The Catholic Information Center and the Paulist Fathers are celebrating our 70th year of ministry in the Diocese of Grand Rapids. It was July of 1947 when the first two Paulist 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.
70th Anniversary Festival
On Sunday, June 10th, from 11am to 5pm, we conclude our year-long 70th anniversary with a family friendly outdoor festival on the piazza outside of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew. The festival will include food, live music, family friendly activities and a bilingual unity Mass at noon. Festival food and activities are free, and everyone is welcome!
70th Anniversary Mass and Dinner Celebration
On Saturday, October 14th we celebrated 70 years of ministry by the Paulist Fathers and the Catholic Information Center in Grand Rapids with 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 including Fr. John Kenny,CSP, Fr. Jim Haley, CSP and Fr. John Geaney, CSP. The MC for the evening was Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP, executive producer of Busted Halo© and nephew of beloved Fr. Joseph Gallagher, CSP.
The evening was filled with great friends and great memories as Fathers Kenny, Haley and Geaney got up and spoke about their time at the CIC. Fr. Bob Carey was also able to share his thoughts via video.
Irene Strom was thanked for her 40 years of service to the Paulist Fathers as was Kelly McLaughlin for her 10 years of service. After dinner, Fr. René Constanza, CSP, current Executive Director, ended the evening with his thoughts on the next 70 years. Each attendee was given a 70th anniversary magazine as a memento of the occasion. (If you did not receive one contact the CIC office and we would be happy to send you one.)
70th Anniversary Kickoff Pilgrimage
On Saturday, July 15 we began our 70th Anniversary celebration with a pilgrimage to visit and pray at the sites of the two previous Catholic Information Centers. We met outside the current CIC at Cathedral Square where we took a bus ride to Monroe Ave. (now the site of Devos Hall) which was the first Catholic Information Center building in Grand Rapids.
The group then traveled to the second site of the CIC on Ionia where everyone prayed together and shared their experiences and memories of the Center and of the Paulist Fathers. We then hopped on the bus for the trip back to the Cathedral of Saint Andrew for a Mass and celebratory cupcakes and lemonade after. It was a wonderful day celebrating the past, present and hopes for the future of the Catholic Information Center.