“An authentic faith always implies a deep desire to change the world.”
Pope Francis, Homily on March 1, 2014 in the Church of Gesu
The social teaching of the Catholic Church is deep and rich. Its roots are in the Hebrew prophets who announced God’s special love for the poor and called God’s people to a covenant of love and justice. It’s founded on the life and words of Jesus Christ, who came “to bring glad tidings to the poor… liberty to captives… recovery of sight to the blind” (Luke 4:18-19), and who identified himself with “the least of these,” the hungry and the stranger (Matthew 25:45). As the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren” (no. 1397).
St. Vincent de Paul Center
This is a ministry of St. Francis de Sales. Food is collected from parishioners at both Holland parishes over the weekend, and then on Monday volunteers transport it to the St. Vincent de Paul Center at 13th and Maple. Volunteers also staff the center. Some volunteers work every week; some are Confirmation students doing service hours; others do weekly shopping for needed commodities and fresh produce. If you want to volunteer any time at the center, or if you have donations of appliances, sofas, etc. in good condition, or if you can volunteer to help with these pickups, contact St. Francis de Sales.
Sister Parish in Haiti
Our sister parish is Sts. Anne and Joachim in Labrande. This relationship did not begin with North Americans going and doing something for someone else; rather, the encounter began with us asking Haitians, “What are you good at?” They were surprised by the question and then responded with pride in their worship and their school. Now we assist with salaries for teachers and in building a new church. Like the rainbow with Noah, the rainbow in Haiti’s sky is a sign of hope. With our God and our Haitian brothers and sisters, we are a part of this hopefulness.
This is a diocesan ministry through which volunteers are trained following an orientation session to discern if this is a ministry God is calling you to. These volunteers then provide prayer services or visitations at the Ottawa County Jail or visit juveniles at the local juvenile detention center. Many of the juveniles have no other visitors. Contact Jude Acheson at 616-475-1255 or email@example.com for more information. At Christmastime, parishioners collect eyeglasses and tube socks for prisoners throughout the diocese.
One way that we extend the Kingdom of God in this world is through charitable works. This includes showing compassion to the poor and vulnerable, protecting all human life from conception to natural death, and helping to build a just society. At Our Lady of the Lake, we take this mission seriously out of love for our Lord and our neighbors.