Read: Be bold in proclaiming the Risen Christ | Bishop Boyea's Easter Vigil Homily

Bishop Earl Boyea used his Easter Vigil homily to challenge the clergy and lay faithful of the Diocese of Lansing to be bold and brave in proclaiming the person of Jesus Christ and His Holy Church to contemporary society, noting that “too much caution can stymie us and freeze us" from being apostolic with others.

“Saint Peter is clear: Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope. Yet in our world today, a world which so needs the Good News, let us not wait to be asked,” said Bishop Boyea to the congregation at Saint Mary Cathedral in Lansing, March 30.

“Rather, let us offer that which the world seeks both by the way we live our lives and by our announcing with the angel: 'He has been raised!' God bless you all.”

The Roman Missal refers to the Easter Vigil as the “mother of all vigils” which is the “greatest and most noble of all solemnities and it is to be unique in every single Church”.

The liturgy is fivefold in nature: the Lucernarium or “Service of Light”; the Liturgy of the Word; the rite of Baptism; the Asperges; and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

It is most often at the Easter Vigil that converts to Catholicism are baptized or received into full communion with the Church. In total, approximately 620 people became Catholic last night across the Diocese of Lansing. That's the highest such number in a decade and up over 30% compared to last year. 

At Saint Mary Cathedral, eight people were received into the Church, four of them being baptized.

Please do keep all those who have entered the Church in your prayers this Easter. Our Lady, Mother of the Church, pray for them.