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.

Msgr. Steven Raica named next bishop of Diocese of Gaylord

And our new bishop is...

and our Diocese has put out this article about Bishop-elect Steven Raica, here's the beginning of the article...

Bishop-elect RaicaHis Holiness Pope Francis, has named the Reverend Monsignor Steven J. Raica (RAY-cuh), Chancellor and Vicar General of the Diocese of Lansing, as the new Bishop for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord. Bishop-elect Raica, 61, is the fifth Bishop of Gaylord, succeeding the Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda who was named to the lead the diocese in October of 2009 and served until September, 2013, when he was named Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark. The announcement was made today by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano (Vig-uh-NO), Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, in Washington, D.C.

“As I prepare myself to serve the People of God in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula as a new bishop, I offer my praise and gratitude to the Lord Jesus whose presence in my life has enabled me to experience an abundance of life,” said Bishop-elect Raica in a statement. “My gratitude also goes to Pope Francis for entrusting me with this honor and great responsibility.”

Upon learning of the appointment of his successor, Archbishop Hebda wrote, “The news that Pope Francis has named Msgr. Steven Raica to be the fifth Bishop of Gaylord on this Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is truly a cause for rejoicing. Having known Bishop-Elect Raica for more than a quarter of a century and having had first-hand experience of his pastoral zeal, collaborative spirit, and intellectual gifts, I believe that he will be an excellent shepherd--after the Heart of Jesus--for a flock that I will always remembers as being incredibly loving.

“Knowing Bishop-elect Raica to be a man of prayer, an engaging preacher, an excellent administrator, and a fine friend to many, I am confident that he will be an exceptionally fine bishop,” Archbishop Hebda said. “It will be a pleasure to pray for him and for the wonderful Church of Gaylord as they together prepare to shine the light of Christ throughout the twenty-one counties of the Diocese.”

Read the entire article Pope Francis Names New Bishop for the Diocese of Gaylord at the Diocese of Gaylord.

Also see: What Others are Saying About Our New Bishop and Statement of Bishop-elect Steven J. Raica

Announcement for new bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord coming tomorrow?

Just heard about this...

Rocco is usually right on when it comes to bishop news and hopefully he's right again! So Noon in Rome is 6:00 AM here in the Diocese of Gaylord, which means I'll be up early tomorrow morning to share the great news.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on Us!

Bishop Hebda named Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark

Yesterday I tweeted about it and today it is official! Bishop Bernard Hebda has been named Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark. We'll miss Bishop Hebda in the Diocese of Gaylord and I know many will continue to pray for him in his new diocese.

Here's the official announcement from the Diocese of Gaylord...

His Holiness Pope Francis has named the Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda, shepherd of the Diocese of Gaylord for the past four years, the Coadjutor Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. The Vatican made the announcement on the September 24, 2013 and it was shared in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States. The appointment is effective immediately. As coadjutor, Archbishop Hebda will assist the current Metropolitan Archbishop John J. Myers in the administration of the archdiocese and will automatically succeed Archbishop Myers upon his retirement, transfer or death.

"Today's news that the Holy Father has named me the Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark brings with it the sadness of having to leave the Diocese of Gaylord," Archbishop Hebda penned in a letter upon being informed of the appointment. "I have come to consider this local Church my home and will find it difficult to leave so many faith-filled parishes, schools and friends. Anything that I know about being a bishop I learned from you—and for that I will be always thankful."

Archbishop Hebda said he has been blessed here, finding the Church of Gaylord a wonderful diocese with "gifted clergy, generous deacons, dedicated Religious women, stellar schools, a tradition of prayerful liturgy, a rich history of cultivating lay leadership, and an exemplary commitment to Christian charity and social justice. What wasn't to love? I would have been happy to spend the rest of my days here laboring in the vineyard at your side," he added.

Read more at the Dicocese of Gaylord

I was able to hear Bishop Hebda preach a few times and always took something away from it. Thanks Be to God for the time we had with Bishop Hebda and many blessings on his new journey!

St. Bernard, Pray for Us!

Weekly Sunday Latin Mass at St. Mary Cathedral starting in August [UPDATED]

[UPDATED] The kick-off for the Traditional Latin Mass at the Cathedral has been moved back to Sunday, August 4th, at 3:00 p.m.

Original post is below...

A new weekly Sunday 3:00 p.m. Latin Mass in the Diocese of Gaylord is set to debut at St. Mary Cathedral on July 21st. I don't see it listed yet on the St. Mary Cathedral page at so please watch for it to be added and confirm before traveling.

Parish Road Trip: Cross in the Woods Shrine in Indian River, Michigan

This fall we were finally able to make it to the Cross in the Woods Shrine in Indian River. According to the official website, "The Cross in the Woods is one of Michigan's best known and most visited shrines". I had been there as a kid and was glad to finally take my kids to see it. The boys were pretty excited about the outside grounds which include statues and the large Crucifix. The girls loved the doll museum and walking through the outdoor Stations of the Cross. It was a great experience for our family and we were able to take some time to pray and enjoy learning about saints old and new (the boys new favorite is St. Peregrine!). Our youngest son enjoyed it so much, we had to go back and climb to the foot of Jesus on the Cross one more time before we left for the day.

Here are a couple of links to learn more about Cross in the Woods Shrine, the Official Website has loads of info and you can also read an article from when Cross in the Woods was Designated as a National Shrine.

Here are a few of my pictures of the Shrine...

With St. Therese in the Hall of Saints

With now St. Kateri!

Cross in the Woods

Mary and the kids (unfortunately looking into the sun, haha)

6th Station of the Cross - Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

"The Man on the Cross" weighs seven tons and is twenty-eight feet tall from head to toe

With St. Francis

St. Francis

The boys new favorite saint, St. Peregrine

A happy girl with Our Lady of the Highway

The boys liked the Doll Museum...

...and so did someone else!

A few of the over 500 dolls in the museum

With a couple of the mannequins!

Climbing the Holy Stairs

Still climbing

At the top

Beneath the Cross

Thanks for joining me on another Parish Road Trip. If you get a chance, take a drive over to Indian River and stop by the shrine and learn more about the Catholic Faith and spend some time in a very peaceful setting. As a bonus they have a huge gift shop with all kinds of great gift ideas!

Parish Road Trip: St. Joseph Bohemian Settlement in Maple City, Michigan

I have to admit that visiting St. Joseph's wasn't much of a road trip. St. Joseph's Bohemian Settlement is located a few miles outside of Maple City, Michigan on County Road 669. It is a true country parish surrounded by farmland and currently there is a yak farm next door and a llama farm across the road. I've been able to attend Mass here a few times and this particular Mass had a special visitor, Bishop Hebda. My oldest son was one of the altar servers and he was both excited and nervous once he heard the news.

I was trying to find some info out about the history and found a link at with some information including the following...

St. Joseph's was constructed in 1884 by Bohemian settlers in Cleveland Township, Leelanau County and is significant as the only church associated with a Bohemian community known as the Bohemian Settlement. Additionally, it is one of only a few surviving Catholic mission churches associated with Father Ignatius Mrak, an early Catholic missionary. Finally, the church was and still is the only church building in the relatively unpopulated, rural township. St. Joseph served its Bohemian Catholic congregation until 1970 when the parish was merged with a neighboring one and regular services in this building discontinued.

Here's a few photos that, for the most part, turned out...

Mass on May 7th at 7:00 PM

St. Joseph's Catholic Church

Still looking good!

The Beautiful Altar

A closer look at the Altar

Mass with Bishop Hebda and Father Libby

View from the Balcony

After Mass

Historical Marker

Thanks for viewing! As a bonus picture one of the men who helps take care of St. Joseph's took the picture below after Mass of Bishop Hebda, Father Libby, and the altar servers (my son is in the front on the left). A special thank you to him for taking this picture!

Bishop Hebda, Father Libby, and the Altar Servers after Mass

"Meant to be More" with Leah Darrow

I was emailed this flyer created by the Diocese of Gaylord for the Leah Darrow (chastity & modesty speaker) events April 26th through 28th in our diocese.

Here's some info about the Traverse City event...

The 9:30 am talk on Friday (at Traverse City St. Francis Church) will be followed by an 11:00 am Mass with Bishop Hebda. Students from St. Francis, Lake Leelanau St. Mary’s, and Gaylord St. Mary’s will be there. It is going to be a wonderful morning! This event is open to anyone and we are trying to invite families and students that may benefit from this "event." All of our 8th – 12th grade students are attending and, I believe 7th grade students have the option to attend. Leah Darrow best fits this type of age group.

Please also invite any friends or family that may find this day interesting – whether it's listening to Leah Darrow, Bishop Hebda, or both of them! Please come and enjoy next Friday.

You can download or print the flyer here

More info on the Traverse City Carmelite Monastery Renovations

More information was sent in by a reader of the Latin Mass Community of Kankakee Blog about the Traverse City Carmelite Monastery Renovations.

Here's the beginning of the story...

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Duncan G. Stroik is one of the foremost church architects in the English-speaking world, the acknowledged leader of a growing movement to return classical ideas of beauty and harmony to sacred architecture.

His recent commissions have included the 2008 Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, WI, the 2009 Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA and the renovation of St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls, SD. A professor of architecture at the University of Notre Dame, he authored the book Reconquering Sacred Space and is editor of the professional journal Sacred Architecture.

But his latest project is a tiny chapel for a small community of cloistered Carmelite nuns who live, work and pray at the Monastery of the Infant Jesus of Prague, in the northern Michigan resort town of Traverse City. Although the chapel is also open to visitors for daily Masses and prayer — and has a loyal following among local residents — it is central to the life of the monastic community.

"The beautification of the monastery chapel is exactly the type of project that we love to do," said Stroik. "The sisters have a great love of beauty, of the liturgy and of tradition, and want to do something worthy of Christ. I love that the project is in Traverse City because it gives me a great excuse to travel up there. The fascinating part of the project is the sisters’ desire that the sanctuary be designed to be beautiful and inspiring from the nave as well as from their cloister chapel."


Seminarians sharing their stories…

Just want to share a couple of websites written by current seminarians that have caught my eye recently.

The first is Fiat Voluntas Dei written by seminarians of the Diocese of Gaylord. Recent posts have shared photos from their trip to Rome with Bishop Hebda, the famous "Spaghetti Bowl", thanksgiving, and the loss of Monsignor William Lyons.

The second is a blog and soon-to-be publication Vox Christi. Vox Christi is a new quarterly publication of the seminarians of Kenrick – Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Their website says...

Vox Christi seeks to share with the world the spiritual, the academic and the artistic fruits of our community to people of all ages and academic abilities in a manner that assists in building up the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Please keep all seminarians in your prayers as they are challenged everyday on the path to priesthood!

Diocese of Gaylord adds Social Media

I was wondering when they were finally going to add Facebook and Twitter! You can now follow the Diocese of Gaylord on both social media platforms...

Diocese of Gaylord

Don't forget you can also follow my parish as well.

Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Cedar, Michigan

And of course some self-promotion...

Good Saints on Facebook:
Good Saints on Twitter:
Web Design & Development: