In this issue: Catholic Campaign for Human Development update, news from CCUSA,
and upcoming events!

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

June 2015

Catholic campaign for human development 

the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, working to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ "... to bring good news to the poor ...  release to captives ...  sight to the blind, and let the oppressed go free." (Luke 4:18)

Thank you to all who participated in the 2014 Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection in your parishes this past November. The following grants are made possible through your generosity. Twenty-five percent of the collection remains in our Grand Rapids diocese to help Catholic parishes and community organizations helping to break the cycle of poverty. 

Seventy-five percent is sent to the national office of the USCCB’s Catholic Campaign for Human Development to be used for national grant awards.

For more information on the work of CCHD:

click here


Congratulations to the 2015-2016 Grantees

St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish for Job Seekers Program - $9,000
Serving unemployed and underemployed individuals by providing opportunities including: networking, coaching and mentoring, community resources, computer and internet access, resume and cover letter development, interviewing, coaching and counseling.
The Salvation Army for the Congregational Partnership Program – $5,000
Providing financial and support services to individuals and families facing homelessness as well as program support to assist in educating and recruiting parish involvement.
Community EnCompass for Youth Empowerment Program (YEP!) – $9,500
Serving youth by providing educational, recreational, job readiness and leadership training in downtown Muskegon neighborhoods.
Catholic Charities West Michigan for Pregnancy Support Services – $14,200
Providing services to help women achieve an emotionally and physically healthy pregnancy while allowing them to explore parenting and adoption options for their infant.

 “It’s time for a new conversation
and a new approach”

Earlier this month, Catholic Charities USA’s Brian R. Corbin, Sr. Vice President of Social Policy, addressed the official launch of a bold new initiative of Catholic Charities Fort Worth – The Padua Pilot.

Read more or view the video

Click here 


Religious Liberty and the Practice of Charity
by John Garvey, J.D.
The Catholic University of America

Religious liberty has been in the news a lot recently and, unfortunately, the news has not been good.
Some of that news has been domestic. Much has been said and written, for example, about the many Christian institutions (including my own) that have filed complaints against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). We believe the HHS contraceptive mandate violates our religious liberty by forcing us to offer our students and employees, as one of our health benefits, coverage of prescription contraceptives, early-term abortifacients, and surgical sterilizations.



Click here to read more on Catholic Relief Services emergency and poverty relief efforts around the world including Nepal, CRS assistance to displaced families fleeing from ISIS and much more.

connect TO CRS 


Update on Nepal Earthquake: CRS and Caritas Are Distributing Aid

A new 7.3 magnitude Nepal earthquake hits the country just two weeks after the 7.8 earthquake. CRS and Caritas are distributing emergency aid.


Pope Francis releases his encyclical
Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home

On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si') is the new appeal from Pope Francis addressed to "every person living on this planet" for an inclusive dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.


President of USCCB Responds to Charleston Shooting

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), responded to the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, with “grief and deep sadness,” June 19. He said the Catholic community “stands with all people who struggle for an end to racism and violence, in our families, in our places of worship, in our communities and in our world.”


Special Edition:

New Website to Help Catholics Be Salt and Light, a new website of U.S. Bishops' Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, helps Catholics respond to Jesus' call to be "salt of the earth" and "light of the world" (Mt. 5:13-16).

Learn more

Link to new website:


Take Action



Date: Thursday June 25, 2015
Location: 5/3 Ballpark
 4500 West River Dr NE Comstock Park, MI 49321 
Gates open: 5:30PM
Ticket price: FREE!


Get in the lineup. Join Catholic Charities West Michigan (CCWM) as the CCWM Padres take on a spirited team of Media Giants! This event benefits the family strengthening programs of CCWM which help keep families together here in community. The event is FREE (parking is $6/car) and includes children's games and activities along the concourse, local mascots, and a fun night at the ballpark!

In 2014, CCWM welcomed a crowd of over 4,500 West Michigan fans to 5/3 Ballpark! Headlined by a team of over 30 clergy and religious leaders on the Padres team and almost 40 local media celebrities on the Media Giants team it was truly an evening of celebrating family. Guests enjoyed crafts and activities along the concourse as well as a fire truck outside of the ballpark. Mike and Diane Smigiel were honored as CCWM's Foster Parents of the Year for their continued dedication to the foster children served by our agency. It was a truly beautiful evening at the ballpark, made more so by the celebration of all families in our community!


Resources and Upcoming Events



This year's theme: “The Freedom to Bear Witness,” to the truth of the Gospel.

We mark the Fortnight for Freedom this year because "Keeping the spirit of the Gospel means that Catholic institutions are to bear witness in love to the full truth about the human person by providing social, charitable, and educational services in a manner that fully reflects the God-given dignity of the human person."

The Fortnight for Freedom takes place from June 21 to July 4, 2015, and is a time during which we celebrate a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. The theme of this year's Fortnight focuses on witnessing with the love of Christ to the full truth of the human person and in recognition of the God-given dignity reflected in the face of each  human person.


Read more 


November Social Justice Gathering
Thursday, November 5, 2015