In this issue: Social Justice Gathering, a message from Pope Francis,
news on the Syrian refugee crisis and more!

Please feel free to share this email with anyone who might be interested!
View this email in your browser.
Faith In Action Diocese of Grand Rapids Catholic Charities of West Michigan

March 2015

Join us for our 
 Social Justice Luncheon Gathering  

  Advocacy and Legislative Updates

Paul Long, President and CEO of Michigan Catholic Conference 
Thursday May 21, 2015
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 
Cathedral Square Center
360 S. Division Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Pope Francis: to receive pardon, we must give pardon

 (Vatican Radio) In order to ask forgiveness from God, we must follow the teaching of the “Our Father”: we must repent sincerely for our sins, knowing that God always forgives, and just as willingly forgive others. This was the centerpiece of Pope Francis’ remarks to the faithful following the readings of the day at Mass in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican.

Focusing primarily on the reading from the Gospel according to St Matthew (18:21-35), in which the Lord counsels His disciples to forgive “seventy times seven” times, i.e. always and without stint, the Holy Father addressed the close connection between God’s forgiveness of our sins and our forgiveness of others.

Click hear to read or listen to the full report from Vatican Radio:

CLICK HERE TO go to website 

USCCB Officials Say Syrian Refugee Crisis At Tipping Point

WASHINGTON—The Syrian refugee crisis ¬–now totaling nearly 4 million refugees– has reached a “tipping point,” in which countries in the region are no longer able to handle the flow of refugees across their borders, warned U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) officials who recently traveled to the Middle East.

Without more international support, we will find Syrians fleeing extremists being turned away and forced back to danger,” said Anastasia Brown, interim executive director for USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services (MRS). “The global community, led by Europe and the United States, needs to increase its support in order to prevent a humanitarian crisis.”

Click here to read full article

Inclusion Act Receives Strong Support From Three USCCB Chairmen

Religious liberty is important for all, including child welfare providers
Inclusion Act protects religious liberties and excludes no one
Parental choice in adoption is important and deserves protection
WASHINGTON—Three chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) gave strong support for the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2015. The Act would forbid the federal government, and any state receiving federal funds for child welfare services, from taking adverse action against a provider that, for religious or moral reasons, declines to provide a child welfare social service.

Click here to read the full article



Governor Appoints Members to Two State Human Trafficking Groups

Governor Rick Snyder has announced his initial appointments for two state human trafficking groups. The Human Trafficking Commission, established by House Bill 5158 of 2014, makes recommendations to improve Michigan’s laws related to human trafficking. The Human Trafficking Health Advisory Board, established by Senate Bill 596 of 2014, addresses issues related to medical and mental health of human trafficking survivors. To see a list of the appointees, click here. More information about human trafficking in Michigan and the Catholic Church’s efforts against it can be found in MCC’s FOCUS publication.

connect TO MCC 


Take Action
During this holy season of Lent, Pope Francis has invited us to fast from indifference and return to God. As we continue on our Lenten journey, we call to mind the tremendous need for love and compassion in our broken world. In addition to prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we can also work to bring about peace for our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land. The current situation there is unsustainable.

Resources and Upcoming Events




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!