In this edition you will find information, resources and ways to take action regarding CRS Rice Bowl grants, peace in the midst of violence, upcoming events, and more!
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Faith In Action Diocese of Grand Rapids Catholic Charities of West Michigan


If your parish or organization has a hunger, poverty alleviation, or direct services program and is in need of funding, you may be eligible for a local CRS Rice Bowl grant. Grant amounts usually range from $1,000 - $1,500. Applications for the grants are available through the Catholic Charities West Michigan website.

To learn more about the program locally, please contact Maggie Walsh at or (616) 340-1824. Grant applications are due by September 30th, 2016.

The CRS Rice Bowl grants are made available through parishioner contributions to CRS Rice Bowl throughout the Lenten season. Twenty-five percent of the contributions remain in our diocese while 75 percent of parishioner contributions go to CRS Humanitarian Relief Agencies throughout 100 countries.

Thank you to all who contributed to CRS Rice Bowl!

To learn more about CRS Rice Bowl:

click here


USCCB President Calls for Dialogue, Peace in the Midst of Violence

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement in relation to the July 17 fatal shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge, Lousiana.  

A Statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

I offer my prayers for the officers and families affected by the horrible shooting in Baton Rouge. We find ourselves amid a prolonged prayer of lament as we join to console the grieving and support the suffering. People are suffering because their uniform is blue, suffering because their skin is black and suffering simply because of their station in life.

Read MORE here

USCCB President Offers Prayers, Support After Church Attack, Killing Of Priest In France

July 26, 2016

 WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) expressed prayers and support after the latest terrorist attack on a Catholic parish in Normandy, France, that left a priest dead and another person seriously injured. 

According to reports, the attack took place while Father Jacques Hamel was celebrating Mass, he and five other people were taken hostages inside the church.  

Read more here


Cardinal Dolan And Archbishop Lori To Congress: Government’s Coercion On Abortion Needs Immediate Remedy


WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan and Archbishop William E. Lori – as chairmen of the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops, Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, respectively – called for immediate action by the U.S. House of Representatives to enact the Conscience Protection Act of 2016.

The bishops wrote that disturbing new actions to force healthcare providers to participate in the destruction of human life cry out for an immediate federal remedy.

Read More here

Take Action
Praying for Rain in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is in the midst of its worst drought in 50 years. People struggle to feed their families and their animals.

Despite the pressing need, Ethiopia has avoided a full-blown humanitarian disaster thanks to the Ethiopian government’s preparedness, the critical work of local and international aid organizations, and continued U.S. government assistance.

But more work needs to be done. The poorest are most affected by climate change and persistent drought.  With support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, a program called REAAP, short for Resilience through Enhanced Adaptation, Action-learning and Partnership, trains communities to adapt to climate change by identifying and addressing their risks and challenges, like land degradation, financial instability, a lack of water sources or poor nutrition.  CRS and its partners work with communities to implement manageable, sustainable and low-tech solutions to adapt to a new reality brought on by climate change.  

CRS’ communications director Kim Pozniak recently traveled to Ethiopia to report on the effects of the drought. Here is what she saw in her own words.


To read more from Catholic Relief Services, click here.

Resources and Upcoming Events


Project Rachel is hosting Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat Healing after Abortion

Rachel’s Vineyard retreats are for anyone who is struggling emotionally or spiritually because of abortion. Women, men or couples are welcome to attend. Project Rachel is open to people of all faiths. The retreat will be held in the greater Grand Rapids area on the weekend of October 7-9, 2016. For more information, please contact Maggie Walsh at (616) 340-1824 or All inquiries are strictly confidential.

Save the Date for Catholic Charities West Michigan’s Fall Social Justice Gathering

Paul Long, President and CEO of Michigan Catholic Conference, will be providing us with a Legislative and Advocacy Update on Thursday, November 17, 2016, from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.


The Catholic bishops of the United States are pleased to offer once again to the Catholic faithful Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (en Español), our teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics. This statement represents our guidance for Catholics in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our democracy. We urge our pastors, lay and religious faithful, and all people of good will to use this statement to help form their consciences; to teach those entrusted to their care; to contribute to civil and respectful public dialogue; and to shape political choices in the coming election in light of Catholic teaching. The statement lifts up our dual heritage as both faithful Catholics and American citizens with rights and duties as participants in the civil order.

Click here to read more


Michigan Catholic Conference

The latest edition of MCC’s Focus essay is entitled, Transportation, Community and the Common Good. To view this and other Focus essays:


Kent County offers free TV recycling through September 30

To find out more about this opportunity: