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Fall programs at the Catholic Information Center

Image: Cover art, CIC Fall program brochureFind out what's coming up at ​the Catholic Information Center (CIC) - see several featured programs below. For a complete listing of programs, classes and events, visit or click on the brochure image to the right.   

“The Best Kept Secrets” of Religion: Ultimate Life Questions

Wednesdays, September 6, October 4, & November 1,
7-8:30 p.m.
with Father Joachim Lally, CSP
Father Joachim will take a look at the “Best Kept Secrets” of Religion; these “other looks” will focus on the ultimate questions of life and how religion relates to these all-important issues. This program will be live-streamed.
• September 6:  How religion relates to the questions: Why do we suffer? What does it really mean to “Offer it up!”?
• October 4:   How religion relates to the questions: What happens after we die? Could death really be the consummation of our lives?
• November 1: How religion relates to the questions: How do we communicate with God? How does God communicate with us?
CFD: Theology ($10 donation suggested)

Catholic Inquiry Classes

Thursdays, September 7 – November 16, 7-8:45 p.m.
OR Fridays, September 8 – November 17, 10-11:45 a.m.
facilitated by Fred Johnson and Father Chuck Cunniff, CSP
Inquiry is a time of hospitality at the Catholic Information Center. We welcome all who wish to know more about the Catholic faith. There is no commitment required. Each week a different topic is covered and participants are encouraged to present questions. This program also serves as an excellent way for Catholics to update or renew their understanding of the faith.  Participants are encouraged to register but walk-ins are welcome!  

Ecumenical Conference: From Conflict to Communion

Saturday, September 9, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
with Special Guest Speakers: Dr. Karin Maag, Calvin College and Dr. Susan K. Wood, Marquette University
Cost: $15.00 per person.  Registration required. 
Register by email at or call (616) 459-7267
During this 500th year of commemoration of the Reformation, we are offering several programs that explore our common beliefs and shared heritage as Christians.  The series begins with an ecumenical conferences to discuss our Catholic Lutheran relationship through history, ecumenical dialogue and the ongoing path to Christian unity. Co-sponsored by the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, the Catholic Information Center, Christ Lutheran Church, the Diocesan Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Grand Rapids Lutheran Conference, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, and Trinity Lutheran Church. 
  • Session 1--500 Years Later: Why the Reformation Still Matters with Dr. Karin Maag
Dr. Maag discusses why the Reformation mattered at the time, especially in the lives of ordinary Christian men and women, and what the enduring legacies of the Reformation are for the Christian church today.
  • Session 2— Moving Together from Conflict to Communion, with Dr. Susan Wood 
As Lutherans and Catholics look back at 500 years of separation –they also see new paths toward deepened mutual understanding and closer relations. Dr. Wood will discuss the shared narratives of our Christian history, of emphasizing and strengthening “what is held in common,” and of praying together.  

About the presenters

Dr. Karin Maag is the Director of the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies and professor of history at Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including most recently, Lifting Hearts to the Lord: Worship with John Calvin in Sixteenth-Century Geneva (Eerdmans, 2016).
Susan K. Wood, SCL, Ph.D., a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas, is a professor theology and Chair of the Department of Theology at Marquette University.  She has recently co-authored a new book with Timothy Wengert called, A Shared Spiritual Journey: Lutherans and Catholics Traveling Toward Unity (Paulist Press 2016). 

The Bible and the Virgin Mary: A Journey through Scripture

Monday, September 11, 7-8:30 p.m.
With Monika Dauksts and Father René Constanza, CSP
Mary of scripture and devotion comes alive in a powerful new way in this inspiring twelve-month series. Participants are free to attend any or all sessions.
  • September 11—Lesson Nine: Full of Grace
CFD: Spirituality/Theology ($10 donation suggested)  

Seasons of our Lives: Empty Nest, Time for Letting Go

Tuesdays, September 12, 19 & 26, 7-8:30 p.m.
facilitated by Kathleen Sullivan
When parents find themselves alone after their children move out of the house--or when anyone's loved one moves out of the home--they may experience a very real sense of loneliness, lack of purpose, and even grief. With sharing, scripture, and prayerful reflections this series will offer comfort to anyone with an empty nest. The word of God has the power to help empty nesters change, let go, and love anew. CFD:  Spiritualty    ($10 donation suggested)  

Catholicism 101- Basic Beliefs and Practices

Reconciliation: A Gift of Mercy
Thursday, September 14, 7-8:30 p.m.
with Father Rene Constanza, CSP
Sin is never just an individual affair, it damages our relationships with others and with all creation. But through reconciliation, God offers us a great gift—healing, mercy and forgiveness.  Learn more about this restorative sacrament, why confession is important and how to receive the gift waiting for you. 
CFD: Spirituality ($10 donation suggested)