Assembly brings together thousands of Catholics in an epic call to discipleship
History was made Sept. 22, 2018 as approximately 22% of the churchgoing Catholic population of the ten-county Diocese of Lansing gathered for a Eucharistic procession, speakers and an all-diocesan Mass at the Breslin Student Events Center on the campus of Michigan State University. Nearly 14,000 people registered for the event. It was the largest gathering of Catholic faithful in the more than 80-year history of the Diocese of Lansing.
The Eucharistic procession began in the morning from St. Mary Cathedral, Lansing. Thousands prayed and sang as they followed Christ, present in the Eucharist. The procession traced its way in front of the Michigan State Capital building, down Michigan Avenue and ended at East Lansing’s Breslin Center, on the campus of Michigan State University.
Diocese of Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea completed the procession by bringing the Eucharist into the Breslin Center for a period of Eucharistic adoration. Bishop Boyea called all to pray for the healing of victims of sexual abuse by clerics, and for reparation for the sins of clerics who abused and the bishops who covered up. He asked for Christ to heal the Body of Christ.
Speakers included Father Mike Schmitz, Jennifer Fulwiler and Deacon Larry Oney. Along with Emcees Father Joe Krupp, columnist for FAITH magazine, and Craig J. Pohl, diocesan director of New Evangelization, they each called the faithful to be more than church-going Catholics and to be disciples of Christ. Disciples place God central in their lives and call others to follow Christ, who is the source of happiness in this life and the next.
As worship and praise music filled the packed sports arena, the all-diocesan Mass began. Bishop Earl Boyea was joined by priests of the Diocese of Lansing for the Mass, which was live streamed and televised by the Outreach Mass crew.
Bishop Boyea called the Catholic faithful to seek out more than their own happiness in heaven, but to be disciples, who help others find faith in God, the source of our eternal happiness. The Mass ended with the bishop announcing a year of prayer, calling all parishes to be dedicated to forming missionary disciples.