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 24-25, 30th 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 BookWe fulfill the commandment to love our neighbor when we exercise good stewardship - joyfully sharing our gifts of life, abilities, and resources to meet our neighbors' need.
Vocation ViewWe must stop just putting bandaids on the wounds of society. We must tell the world that we are all God’s people. God loves us and we are created to serve God and others.
Stewardship Reflections“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” – MATTHEW 22:37
Do you put other “gods” before God? Is your love of money, power, status, comfort or some personal possession greater than your love for God? Do you really recognize that everything you have and that everything you are is a gift from God? The good news – it’s not too late to put God first in all things in your life.
Family Perspective-by Bud OzarIn today’s gospel the Pharisee was talking about commandments (something we are forced to obey by external pressure), and Jesus was talking about love (an internal exhortation to give our heart, soul and mind to another). One demands allegiance, the other requires personal commitment. In our families we daily lay down our lives for each other not because we “gotta” but because love compels us.
Saints of the Week- Saints Simon and Jude- Feast Day October 28Listed among the Twelve Apostles in the New Testament, Simon is “the Canaanite” to Matthew and Mark and “the Zealot” to Luke; Jude is “Thaddeus” to Matthew and Mark, “Judas of James” to Luke, and “Judas, not Iscariot” to John. After Pentecost, they disappear. However, according to Eastern tradition, Simon died peacefully in Edessa, while Western tradition has him evangelizing in Egypt, then teaming up with Jude, who had been in Mesopotamia, on a mission to Persia, where they were martyred on the same day. Simon is the patron saint of tanners and lumberjacks; Jude is the patron of desperate causes, possibly because early Christians would pray to him, with a name evoking Judas Iscariot, only when all else failed.
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.
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.
For Use October 10-11, 28th Sunday Ordinary Time (A)
For Use October 17-18, 29th Sunday Ordinary Time (A)
For Use October 31-November 1, Solemnity of All Saints (A)