October 8, 2023
Dear Parish Family,
I am always impressed by the love I see being lived out in the families of our parish, and I am grateful to God and to all of you for your tireless efforts to protect the dignity of your marriage and family, especially in the cultural milieu that we live in today.
As you work hard to create safe havens for your children and spouse, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Diocese of Lansing, Fr. Brian, and I as your pastor wish to bring one particular issue to your attention. It’s not easy to discuss, but it’s important due to the great danger that it has been and continues to be for marriage and family life. That issue is pornography.
In November of 2016, the USCCB released a pastor response to pornography called Create in Me a Clean Heart. The purpose of the document was to:
- Offer healing and hope to those who have been wounded by pornography
- Articulate the Catholic Church’s response to the crises brought about by the production and use of pornography
- Raise awareness of its pervasiveness and harms
Why the need? Because pornography is hurting many people and destroying the relationships of husband and wife, of children with their parents, of the pastor with his community, and most importantly of our relationship with the God who desires our salvation and happiness.
In Create in Me a Clean Heart, the USCCB speaks directly to parents about the proactive role parents must play in the life of their families in order to ensure the home is a safe haven for every member of the family. The document states: “The use of pornography by anyone in the home deprives the home of its role as a safe haven and has negative effects throughout a family’s life and across generations.”
Thus, this Sunday, our Diocese of Lansing will be celebrating for the first time “Safe Haven Sunday” with the theme, “Equipping the Family, Safeguarding Children.” This awareness effort is meant to draw our attention as a community to the seriousness of the issues of pornography and to recommit ourselves to take steps to ensure our homes are safe havens for all.
After Mass, we will have free resources for you to assist with striving for healthy and holy marriages and families, including how to talk to your children about internet dangers. But you don’t have to wait. You can begin learning now by joining “The Safe Digital Family Challenge: A Digital Crash Course” by texting SECURE to 66866 to receive seven days of emailed digital tips!
I look forward to celebrating Safe Haven Sunday with you this weekend. Through the intercession of the Holy Family of Nazareth, and St. Michael, I am praying for you and your family!
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Chas Canoy