Michigan Catholic Conference
(800) 395-5565
(517) 372-3940
510 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933

Advocacy News

New Health Plan for Low-Income Residents Now in Effect

Michigan residents who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (about $15,500 for a single person; $31,000 for a family of four) are now eligible to apply for the Healthy Michigan Plan. This new health care plan went into effect on April 1 and applications are now being taken for those who qualify. Michigan Catholic Conference and the leadership of the state’s Catholic health care systems supported the legislation that reformed the state’s Medicaid system and created this new benefit. A joint statement can be read here, which called for reform that was truly universal, did not deny care to those in need, and respected the life and conscience of every person. Click here to read more about the Healthy Michigan Plan, eligibility, and how to enroll.…

Archbishop Vigneron Leads Michigan House of Representatives in Prayer

On Wednesday, Marcy 12, Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, archbishop of Detroit and chairman of the Michigan Catholic Conference Board of Directors, offered the opening invocation prior to the start of the day’s House of Representatives legislative session. The archbishop prayed “May all that the members of this House do advance the preservation of peace, the promotion of happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and in all matters may they perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.” Read more…

U.S. Bishops Express Thanks on First Anniversary of Pope Francis

The Administrative Committee for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a brief statement celebrating the first anniversary of Pope Francis’s pontificate. In their statement, the bishops specifically cite Francis’s concern for the poor, his initial steps in reforming the Roman Curia, and his outreach to alienated persons throughout the world. According to the statement, “He has set an example by choosing a personal simplicity of life, by washing the feet of prisoners, and by taking into his hands and kissing the badly disfigured.” The USCCB Administrative Committee is the highest ranking body of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops when the bishops are not in plenary session. Read more…

MCC Comments on Michigan Marriage Amendment Trial

The constitutional amendment that defines marriage between one man and one woman in Michigan is on trial in federal district court in Detroit. The trial began on Tuesday, February 25 and is expected to last for at least eight days. The Office of Attorney General is defending the 2004 amendment against a lawsuit that claims the provision is unconstitutional. Michigan Catholic Conference worked to support the 2004 amendment and is appreciative of the Attorney General’s office for defending the law and the institution of marriage. On Monday, February 24, the Detroit Free Press ran an opinion/editorial article from Michigan Catholic Conference in support of traditional marriage and the state’s marriage amendment. Read more…

National Marriage Week an Opportunity to Celebrate Natural Marriage

In a letter sent to all U.S. bishops on January 17, Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, hailed National Marriage Week USA (February 7–14) and World Marriage Day (Sunday, February 9) as opportunities “to celebrate the gift and blessing of marriage and to affirm and support engaged couples.” In his letter, Bishop Malone identified numerous resources that can be of assistance to bishops, priests, and lay leaders in promoting, strengthening, and defending the gift of marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman, including the websites For Your Marriage, Por Tu Matrimonio, and Marriage: Unique for a Reason. Read more…

Focus: Human Trafficking: Modern Day Slavery in Our Midst

In recent years the Catholic Church—through the USCCB, local dioceses and parishes—has become a national leader in helping victims of human trafficking. Because of the work of the Church, the trafficking of human persons has become more widely documented and confronted. Many highly effective programs have been developed at the national level to raise awareness and to assist victims, both spiritually and physically. The purpose for this FOCUS publication is bring to the attention of the Catholic population in Michigan the problem of human trafficking, to help raise awareness of warning signs, and to further discuss ongoing efforts to promote the dignity of every human person in our midst. Read more…

Catholic Schools Week Celebrated January 26 – February 1

National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. Schools in the seven arch/dioceses of Michigan typically observe National Catholic Schools Week with Masses, open house and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation. The theme for this year’s celebration is Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service. Each year the Michigan Legislature recognizes Catholic Schools Week with a resolution, which can be read here. For more information about Catholic Schools Week, take a moment to visit the National Catholic Education Association website…

Conversation About Roe vs. Wade Anniversary with MCC President and CEO

Today marks the tragic anniversary of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized first trimester abortion in the United States. Shortly after Roe was decided the U.S. Supreme Court then handed down a decision in Doe vs. Bolton that abortion was to be legal throughout the entire nine month pregnancy. The support marshaled by pro-life people across the country since these decisions, including and especially through the Catholic community, has created a new Culture of Life and has energized pro-life people in a powerful manner. Speaking to Michigan Big Show personality Michael Patrick Shiels about the 1973 anniversary and its impact in Michigan is Paul A. Long, Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO. [Link no longer available —Ed.]

41st Annual March for Life Set for January 21–22 in Washington, D.C.

Hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans will march on Washington, D.C. January 21 and 22 to acknowledge the dreadful Roe vs. Wade decision. It has been estimated that more than 55 million American lives have suffered a tragic death since Roe became law of the land. The 41st March for Life will be well represented by those of Catholic and many other faith denominations coming in droves from across the country, including the seven dioceses in Michigan. “The March for Life is a beautiful witness,” says Deirdre McQuade of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “We can start to knit together once again and restore this abortion-wounded nation,” she says of the March. Take a moment to view this two minute video clip produced by Catholic News Service, and pray in spirit with those attending the March and the March for Life National Prayer Vigil that will begin the evening of January 21. Click here to read more about the U.S. Catholic Conference’s efforts this week. Visit March for Life website…

Green Bay Priest Appointed Bishop of Marquette

Pope Francis has named Father John Doerfler, 49, a priest of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and vicar general of the diocese, as bishop of Marquette. He succeeds Archbishop Alexander Sample, who became archbishop of Portland in Oregon on January 29, 2013. Bishop-elect Doerfler was born November 2, 1964, and was ordained a priest for the Green Bay diocese in 1991. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from the College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota; and a bachelor of theology from the Gregorian University, Rome. He holds a licentiate in Canon Law from The Catholic University of America and a licentiate and doctorate from the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family, Washington. Read more…

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Michigan Catholic Conference
(800) 395-5565
(517) 372-3940
510 South Capitol Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933
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