Special Reports

Planning tomorrow’s churches

In 2008, a diocesan coordinating commission appointed by Bishop Carl Mengeling examined the pastoral and sacramental needs of the diocese, then made recommendations regarding how these needs might be met over the next several decades. Ten years later, those recommendations have been enacted. Here is an update on parish statistics.

Special Report: Gaudete et Exsultate

Rejoice and be glad! The call to holiness

Pope Francis’ third and latest apostolic exhortation makes the case for holiness for everyone. With the title drawn from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5:12), the document was released in early April.

In the introduction, the Holy Father acknowledges that he wants to re-propose the call to holiness for all in a practical way for our own time, with all its “risks, challenges and opportunities.”

Special Report: 50th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae

On July 25, 2018, the Church will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the papal encyclical, Humanae Vitae. The encyclical was written by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1968. It focuses on God’s plan for married love and the transmission of life.

The historical context

In 1930, the Anglican Church signaled for the first time its acceptance of birth control within marriage at the Seventh Lambeth Conference. Within a couple of decades, most of the other mainline American Protestant denominations had followed suit.

Pope Francis celebrates his fifth anniversary

Pope Francis is a pontiff of firsts, to be sure. First pope from the Americas, he is also the first Jesuit, the first non-European since Gregory III, a Syrian, in 741, and the first from south of the equator.

Five years ago, on March 13, 2013, white smoke rose from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, signifying his election to the papacy by a two-thirds majority of cardinal electors. To mark his fifth anniversary as Holy Father, let’s take a look at some accomplishments and interesting facts about Pope Francis.

Solanus Casey beatified at Ford Field in Detroit

On Nov. 18 at Ford Field in Detroit, more than 60,000 Catholics gathered to hear Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, read aloud the apostolic letter from Pope Francis proclaiming Father Solanus Casey, a Capuchin Franciscan friar from Detroit, “Blessed Solanus Casey.” The stadium roared its approval after Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron read the proclamation in English.


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