My dear friends,
It’s an exciting time to be Catholic in West Michigan! The parishes and Catholic organizations in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are vibrant places of faith, generosity, education and love—alive with the Holy Spirit. As Catholics, we believe that it is our baptismal call to bring people into relationship with Christ and to grow closer to him. It happens when we share genuinely the message of the Gospel with those who’ve never heard it; when we urge those who already believe to continue to deepen their faith, and when we re-propose the Gospel to those who, though always members of the Church through their baptisms, have drifted away.
If you are an active member of your parish, I challenge you to learn more about your faith: pray more often, take a class at the Catholic Information Center, participate in faith formation opportunities in your parish or attend a Holy Hour. If you have been away from the Catholic faith for a while, I encourage you to walk through the doors of any church in our diocese and join in the celebration of Mass. I would also urge you to contact a parish where the pastor would be glad to talk to you about your spiritual journey. If you have not yet come in contact with our faith community, I invite you to experience the welcoming spirit of our parishes filled with people who like you are experiencing life’s joys and sorrows, and sometimes even doubt. It is through prayer, study and service to others in Christ that we are able to, as a community of believers, find love, peace and assurance. Please feel free to contact our Catholic Information Center or any parish in the diocese where we can help you open the door to faith and begin to examine what a life that includes greater relationship with God might look like.
May we, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, seek a deeper relationship with Jesus. May the Spirit give us the courage we need to give witness to the Gospel and to share our faith with others. May we be filled with compassion for our brothers and sisters who are missing from our family of faith or have yet to join us and be ready to welcome them. May all who long to know Christ come to discover him through us as we strive to be his witnesses in the world and invite others as Jesus did into the experience of God’s unending love and grace.
Sincerely yours in the Lord,
Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak
Bishop of Grand Rapids