Pope Francis released ‘Christus Vivit’

On Tuesday, April 2, Pope Francis released “Christus Vivit – Christ is alive!,” his apostolic exhortation on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. This latest teaching from the pope is a significant milestone of the synodal process begun by him in 2016.

In a statement on the day of the release, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, along with committee chairpersons Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R, of Newark and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, called it “a wonderful summons to the Church to more vigorously invest in youth and young adults, especially those on the peripheries and those disconnected from the Church.” Read their full statement on the USCCB website.

The release of Christus Vivit corresponds with the fourteenth anniversary of the death of St. John Paul II, a wish expressed by Pope Francis to “link together the two pontificates, so loved by and close to the younger generations.” In 1985, St. John Paul II was the first pope to address a letter to young people. That same year he instituted the annual observance of World Youth Day, a gathering of youth and young adults hosted in a different country each year to celebrate the Catholic faith.

Read Christus Vivit on the Vatican website (available in English and multiple other languages)

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is recognized in the United States as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month-long observance reminds us all of our collective responsibility to make positive choices that will impact the safety and well-being of children. As we continue our commitment to ensuring the safety of children and preventing child abuse, let us give thanks for the many members of our community who come together in this mission to put a stop to abuse and to create positive, healthy environments for all children.

In the Diocese of Grand Rapids, we are committed to protecting children and adults from harm. Our work with young people and vulnerable adults is directed by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, a comprehensive set of procedures established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in June 2002 and revised in 2005, 2011 and 2018. The Charter directs action for:

  • Creating a safe environment for children and young people;
  • Healing and reconciliation of victims and survivors;
  • Making prompt and effective responses to allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy;
  • Cooperating with civil authorities;
  • Disciplining offenders;
  • Providing for means of accountability for the future to ensure the problem continues to be effectively dealt with through the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection and the National Review Board.

Sharing about Child Abuse Prevention Month on social? Use #PromisetoProtect

Learn about Child & Youth Protection in our diocese: Reporting abuse | Safe environment training | Compliance and audits | Additional resources
Safe environment policies and procedures in the diocese (English | Español)
Watch a video message from Bishop Walkowiak on the clergy abuse scandal (Feb. 7)
Prayer for healing of victims of abuse (USCCB)

Resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB): includes information on child abuse prevention month, print materials, information about child abuse and human trafficking, and resources from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

So there is No Doubt: The Catholic Church’s Solution to End the Abuse of Children
Blue Sunday (Child Abuse Prevention Initiative | Prayer resources)

Irene Miller, Holocaust survivor


Holocaust survivor
Author, Speaker, educator and mediator
Thursday, April 25 at 7 pm
Holy Redeemer Parish
2700 Baldwin St Door C
Jenison 49428

Irene’s Objectives:
 Give a face to the dark chapter of human history
 Promote tolerance and diversity
 Inspire positive action, including anti-bullying.
 Empower people to overcome obstacles in life, by example.

Irene Miller, a Holocaust survivor, will take you on a survival journey little written and known about. You will sleep in the winter under an open sky on the no man’s land; you will freeze in a Siberian labor camp where the bears come to your door front. In Uzbekistan, you will live on boiled grass or broiled onions, and shiver with malaria. You will spend years in orphanages. When this is over you will wonder how a child with this background grows up to become a positive, creative, accomplished woman with a joy of living and love to share.

New Adult Singles Ministry

Are you single and looking to meet new people? St. Raphael’s Singles is a new adult singles ministry in the diocese and they’re hosting their second night of cards, games, and conversation.

Join them at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew on Friday, Feb. 15 from 7 – 9 p.m.

St. Raphael’s Singles is a friendship and fellowship group for adults age 40+ who are divorced, widowed, or have never been married.

Contact straphaelssingles1@gmail.com for directions, location and news of future events.

RSVPs are appreciated but not required.

New Website for GR Diocese

Check out the new http://GRdiocese.org!

The Office of Communications is excited to announce the launch of a new website for the Diocese of Grand Rapids. Please visit GRdiocese.org to see the new content and layout. Streamlined content means you’ll find what you need faster and the new mobile-friendly design means you can take the diocese with you wherever you go. If you have bookmarked our page on your computer or other device, don’t forget to update your link.

Share the Journey

Bishop Walkowiak along with the staff of the Diocese of Grand Rapids and Catholic Charities West Michigan (CCWM) is encouraging parishes to participate in a global campaign called “Share the Journey. It will be launched by Pope Francis on September 27 and will continue through September 2019.

We can join Pope Francis and the Church around the world, and share the journey with fellow children of God by learning about their journeys. Read stories, watch videos, and pay attention to news that can help sensitize us to their reality.