Great Catholic Events this Weekend

Two great events at Holy Rosary and a Catholic Men's Conference in Traverse City provide some great opportunities for Catholics this weekend.

Friday, March 4th and Saturday, March 5th - 24 Hours for the Lord
24 hours of confession and adoration at Holy Rosary with confessions around the clock!
At Holy Rosary Parish
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Saturday, March 5th - 2016 Catholic Men’s Conference "Battle Ready Rally"
An all-day retreat with Doug Barry, founder of Radix and Battle Ready, the day ends with Mass celebrated by Bishop Raica!
At St. Francis School
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Sunday, March 6th - Holy League Event
A special presentation given by Doug Barry on preparing for and engaging in the spiritual fight. The talk is centered on the Sacraments and using the tools God has given us to fight the spiritual battle. Men, women, and children (over the age of seven) are encouraged to attend. Timeline for March 6th is as follows:
5:00-6:00pm – Potluck dinner and talk for men
6:00-7:30 – Battle Ready Rally (with Doug Barry) open to men, women, and children (over the age of seven)
7:30-8:30 – Men’s Holy League Hour with confession (for the men) and adoration
At Holy Rosary Parish
Learn more about the Holy League

Statement by Bishop Raica Regarding Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Si ?”

Here's a statement from our bishop, Bishop Raica of the Diocese of Gaylord, about Pope Francis' Encylical "Laudato Si". You can read the entire encyclical here.

Cassock Head-ShouldersStatement by the Most Rev. Steven J. Raica, Bishop of Gaylord Regarding Pope Francis' Encyclical "Laudato Si"

Today’s release of Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Si” (“On Care for Our Common Home”) has been awaited with great anticipation and interest, not only among Catholics, but within the general public as well. The Holy Father has encouraged all of us to reflect upon God’s gifts of creation and the environment and how we care for that which has been entrusted to us. Exercising proper stewardship of all of our resources is integral to the dignity of human life and an application of our social teachings.

One has only to look around the Diocese of Gaylord to see the spectacular beauty created by God. For example, we are surrounded by the largest freshwater system on Earth and an abundance of land for agriculture. These gifts provide great blessings to our lives, but also come with the solemn responsibility to ensure they are used in a wise manner in order to provide a legacy for generations to come.

With this encyclical, Pope Francis, as many Popes before him, calls on all of us to consider with care the impact our choices make not only on our environment, but indeed on our world. We honor God and express thanksgiving for His creation by being responsible consumers and by respecting creation that sustains us.

Bishop-elect Raica's Introductory News Conference

Note: Currently the first 10 minutes are just getting everything setup, actual press conference starts at about the 10 minute mark.

Getting to know Bishop-elect Steven Raica of the Diocese of Gaylord

Now that we have an official announcement and a Bishop-elect here are a few links I have found to help us learn more about Bishop-elect Steven Raica, who will be the 5th Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord.

One of the best blogs out there is Whispers in the Loggia and that is the first spot online I saw any news about the announcement of our new bishop-elect. The blogs author Rocco Palmo always has great information and the latest news about the Catholic Church, especially related to the Bishops, and he just posted a new article In Michigan, A Spartan Shift – Lansing Chancellor Raica to Gaylord.

Here is part of the article talking about Bishop-elect Raica and how he is following Archbishop Hebda...

A product of Michigan State, where he earned a bachelor's in mathematics before a JCD from the Gregorian, the "gentle and industrious" bishop-elect is believed to be the first US prelate who's fluent in sign language; for the first decade of his priesthood, Raica served as Lansing's diocesan director for deaf ministry alongside parish work.

As for what lies ahead, meanwhile, what Hebda referred to as "the needs of the church in Gaylord" would seem to mesh well with the profile of the pick: on his transfer to Newark after four years, Bishop Bernie just beginning to focus the diocese on planning its mid-range future, a challenge that's been particularly acute across Michigan given demographic shifts as harsh as the state's infamous winters. Alongside the structural realities, priestly vocations have proven another hurdle upstate, while Lansing has long bucked the trend, ordaining five in this year's batch, including identical twins who were profiled in The New York Times. (Gaylord will ordain one tomorrow, with the now-archbishop returning to perform the rite.)

Next is a short interview in Legatus Magazine from last year called Building ambassadors in Michigan's capital where Bishop-elect Raica talks about his call to the priesthood...

Tell us about your call to the priesthood.
I guess my first inkling was probably around fifth grade when I served Mass. In high school I got more involved in church, including joining the choir, playing the organ and going to daily Mass.

My calling matured at Michigan State University, where I got involved with the campus parish and the diocesan pre-seminary program. There were a number of confirmations of my calling. Once I remember opening my pocket Bible at random to Hebrews 11 about faith being the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen. That was revelatory. Perhaps the Lord was calling me not to be afraid of faith but to follow him and doors would open. So I went to the seminary after graduation and have not had one regret for having accepted the Lord’s invitation to follow him.

And finally I found an old homily from a confirmation Mass from May 20, 2008 at Christ the King Catholic Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

May 20, 2008 Confirmation Mass homily: Msgr. Steven Raica

So on this Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, please keep Bishop-elect Raica in your prayers as he begins his journey as shepherd of the Diocese of Gaylord.