who has lost it? Certainly giving clothing to one who has none; but let us also think about the women victims of trafficking, cast onto the streets, or of other many ways of using the human body as a commodity, even that of minors. Likewise, not having a job, a house, a fair wage are forms of nakedness; being discriminated against on account of race, of faith, are all forms of ‘nakedness,’ to which as Christians we are called to be attentive, vigilant and ready to act.”

- Pope Francis, General Audience, 10/26/16



WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), welcomed Pope Francis’ November 20 apostolic letter “Misericordia et Misera” (“Mercy and Misery”).
In his letter, Pope Francis extended the Year of Mercy provision granting priests worldwide a faculty related to the sin of abortion: “Lest any obstacle arise between the request for reconciliation and God’s forgiveness, I henceforth grant to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion.”
Cardinal Dolan responded with gratitude in the following statement: "
I express heartfelt appreciation for the Holy Father’s continued proclamation of God’s mercy worldwide, clearing the path to reconciliation and healing for all who have been involved in abortion."



Protecting the Freedom to Serve Should be a Priority in 2017

On January 20, 2017, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court will swear in a new president. Great attention will be focused on President Donald Trump and his new administration as they begin to work on issues facing the nation. The Word from Lansing column for December from Michigan Catholic Conference highlights why religious liberty and the freedom for religious organizations to serve others should be an early priority in his presidency.





You may have noticed that CRS Fair Trade is now CRS Ethical Trade. The program builds upon the strong principles of fair trade while also engaging with other business models that have a positive impact on workers, the environment and local communities. With a new website, enhanced faith formation resources and an on-line ethical shopping directory featuring everything from apparel to religious gifts we hope this continues to be a useful tool for your ministry.



Advocating for sustainable agriculture and nutritious food for all

Catholic Rural Life is a long-time advocate on behalf of family farmers and farm communities.
This grew out of the economic and environmental challenges of the 1930s, and continued throughout subsequent periods of booms and busts, good times and bad, enlightened federal policies and misguided ones.
Catholic Rural Life serves as the voice of the Church for farmers, ranchers and producers whose generosity, graciousness and stewardship of the land serves us all.




Presentations on Vocation of the Agricultural Leader (VAL) Workshops are being Scheduled Around the Country


Catholic Rural Life is presenting workshops and presentations on Vocation of the Agricultural Leader. The document was published last month and presented to Pope Francis on December 10, 2016 at the Vatican as part of a meeting with the International Catholic Rural Association. The document is receiving good press.

Workshops are being planned around the country to get input that will inform a second edition in late 2017. Catholic Rural Life has already presented workshops in Great Falls, MT; Minneapolis, MN; Pierre, SD; Bismarck, ND; and has plans for presentations in Wisconsin, Kansas, California, and Texas.

To schedule a workshop or presentation, please contact CRL's Project Coordinator, Annie Brickweg, at 651.962.5839.





New Catholic Relief Services' chairman has strong Middle East focus


Bishop Gregory John Mansour, a Maronite bishop with experience in Middle East issues, will be the next chairman of Catholic Relief Services, the foreign aid arm of the U.S. bishops.

“It is my honor and privilege to be appointed as chairman of the CRS board of directors,” Bishop Mansour said Nov. 22. “As a member of the CRS board, I've witnessed CRS’ tremendous work among the most vulnerable. I have seen firsthand the suffering of Christians and others violently forced from their homes in the Middle East. Witnessing their plight was difficult, but it is heartening to see the compassionate work that CRS continues to do in the midst of chaos.”

Since 2004, Bishop Mansour has headed the Maronite Eparchy of Saint Maron of Brooklyn. He is currently on the relief agency’s board.




Resources and Upcoming Events





Date: January 30,2017
Location: The B.O.B.
20 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids,MI 49503
Time: 6:30PM
Price: $50/Person in advance
$60/Person at door


Join us! Soup’s On For All! has warmed the hearts of thousands while helping to provide hot meals for those in need. Held at the B.O.B. in downtown Grand Rapids, the event raises more than $100,000 annually for the food and pantry programs of God’s Kitchen, a program of Catholic Charities West Michigan.

This fun-filled evening welcomes more than 1,000 attendees and is made possible with the support of more than 150 volunteers. Guests can visit each of the building’s five floors where they are able to sample soups, breads and desserts donated by area restaurants while enjoying live music and entertainment.



From Darkness to Light:

Human Trafficking and Our Response



Date: Saturday, February 11, 2017
Location: Lansing Catholic High School
501 Marshall Street
Lansing, MI 48912
Time: 8:00am-4:30pm
Price: $25-$50

Here is an opportunity for people of goodwill to get involved- attend Michigan Catholic Conference's human trafficking conference! The conference will provide participants the opportunity to learn about human trafficking, as well as about individuals and organizations that work to combat the crime. Participants will also hear ways they can get involved in anti-trafficking efforts. 





Healing the Wounds of Abortion

Project Rachel
Post-Abortion Healing and Reconciliation


Date: Friday, February 24-26, 2017

Location: This retreat is held in a private location
in the Kalamazoo area. Please call or email for
further details.
Price: $140 per person, includes lodging for 2
nights, meals and materials. No one is turned away
because they cannot afford to pay. Financial help is


Rachel’s Vineyard weekend retreats are a beautiful opportunity for any person who has struggled with the emotional or spiritual pain of an abortion.

The retreat is a very specific process designed to help you experience the mercy and compassion of God. It is also an opportunity to surface and release repressed feelings of anger, shame, guilt and grief. There are many exercises to help you grieve the loss of your unborn child and to receive and accept God’s forgiveness. Rachel’s Vineyard Retreats are designed for women and men. The retreat is respectful and honors the grief and trauma of post-abortion. It is never confrontational.