The Secretariat for Communications provides monthly announcements and educational messages for use in parish bulletins to assist in keeping parishioners informed. Announcements for upcoming weeks appear below. Instructions for placing text into your document are noted below. Further information on upcoming events happening around the diocese may also be found in the Events tab above.
For Use October 17-18, 29th Sunday Ordinary Time (A)
A Reflection on Faithful Citizenship from Bishop HurleyOctober 9, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Whom should we vote for in the upcoming election? How can I vote in good conscience when no candidate unconditionally aligns with Catholic moral teaching? American voters, particularly Catholics, face very difficult choices when considering how to vote in the upcoming election. However, these decisions should not be avoided or cause for division, but rather embraced as an opportunity to contribute to the common good as a faithful citizen.
A faithful citizen is a well-informed and prayerful one who seriously considers all of the moral issues. This interior reflection should challenge us because both national party platforms contain seriously flawed moral positions. This leaves us with a moral dilemma calling for prayer, reflection and a formed conscience in accordance with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and teachings of the Catholic Church.
In our consideration, we must each take time to humbly examine all of the three guiding moral principles for the development of a just society: 1) the defense of life from conception to natural death; 2) the needs of the weakest members of our society; and 3) the pursuit of the common good. These principles should be further considered by looking at the many specific issues, such as abortion; euthanasia; assisted suicide; capital punishment; racism; marriage between a man and a woman; the protection and formation of our children; religious liberty; care for immigrants, refugees and migrants; protection for the poor and vulnerable; the pursuit of peace and justice within education, healthcare, housing and jobs/work; and the care for God’s creation.
As we prayerfully consider these significant moral positions, we must remember that our vote can never be reduced to a single issue, regardless of how gravely serious this issue is. Sadly, fundamental positions of both platforms conflict with Catholic moral teaching in significant ways. The U.S. bishops reaffirm in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship:
“As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate's position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter's support. Yet if a candidate's position on a single issue promotes an intrinsically evil act, such as legal abortion, redefining marriage in a way that denies its essential meaning, or racist behavior, a voter may legitimately disqualify a candidate from receiving support.” (42)
However, “There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate's unacceptable position even on policies promoting an intrinsically evil act may reasonably decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.” (35)
In our highly imperfect world, we so often find ourselves in the midst of a moral dilemma. Too easily this tempts us to look for simple solutions or to become bitter, resentful or judgmental of others. In considering the upcoming election, we remember that no earthly leadership can fully satisfy our deep longing for the guidance that only God can provide as our Father.
It is my prayer that our political discourse will rise above the noise, as we are called to be a people “set apart” by the grace of God. I urge you not to fall into divisive discourse as you work through these difficult decisions, but rather build one another up. If Jesus was able to love his enemies, even the very soldiers who crucified him — which includes all of us — we too should aspire to that same level of charity towards others, particularly those with whom we have significant disagreement. May we seek the Lord for guidance and unfailing help in our desire to follow what we know to be just and right during this election season, and always.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley
File: A Reflection on Faithful Citizenship from Bishop Hurley
Incorporation of ParishesIn September, Bishop Hurley announced that the process of parish incorporation is underway in the Diocese of Gaylord. This process will incorporate each parish in the diocese as a Michigan nonprofit corporation. At the present time, under the laws of the State of Michigan, the Catholic dioceses exist as a “corporation sole.” This model is several centuries old, developed out of various historical contexts, and civilly recognizes church property as being held by the bishop as a form of trust, for the benefit of the Church. However, this form is not fully consistent with the theological and canonical vision of the Church. Separate incorporation of parishes is the civil law structure that most accurately reflects ecclesiastical law and church structures.
According to church law and theology, each parish and diocese has its own unique set of rights and responsibilities, including the obligation to administer church property. Creating nonprofit parish corporations will not significantly alter the day-to-day operations of the parish and is the simplest and most effective way of ensuring that the rights of parishes regarding church property are respected, not only in church law, but in civil law. The Holy See has requested that dioceses pursue parish incorporation since 1911, and many parishes in dioceses in the United States have long been incorporated. This process begins after consultation with the College of Consultors and Finance Council of the diocese, and with their support and encouragement. For more information regarding the parish incorporation process in our diocese, visit: www.dioceseofgaylord.org/parish-incorporation-1268/
Stewardship By the BookEach year at tax time, we conscientiously give "to Caesar what belongs to Caesar." Does my stewardship indicate that I am as faithful about giving "to God what belongs to God"?
Vocation ViewWe cannot select a vocation completely on our own. We must prayerfully reflect on how we can best give to God what is God’s, and then live as though everything depends on God.
Stewardship Reflections“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”
- MATTHEW 22:21
Everything we are and everything we have belongs to God. We aren’t “owners” of anything, we are merely “stewards” of the gifts God has given each of us. All God is asking is that we give back a portion of what He gave us. This is the essence of Stewardship. God should be our first priority in everything. All else comes second, especially our money.
Family Perspective-by Bud OzarJesus was exasperated when he scolded: “Why do you put me to the test?” It is natural for children to test parents; this is how they learn and how we teach limits, rules and values. Be like Jesus in today’s gospel; he was firm, honest and direct.
Gladhander Hoedown or Hootenanny: Fundraiser for GTACS school salaries and scholarshipsGladhander Hoedown or Hootenanny: Fundraiser for GTACS school salaries and scholarships
Gladhander 2020: Hoedown or Hootenanny is happening now! To participate, all you need to do is register for free at https://one.bidpal.net/Gladhander or text gladhander to 243-725. You'll be able to peruse our auction items, bid on them beginning October 12, and get updates on the event. In addition to participating via the website, you're also invited to the live "Hoedown" event (restrictions permitting) at Immaculate Conception School or host an at-home "Hootenanny" of your own. For additional information, visit www.gladhander.com or call the Gladhander office at (231) 941-GLAD.
JIM BECKETT GLADHANDER CHALLENGE
Gladhander raffle tickets are on sale now. There are two exciting new grand prize options: A 2020 JEEP Gladiator sport or a 2021 Regal 1900 ES Bowrider. In honor of the legendary Gladhander supporter Jim Beckett, who passed away earlier this year, buyers are encouraged to DOUBLE their normal purchase levels (as Jim would say, "Give 'em two!") Ticket prices are (1) for $125, (2) for $200, or (3) for $250. You need not be present to win. Call (231) 941-GLAD to arrange ticket purchases.
Saint of the Week- Saint John of Capistrano- Feast Day October 23This Italian studied law in Perugia, where he married the daughter of a leading family and became governor of the city in 1412. Imprisoned during a civil war, he had a vision of St. Francis, followed by a spiritual conversion. Dispensed from his marriage vows, John joined the Friars Minor in 1416 and was ordained four years later. Going barefoot and wearing a hair shirt, he became a great preacher, worked diligently to reform the Franciscan orders, served as the friars’ vicar general and was named papal legate in a number of places in Europe and Palestine. He also led a wing of the Christian army in a victory against the Turks who besieged Belgrade in 1456. John is the patron of jurists and military chaplains.
A Note on the Coming Election…On Tuesday, November 3, Michiganders will vote for leaders and ballot proposals at the local, statewide and national level. Catholics are called to consider a wide range of issues important to the common good before voting, weighing each according to its moral importance. During this process, it is beneficial to prayerfully research the ballot ahead of time, gathering the facts for every question or candidate. To learn more about Catholic teaching regarding elections, more about the state ballot proposals and resources for Faithful Citizenship, visit dioceseofgaylord.org and click on the “Election” banner on the home page. You can also visit micatholic.org for additional information.
Abuse of Minors or Vulnerable Adults by Priests, Deacons or OthersTo report allegations of sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults within the Diocese of Gaylord by priests, deacons or other employees or volunteers, regardless of when it occurred, individuals should:
Contact local law enforcement and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (855-444-3911). The Michigan Attorney General’s office has also set up a special phone line for people to share information that may be of help in their ongoing investigation of sexual misconduct by Catholic clergy. That number is 844-324-3374.
You may also contact the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, Larry LaCross, at 989-705-9010.
In the State of Michigan many professionals, including clergy, teachers, doctors, counselors and named others are mandated reporters. This means such individuals are REQUIRED to make an oral or online report IMMEDIATELY to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services if they suspect a child is being neglected or abused in any way. Individuals may call the State report line at the number above, which is answered 24 hours a day or submit a report online at https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-73971_7119---00.html.
The Diocese of Gaylord encourages ANYONE who has reason to suspect a child is being abused or neglected in any way to report the matter to local authorities and the Michigan Attorney General hotline at 844.324.3374.
For Use October 10-11, 28th Sunday Ordinary Time (A)
For Use October 24-25, 30th Sunday Ordinary Time (A)
For Use October 31-November 1, Solemnity of All Saints (A)