Dear friends in Christ,
We are expecting the U.S. Supreme Court to issue its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization anytime between now and the end of June. We should not and cannot speculate on final outcomes based on a leaked opinion, but we are hopeful that our prayers in support of life will be answered.
Of course, legal protection must be accompanied by concern for mothers and their children. Regardless of the decision in Dobbs, the Church needs to redouble its efforts to accompany women and couples who are facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies, offering them loving and compassionate care. Catholic Charities West Michigan operates two baby pantries in West Michigan that, in 2021 alone, provided more than 3,200 families with needed supplies. In addition, many Catholics staff local pregnancy care centers or work through their parishes to provide local outreach and support. This is the Gospel of Life that we must live as Catholics.
But are we effective at communicating that help directly to women in desperate situations? How can our parishes ensure moms in need are aware of and easily able to access programs and resources? We seek to answer this question through an initiative called “Walking with Moms in Need,” sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This parish-based movement helps identify local resources and asks parishioners to connect with local mothers in need to accompany them in receiving material, spiritual, and emotional support.
The Church will never cease to pray, work, and serve until the day when every human life is protected in law, and welcomed in love. I ask you to join me in a novena from June 1 – 9 in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The daily prayers in both English and Spanish can be found at https://grdiocese.org/dobbs-novena/
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak
Bishop of Grand Rapids
The Diocese of Grand Rapids’ Office of Communications issues the following statement from Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak, bishop of Grand Rapids, in response to several recent mass shootings occurring in the U.S.:
Once again, this weekend, we have witnessed the senseless loss of innocent life in multiple shootings across the country. Please join me in praying for all of the families and communities impacted by these tragedies.
Details from news reports about the shooting in Buffalo, New York, point to this tragedy being racially motivated. Acts and attitudes of racism are sinful and they reveal a failure, a failure to acknowledge the value and dignity of the members of our human family; failure to see in each one of our neighbors the brother or sister that Christ calls us to love and serve.
The Church has a tremendous responsibility to encourage dialogue and heal tensions associated with the racism in our communities, our nation, and our world. I ask the Catholic community in West Michigan to join me in prayer and in working toward a society where we recognize each other as a child of God in word and action. May the risen Christ strengthen us in this mission and sustain us in hope.
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