Diocesan News & Events

Check here for news & events happening throughout our Diocese: Courage Apostolate - A Confidential Support Group for those who experience same-sex attraction EnCourage Apostolate - Family Outreach for those with loved ones who experience same-sex attraction Plus many more!

Support Communities Impacted by Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian has left the Bahamas in a state of devastation. At least seven people were killed and thousands have been reported missing. Rescuers are working to reach trapped and stranded people and an estimated 60,000 are in need of food and clean water. Over the coming days, Hurricane Dorian is on track to impact the coasts of Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas and Virgina bringing storm surge, flooding and high winds.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued a statement calling for prayers for those affected and inviting all people of goodwill to give in support of relief efforts.

Prayer for Disaster Relief (Catholic Charities USA)


To support relief efforts in the Bahamas, give to Catholic Relief Services.

To support relief efforts in the United States, give to Catholic Charities USA.

Help Pregnancy Crisis Aid Annual Fall Dinner

Thursday, September 19, 2019
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Thousand Oaks Golf Club
4100 Thousand Oaks Dr.
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Father Frank Pavone – Priests for Life
Keynote Speaker

Online reservations:

Job Opening at the Diocese of Grand Rapids

Raiser’s Edge Database Administrator – Reporting to the Director of IT, this position is responsible for data management, analytics, reporting, and serving as the support for the Raiser’s Edge database.  More details for this and many other openings at the Diocesan Offices, affiliated organizations, and diocesan parishes and schools can be found on the diocesan website.

World Day of Migrants and Refugees

The Church has been celebrating the World Day of Migrants and Refugees since 1914. It is always an occasion to express concern for many different vulnerable people on the move; to pray for the challenges and increase awareness about the opportunities that migration offers.

Pope Francis has chosen the theme “It is not just about migrants” this year to draw attention to our blind-spots and make sure no one remains excluded from society, whether a long-time resident or someone newly-arrived.

This year, the World Day will be marked on September 29, 2019.

For more information about WDMR, please click here to visit the resource center for this World Day.

For all who have left their homes due to war, disaster, poverty, or fear, that they may find generous welcome in a place to live in dignity and peace!

Visit of Sister Angela:

St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Parish is hosting a series of events honoring and reflecting on Mary, Our Lady of Fatima.  This very unique community faith event is open to all members of the community, October 3-8.

Sr. Angela de Fátima Coelho, M.D., is the individual called by Pope Benedict XVI to become Postulator for the Cause of Canonization of the two youngest children (St. Jacinta and St. Francisco) who encountered our Blessed Mother in Fatima. Sister is the Catholic Church’s first female postulator in church history. She successfully led the process to canonize Jacinta, Francisco, and is now serving, at Pope Francis’ request, as vice-postulator for the cause of canonization of Sister Lucia.

Sr. Angela de Fátima Coelho is a medical doctor and a faculty member at the University of Porto. In 1995, she joined the Religious Congregation of The Alliance of Holy Mary.

Sr. Coelho’s Grand Rapids visit will include:

  • Meetings and discussions about medical ethics and faith and healing with area religious, physicians, and health leaders as well as the faculty, staff and students at Aquinas College. These events are open to the greater medical community.
  • Recitation of the rosary and the celebration of Mass, Bishop Walkowiak presiding, at the Cathedral of St. Andrew for the first Saturday of the month devotions celebrated in response to Mary’s request made to the three children of Fatima on Saturday, Oct. 5.
  • Mass at Aquinas College with students and the community as part of the Feast of The Rosary on Monday Oct. 7.
  • Gathering with Catholic high school and elementary school students to share with them the story of Fatima.
  • A Sunday evening presentation, open to the public, held at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Grand Rapids.

Please visit St. Anthony of Padua Church’s website at www.saparish.com for a complete schedule and more information on Sister Angela’s visit. All are Welcome!

Are You Discerning the Priesthood?

Gifted and Called is a discernment opportunity sponsored by the diocesan Office of Priestly Vocations.  Each month, young men (ages 16 – 35) are invited to gather and discern God’s will for their lives.

Time for prayer and reflection will be held monthly at St. Robert Catholic Church in Ada from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Men are also personally invited to attend the 6 p.m. Sunday Mass.

This year’s Gifted and Called discernment opportunities are offered on the following Sundays: Sept. 15, Oct. 20, Nov. 17, Jan. 19, Feb. 16, March 15, Apr. 19, and May 17.

Feel free to show up or call to let us know you are coming at 616-288-0910.

Questions, email Fr. Stephen Durkee (sdurkee@dioceseofgrandrapids.org)

September 26, 2017 Social Security Seminar Luncheon

Cathedral Square Center

All parishioners are invited to a no-cost Social Security Planning/Medicare  Seminar Luncheon Thursday, September 12, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00.m. at Cathedral Square Center, 360 Division Avenue South in Grand Rapids.  Enjoy a complimentary lunch with fellow parishioners at this event sponsored by The Catholic Foundation of West Michigan.

Vonda VanTil, Social Security Administration Public Affairs Specialist, will present “The Ins and Outs of Social Security Retirement” and provide expert advice on topics including: strategic planning, ways of filing and monitoring benefits. Bob Callery, Regional Coordinator, Michigan Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program, Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan will provide information about navigating Medicare. RSVP by Sunday, September 8, 2018 to save your place at this free educational seminar luncheon; call (616) 459-4508 or email events@catholicfoundationwm.org.  There’s no better time than now to get started on your retirement planning!

The Catholic Foundation of West Michigan is hosting a free Catholic Estate Planning
Seminar Luncheon

Franciscan Life Process Center Events

LIFEfest 2019

The Franciscan Life Process Center is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing services that support healthy human development. Each year, this event promotes the work of our counseling programs to educate and offer personal support toward achieving mental health. This year the theme of our LIFEfest event is focused on showcasing local foods and beverages. Each chef will be given local in-season produce from our farm and local farms in Kent County to create a small plate to pair with a local beverage.

Location: Revel Center (1535 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49505)

Date: September 26, 2019  |  Time: 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Attendees will enjoy the creations made by participating chefs and vote on which one they like best.

Please go to Lifefest2019.Evenbrite.com

Harpist William Jackson Concert

Friday, September 13, 2019  |  7:30 pm  |  Lowell Campus

Join us as we host internationally known Scottish composer, harpist and multi-instrumentalist, William Jackson.

Cost: $20 online $25 at the door  Please go to williamjacksonconcert.eventbrite.com to order tickets.

Fifth Annual Franciscan Rhythms Trail Run & Walk!

October 5, 2019

Franciscan Life Process Center – Lowell Campus

9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

This fundraising event replenishes the Center’s Music Therapy Scholarship fund. FLPC provides music therapy to many in West Michigan. Many of our clients receive a variety of therapies. Families often need help to pay for the services offered by the Center and Music Therapy is rarely covered by medical insurance. The Center provides over $5,500 per month in scholarship assistance. Registration fee is $30 through September 13. From September 14 through the day of the race, the fee is 5K $35 and 10 K $40, Register Here

September Events at the CIC

Catholic Inquiry Classes
Thursdays, September 5 – November 14
Choice of attending the Morning Sessions–10-noon OR the Evening Sessions–6:30-8:30pm
This eleven-week program is designed for those who wish to learn more about the Catholic faith and way of life and for Catholics who wish to update or renew their understanding of Catholic Teaching. Specific topics are presented each week and participants are encouraged to present questions for discussion. CFD: Theology
To Register: Call John Graveline at 616-459-7267 ext. 1910 or email: john@cathedralofsaintandrew.org.
Program held at the Catholic Information Center l 360 Division Ave S, Suite 2A, Grand Rapids MI 49503
September 5: Introduction, Prayer, God
September 12: The Bible
September 19: Genesis 1,2,3
September 26: Jesus Christ
October 3: The Church
October 10: Grace, sacraments and initiation
October 17: Holy Eucharist, Communion and the Mass
October 24: Morality, conscience and sin
October 31: Reconciliation, penance and confession
November 7: Marriage and sexuality
November 14: Death and the future

Biblical Training Institute for Michigan Catholics 2019
Date: Sat., Sept. 7, 2019, 8:30am-3:00pm
Cost: $75.00
Speaker: Sr. Diane Bergant, CSA, PhD
Topics: Old Testament—The Writings: Wisdom In Israel; Challenges to Israel’s Wisdom; Songs and Poetry; Later Writings
Diocesan Certification Hours: (5hrs per conference attended) will be given to participants. CFDs=Theology for Biblical sessions

Wangari Maathai: Visionary and Environmentalist
Wednesday, September 11, 7-8:30pm
Facilitated by Katie Villaire and Alita Kelly
To register: Call 616-459-7267 or email: register@catholicinformationcenter.org
Program held at the Catholic Information Center l 360 Division Ave S, Suite 2A, Grand Rapids MI 49503.
Learn about the remarkable life of the world’s most famous woman environmentalist, Dr. Wangari Maathai (1940 –2011). Born in the Kenya, she became the first African woman to obtain a PhD and was founder of the Green Belt Movement. Educated at Catholic schools in Kenya, she was awarded the Kennedy Scholarship to attend college at a Benedictine institution in the United States. Retuning to Africa, Wangari was able to bring a spiritual component to the hard work of encouraging women to renew the land by planting millions of trees, she also stood against governmental corruption and the degradation of women in Kenya.
Wangari Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her courageous work. Her Green Belt program of earth renewal has been adopted by countries throughout the world. Through discussion and video, including clips from the longer documentary, Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, we will learn more about her faith, perseverance and wisdom.    CFD: Evangelization  ($10 donation requested)

Fall Church Architecture Tour in Grand Rapids
(Lunch follows the program – registration required by Thursday, September 5)
Thursday September 12, 10am-1:00pm
With Fr. Bob Cary, CSP
To register: Call 616-459-7267 or email: register@catholicinformationcenter.org
Program held at the Catholic Information Center l 360 Division Ave S, Suite 2A, Grand Rapids MI 49503. Cost: $15.00 (includes lunch)
What people believe affects how they pray and how they pray influences how they design the space in which they pray. During this second Church Architecture workshop, we will continue to explore the style and worship spaces of churches in Grand Rapids. (Transportation provided. Please meet in front of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew to board bus.)

Holy Brew
Thursdays, Sept. 12, Oct. 3, & Nov. 7, 6:30-8pm
With Fr. Michael Hennessy, CSP
Meeting at Peppino’s Sports Grille (130 Ionia Avenue SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503)
To register: Call 616-459-7267 or email: register@catholicinformationcenter.org.
Being a young adult today—20s and 30s, single or married—comes with many important (if not challenging) questions…
  •      How do I make the important decisions in a world of so many choices?
  •      How can I find stability in my life when I get a new job—or a new city to live in—every few years?
  •      How can I meet new people and create new friendships while sustaining the relationships I already have?
  •      What are the responsibilities I have to my family when I am living my own life?
  •      How do I navigate the complicated world of social media and technology?
  •      What is the difference between being alone and being lonely?
The good news is that we don’t have to come up with these answers on our own!
At Holy Brew, we come together one Thursday a month over a meal and a pint to talk through these topics. As Catholics, we believe our church’s tradition and teaching can guide us through this formative time of our life. When we share our own experiences and listen to the journeys of other young adults, we trust that the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts and gives us the strength to live authentic Christian lives. Bring a friend or come on your own and we’ll set you up at a table with other young adults. CFD: Spirituality

New Support Program!
Catholic in Recovery
Meeting on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month, 7-8pm (Starting on Sept 16)
Facilitated by Jonathan Hicks
Catholic in Recovery seeks to support those participating in twelve-step groups who are suffering from substance abuse and other addictions. Using scriptural reflection and the sacramental love and mercy provided through the Catholic Church, this small group promotes healing and a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ, the giver of new life.

The Ecumenism of Beauty
Tuesday, September 17, 7:00-8:30pm
With H.J. Slider
To register: Call 616-459-7267 or email: register@catholicinformationcenter.org
Program held at the Catholic Information Center l 360 Division Ave S, Suite 2A, Grand Rapids MI 49503.
The rich artistic heritage shared by all Christians is an opportunity to learn from other traditions and can be a means to unify us in Christ. Join artist, H.J. Slider, as she explores how the visual arts can bridge differences and communicate truth, goodness, and beauty. This presentation is based on the landmark book, The Ecumenism of Beauty, and the role of visual arts, beauty and aesthetics in ecumenical exchange.    CFD: Spirituality
($10 donation requested)

Technology, Distraction, and Restless Hearts: Our Roadmap to the Peace of Christ
Wednesdays, September 18 & November 6, 7-8:30pm
With Fr. Michael Hennessy, CSP
Program held: Catholic Information Center / 360 Division Ave. S, Suite 2A, Grand Rapids MI 49503
They’ve done the research, and the results aren’t so good! Americansof all backgrounds, ages, and religious traditions —are using technology more and more, often accompanied by negative effects on our mental health and overall well-being. Yet, this is not completely our fault: the technology we encounter in our daily lives—social media, smartphones, Netflix—has been engineered to hook us.
So where does that leave us as Catholics? What does our great spiritual tradition have to say about technology, about the way our brains work, about how to be fully engaged in our complex and connected world? Does our tradition offer us anything at all here or are we on our own to figure this all out?
Join us for a two-part conversation that weaves together Church teaching, psychology, scriptural insight, and current research to understand our world a little better and chart a path forward.
·        In September, we’ll survey the digital scene and begin to make connections between our connected world—social media and smartphones—and our spiritual lives.
·        In November, we’ll reflect on what it is our souls long for, how technology can confuse or enlighten this search, and we’ll make a plan for our digital and spiritual lives.
These are significant questions without easy answers. Yet, we are people of hope, and also have great trust in the Holy Spirit’s guidance. CFD: Spiritualty

Catholic Information Center l 360 Division Ave S, Suite 2A, Grand Rapids MI 49503

The Presence

The Eucharist Through Mary

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord;
let it be to me according to your word.”
Luke 1:38
Presentations and music by the Trinitarians of Mary

Saturday October 5, 2019 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Suggested donation of $25 per person
St. Patrick’s Parnell, 4351 Parnell NE (Parnell and 5 Mile Roads)
Babies in arms are welcome – Childcare available

Retreat begins in the church at 7:30 with early check in; followed by the Mass at 8:00.
Hospitality to follow in the Parish Center – Lunch will be provided.
It is suggested to bring a Rosary to use during the Marian Moment.

Contact: Beth Zambon 616-874-7572, Rose Thomet 616-
987-6641 or Marie Wilson

St. Vincent de Paul’s Thrift Store Needs Your Help!The Thrift Store is very low on inventory…Please help us help others especially during this fall & winter season! We are in dire need of good, clean fall and winter clothing. The more we have the easier it is to keep our prices low so those who are poor can afford to shop and those who are homeless and transient can receive free clothing.Please open the doors of your hearts and donate now.
Call 452-1408 to schedule a pick up and we’ll pick up for free.“Embrace the whole world in a network of charity.” 

Calling Women of All Ages!Are you looking for a way to increase your faith this year? Consider joining the Grand Rapids Diocesan Council of Catholic Women. Membership is open to everyone. The Council helps women develop their faith through leadership, spirituality and service of the Gospel. Like them of Facebook or email the group at: grdccw@dioceseofgrandrapids.org.

Courage Apostolate

The Courage Apostolate is the Church’s invitation to people who experience same-sex attractions, who desire to live in accord with the Gospel call to chastity. Courage, a confidential support group led by a priest, accompanies men and women along the road to integration, freedom and discipleship. For more information, call 616-459-4662 or email courage@dioceseofgrandrapids.org

EnCourage Ministry

The EnCourage Ministry welcomes parents, spouses and other loved ones of people who experience same-sex attractions to join regularly for prayer and mutual support.  Under the direction of a priest chaplain, EnCourage members seek to know God’s will for themselves and their loved ones, and to follow it with charity and patience. For more information, call 616-288-0918 or email encourage@dioceseofgrandrapids.org