70 Years…Our Legacy…Our Future

It was July of 1947 when the first two Paulists priests arrived in Grand Rapids at the invitation of Bishop Francis J. Haas. 70 years and three physical locations later, the Paulists and the Catholic Information Center are still bringing the gospel and teachings of the church directly to the people of West Michigan. Our year-long 70th anniversary celebration kicks off in July and continues through 2018.

70th Anniversary Mass and Dinner Celebration
Saturday, October 14, 4:30-9pm
Dinner Ticket cost: $40.00 per person/Table Sales Available
Deadline to purchase tickets: Monday, October 2
Tickets available at the Catholic Information Center.  Call 616-459-7267 to purchase.                 
You are invited to celebrate seventy years of ministry by the Paulist Fathers and the Catholic Information Center in Grand Rapids!  To commemorate this occasion we are having a Mass of thanksgiving and dinner with special guests, including…Bishop David Walkowiak, Paulist President, Eric Andrews, CSP, and several former Catholic Information Center Directors.  The MC for the evening will be Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP, executive producer of Busted Halo© and nephew of beloved Fr. Joseph Gallagher, CSP.
At the Cathedral of Saint Andrew
215 Sheldon Blvd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Cocktails, hors devours and dinner —6pm
Catholic Information Center
360 Division Ave, S, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Interested in purchasing a table?
Choose to purchase a table for eight or one of our “special guest” tables.  Please contact the CIC office for details.
Individual Tables — $500.00 (8 seats available)
Special Guest Tables:
Bishop Walkowiak’s Table —$500.00  (6 seats available, the Bishop and Fr. John Ardis. CSP, will be seated at this table.)
Paulist President, Fr. Eric Andrews’ Table—$500.00  (6 seats available, Fr. Eric and Msgr. Bill Duncan will be seated at this table.)
Fr. René Constanza’s Table —$500.00  (7 seats available, Fr. René will be seated at this table.)
Fr. John Geaney’s Table —$500.00  (7 seats available, Fr. Geaney will be seated at this table.)
Fr. Jim Haley’s Table —$500.00  (7 seats available, Fr. Jim will be seated at this table.) SOLD
Fr. John Kenny’s Table —$500.00  (7 seats available, Fr. John will be seated at this table.) SOLD

Mardi Gras Dinner, Dance and Raffle
February 3, 2018

Tickets available soon!

On July 15 we kicked off our 70th Anniversary celebration with a pilgrimage to visit and pray at the two previous Catholic Information Center sights.  The pilgrimage was followed by Mass at The Cathedral of St. Andrew.  It was a great success!

70 Years of Paulist Ministry in Grand Rapids

Bishop Haas became familiar with the Paulists while teaching in Washington, D.C. at Catholic University of America.  He saw the need in Grand Rapids for the    special charisms of the Paulist Fathers.  On arrival in Grand Rapids, the first two Paulists conducted pulpit dialogues at St. Stephen’s and at the Cathedral of St.  Andrew.  They also gave radio talks and retreats.  In late 1947, a building was purchased on what was known as ‘lower Monroe’ (now the site of Devos Hall).  By 1948, the renovations were complete and the first Catholic   Information Center in Grand Rapids (sixth in the nation) was dedicated.
The CIC on Monroe Avenue fell victim to urban renewal in 1964.  A new home, on Ionia Avenue, NW, was purchased and renovated.  The community continued to  lovingly repair, refurbish and revitalize the building over its 44 years. A new chapter unfolded in 2008 when the Paulists were asked to take on the challenge of leading the diocese in evangelizing new members and focusing more on adult faith formation as well as relocating its priests and worship services to the Cathedral of St. Andrew. The CIC was blessed with state of the art teaching technology at its new home.
The three-fold mission of the CIC and the Paulist Fathers is evangelization, reconciliation and ecumenism.  The “Catholic Inquiry” series takes direct aim at evangelization.  It is a series of discussions where both Catholics and non-Catholics come to learn and share an understanding of the Catholic faith.  From 1947 to the 1980’s, the Catholic Information Center prepared and received more than 8,000 people into the Church.  The “Catholic Inquiry” series is still offered today along with many   other educational and spiritual enrichment programming.
The CIC is an access point for people interested in enriching their Catholic faith. We continue to build bridges with those who feel disenfranchised, with other Christian denominations and members of other world religions. Always looking toward the future, the CIC will begin three new initiative this coming year, Young Adult Leadership, Hispanic Lay Leadership training and more in-depth scriptural training for parish professionals.