Advocacy News

The Word from Lansing Column: Black History Month and the Need for Continued Dialogue

February is Black History Month. During these upcoming weeks, it is important to honor African Americans who have contributed to the building of a better society, as well as to reflect upon the larger issues of race and diversity. These issues have played a pivotal role in the United States throughout history and continue to influence the nation today. This month’s The Word from Lansing, Michigan Catholic Conference’s column for Catholic newspapers, first outlines the impact of black saints and African Americans on the U.S. Catholic Church. Institutions like the Knights of Peter Claver, Xavier University of Louisiana, and the National Black Catholic Congress provide three examples of how black Americans are leading and serving others with their faith daily. Additionally, the column highlights policies pursued by Michigan Catholic Conference and the U.S. Catholic Church, especially during the 1960s, to promote civil rights and contribute to a culture of justice, peace, and inclusion. Read more…

Michigan Legislature Passes Catholic Schools Week Resolutions

The Michigan Senate and House have each approved resolutions to recognize January 31–February 6 as Catholic Schools Week in the State of Michigan. Senate Resolution 135, sponsored by Senator Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), and House Resolution 210, sponsored by Representative Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw), outline the importance of values-based education, which can be found in the 228 Catholic elementary and high schools around the state. Currently, these schools serve 53,364 students, helping them to excel academically, spiritually, and socially. Catholic Schools Week is also supported nationally by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA). Throughout the week, events in schools and dioceses around the country will highlight the benefits Catholic education provides for students, churches, communities, and the nation as a whole. This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Read more…

The Word from Lansing Column: Catholic Schools Contribute to Society

In the wake of the recent fiftieth anniversary of The Declaration on Christian Education and the approaching celebration of Catholic Schools Week from January 31–February 6, The Word from Lansing column this month articulates the value of faith-based education. While changes in education, especially in relation to technology, have impacted the way knowledge can be accessed and shared, the purpose of education as a vehicle for academic and social growth remains the same. Catholic education additionally is aimed at helping students recognize the gift of faith and teaching them to serve their community. As lawmakers discuss the best ways to meet the educational needs of Michigan residents, Michigan Catholic Conference continues to advocate for policies that allow parents educational options for their children and provide all children access to a quality education, regardless of what type of school they attend. Read more…

MCC Detroit News Column: “Refugees Deserve Our Help”

In December, Michigan Catholic Conference ran an opinion/editorial column in The Detroit News that discusses migrants and how their presence pertains to religious liberty issues in this country. According to the article “….hundreds of thousands of individuals and families are forced to flee their homes in Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Middle East to escape persistent violence and terror. Pope Francis acknowledged the magnitude of this refugee crisis when he spoke before Congress in September, recognizing that it presents governments with difficult challenges and decisions. At the same time, he encouraged lawmakers to ‘view (the refugees) as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation.’ Read more…

Photo credit Santi Palacios / AP

Michigan Catholic Conference Wishes All A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

In his 2014 Christmas message, Pope Francis called on all to recognize the beauty of the season, as “Jesus, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, is born for us.” As the 2015 year draws to a close and the celebration of Christmas highlights the promises of faith and the joy of Jesus coming into the world, Michigan Catholic Conference, on behalf of the Michigan bishops and the Board of Directors, would like to wish all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Staff is thankful for all the calls, prayers, questions, and advocacy action from Catholics and people of faith across the state throughout 2015. Especially during this Year of Mercy in the Catholic Church, let each person use this time to see how he or she can share the mercy of God with people in need in the community, such as those who are poor, refugees, sick, and grieving, and promote peace in the midst of violence in the world. Read more…

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