Cardinal Edmund Szoka was the First Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord. Cardinal Szoka entered into eternal life on Wedensday, August 20, 2014. He was 86. Born September 14, 1927, in Grand Rapids, to Casimir and Mary Szoka, Edmund Casimir Szoka was ordained to the priesthood on June 5, 1954, for the Diocese of Marquette. He served as chancellor in Marquette prior to being named bishop of the newly created Diocese of Gaylord on June 11, 1971. He was ordained and installed as the First Bishop of Gaylord on July 20, 1971, with Cardinal John Francis Deardon, Bishops Charles Salatka and Joseph McKinney serving as co-consecrators. On March 21, 1981, Pope John Paul II appointed Cardinal Szoka as the Eighth Ordinary and Third Metropolitan Archbishop of Detroit and he was installed two months later on May 17th. Archbishop Szoka was instrumental in organizing the Holy See's first-ever visit to Michigan in 1986. He was named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II during the consitory that took place on June 28, 1988. Cardinal Szoka served as the Archbishop of Detroit until 1990, when the Holy Father called him to Rome to serve as the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See. He served in this position until October 15, 1997, when he was appointed the President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State. Though he was nearing the mandatory retirement age of 75, Cardinal Szoka was named the President of Vatican City State on February 22, 2001, overseeing the Curia of the Holy See. In 2005, Cardinal Szoka participated in the papal conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI before retiring from active ministry in 2006, just one day after his 79th birthday. Cardinal Szoka returned to the Archdiocese of Detroit and resided in the suburb of Northville at the time of his death. The Diocese of Gaylord will host a Memorial Mass on Tuesday, September 2nd at 11 a.m. at St. Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Gaylord. A reception will follow.
His Holiness Pope Francis, has named the Reverend Monsignor Steven J. Raica (RAY-cuh), Chancellor and Vicar General of the Diocese of Lansing, as the new Bishop for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord. Bishop-elect Raica, 61, is the fifth Bishop of Gaylord, succeeding the Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda who was named to the lead the diocese in October of 2009 and served until September, 2013, when he was named Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark. The son of Mary and the late Steven Raica, with Polish/Italian roots, Bishop-elect Raica was born on November 8, 1952 in Munising, Michigan. His mother and brother, Joseph, currently reside in Marquette, Michigan.
Reverend Steven Raica is now the 5th bishop to serve the Diocese of Gaylord. The event of his ordination, brought people from all over the world to Otsego County to welcome Bishop Raica. Excitement and joy filled this sanctuary, as Reverend Steven Raica was ordained the 5th Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord.
For Catholics and believers in Northern Michigan -- it's a momentous occasion. Reverend James Gardiner of Saint Luke Church in Bellaire said, "It's a big deal for catholic people in northern mi we have a leader who is successor of the apostles and works with the Pope." "Bishops from the state all over the country and the world will lay hands on Bishop an ancient sign that designates his as a bishop. It's good to know him and get to know him to begin a journey of service together for the diocese and the people," said seminarian, Tyler Bischoff.
Those close to newly ordained Bishop Raica say this is a well-deserved position -- that he's fit for.
The Diocese of Gaylord covers 21 counties, and more than 500,000 people.
More than 20 fellow bishops, 140 priests and other catholic leaders from as far as Rome were at the ordination ceremony.
Faith Formation (K-5th), Sacramental Preparation and
Middle School Ministry 6-8th grade
Classes meet every Wednesday night from 6 to 7:30 from October through April
What is a Catechist?
The original meaning of the word Catechist is “teacher”, or one who “echoes” God’s word. But a catechist is more than just a teacher who has factual knowledge of the Catholic tradition and teachings. A catechist is a “minister” of the church, one who is commissioned by the community to help pass on the faith to the children of the parish. A catechist is also a “proclaimer” of the Good News of Christ, which assumes that he/she truly believes in Christ and therefore teaches with joy and enthusiasm. A catechist is a “mentor”, showing the children by his/her own example of how to live as a Christian, both in celebrating the sacraments, and in how to live as a Christian in the midst of often conflicting societal values.
– Based on a piece by Carl J. Pfeifer, The Catechist’s Connection, October, 1995
We NEED you!
Every year we rely on 9-10 people of the parish to pass on the faith to our children in the small classes that meet on Wednesday nights. No prior experience is needed. None of our catechists have advanced degrees in teaching. Perhaps you don’t feel that your faith is strong, or deep, enough. That’s OK. Time and time again, catechists marvel at how much teaching the faith to the children has strengthened their own faith. Perhaps you are intimidated about what to say or how to teach to a group of kids you don’t know at all. Not to worry, we will orient you and you will have a wonderful, user-friendly textbook to use, with many suggestions and helps for running each class. There are many resources in the Religious Education office at your disposal.
The goal is not to get through as much material as possible so the kids can pass a test; it is to give the children a little bit of quality faith-sharing time and prayer time with Jesus. You are not responsible for the faith of these children – you are only offering your example and your time to learn about Christ and to develop and deepen their relationship with Him.
Please prayerfully consider giving your time and talent to this ministry.
For more information or to sign up, please contact Fred Robb, Director of Faith Formation, at email@example.com or (231) 642-6603.
September 20th – Registration opens
October 1st – Classes begin
November 26th– no classes, Thanksgiving Break
December 17th – Christmas Program
December 24th and 31st – no classes, Christmas Break
January 7th – Classes resume
Our 2nd Youth Mass was a huge success with 47 youth of our parish having roles in the Mass. Thank you to all families who participated and assisted in some way. Special thanks goes to our Middle School Youth Group, led by Pam Carrigan and Becky Travis, for putting on a fun filled dinner and carnival afterwards. Memories were made and a fun time was had by all! If you would like to help plan or have ideas for our next Youth Mass and Social, please contact Bridget Thuente at 938-7179 or firstname.lastname@example.org.