Diocese of Grand Rapids http://michiganradio.org en Another Kent County Commissioner facing felony charge resigns http://michiganradio.org/post/another-kent-county-commissioner-facing-felony-charge-resigns <p>A Kent County commissioner is resigning. <a href="http://www.michaelwaweejr.com/">Michael Wawee Jr </a>is facing a felony embezzlement charge for between $1,000 and $20,000, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.</p><p>Wawee announced his resignation Thursday. The Republican from the Grand Rapids suburb of Walker was arrested earlier this month.</p><p>He's accused of overcharging families for the engraving of grave markers while working as a salesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids. Police say the diocese was not aware of the overcharging.</p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:25:36 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16431 at http://michiganradio.org Diocese of Grand Rapids reveals strategic plan affecting 11 counties http://michiganradio.org/post/diocese-grand-rapids-reveals-strategic-plan-affecting-11-counties <p>The Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids has released plans to merge and close some of its churches. The diocese includes 99 churches in&nbsp;11 West Michigan counties.</p><p>&ldquo;Every Parish is in one way or the other affected,&quot;&nbsp;said&nbsp;Bishop Walter Hurley. He&nbsp;approved the restructuring plan that&#39;s been three years in the&nbsp;making. It&rsquo;s supposed to help the diocese face future challenges, like changing populations, a growing Hispanic community, and fewer clergy.</p><p>&ldquo;Right now we&rsquo;re not at a crisis point but what we do need to know as we look to the future, now what happens if we don&rsquo;t have a pastor assigned to this Parrish or this Parrish,&quot; Hurley said.&nbsp;</p><p>Hurley says a few churches in more rural areas up north have already closed. Another handful will close as priests retire. Others will merge together. Hurley says the plan is a living document and subject to change. The Diocese of Grand Rapids&nbsp;<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/detroit-archdiocese-releases-downsizing-plan">isn&rsquo;t the only one grappling with fewer priests.</a></p><p>There&#39;s no set timeline for when many changes will take place, but they&#39;re expected over several years.</p><p>You can find&nbsp;the full approved<a href="http://www.dioceseofgrandrapids.org/our_diocese/Documents/Our%20Faith%20Our%20Future/Final%20Reports/OFOF_Final_DOGR_Report_4-5-12.pdf">&nbsp;&quot;Our Faith, Our Future&quot; plan here.&nbsp;</a> Thu, 12 Apr 2012 19:44:12 +0000 Lindsey Smith 7018 at http://michiganradio.org Diocese of Grand Rapids reveals strategic plan affecting 11 counties