MONTH FOUR – Developing Baby

“I Had a Dream!”

The baby’s brain has begun maturing – a process that will continue until she is about 14 years old. Her eyelids are now sealed shut and will re-open at 7 months. Her taste buds are now working. Nutrients consumed by her mother are passed on to her within an hour or two. Three hundred quarts of fluid a day are sent to the baby via the umbilical cord. Fine hair begins to grow on head, eyebrows and eyelashes. Facial expressions similar to the baby’s parents can be seen at this time. This month REMs (rapid eye movements) have been recorded – a sign of dreaming.

 

Jesus said to his disciples: “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood,
you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day”
(Jn 6:53-54).

 

June 27, 2021
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Summer is finally here. Arriving just as the year-and-a-half of disruptions to our normal social and faith lives, caused by the pandemic, come to an end, summertime and new beginnings could not be more welcome!  I am profoundly grateful for all the heroic efforts of those on the front lines of protecting us during the pandemic: healthcare workers, educators, all essential workers, public safety personnel, as well as all our clergy and all of you. Individually and collectively, we sacrificed greatly during these last many months, and adopted many new practices and skills, as we protected the physical, and spiritual, well-being of ourselves and others.

In that spirit of joy, I extend a heartfelt welcome to all of you, and encourage you to resume, or begin anew, the full practice of your Faith, starting with participating in the Sunday Eucharist.  Our Family of Faith has missed you; I, your pastors and fellow parishioners are eager to share with you the Joy that only comes from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gives us the Gift of His Body and Blood as our Spiritual Food in this great Sacrament of Love – the source and summit of our lives as Catholics.

The Eucharist is the amazing Gift Jesus gives to us of Himself to be our Spiritual Food that will nourish our lives both to renew us as the Body of Christ, and to reignite the “Flame of Faith” within us to bring the Love of Jesus Christ to all. Following this unprecedented time of being separated from one another at every level of our lives, we need to come together as a Family of Faith to sing God’s praises and to give thanks for all God’s blessings now more than ever.

There are, however, growing concerns about the understanding our own Catholic people have of what the Eucharist truly is, and how essential it is to us on our journey of Faith. You may be aware of findings by a recent survey*, that revealed that close to 70 percent of Catholics do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and instead believe the bread and wine remain only symbols of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Just 30 percent of Catholics in the U.S. believe the central mystery of our Catholic Faith – that the bread and wine really become the Body and Blood of Jesus during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This is truly a cause for great concern.

As Bishop of our beloved Diocese of Kalamazoo, it is my privilege and responsibility to make every effort to ensure that the teachings of the Church are made known to our Catholic community; this is most especially true regarding the teaching on the Eucharist. It is this sacred responsibility, shared by all Bishops, that is the impetus for a proposed pastoral document on the Eucharist to be issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  At the recent Spring Assembly virtual meeting last week, the Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine provided a tentative title, “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church: Why it matters”, with a skeletal proposed outline: Part I, “The Eucharist, A Mystery to be Believed”; Part II, “The Eucharist, a Mystery to be Celebrated”; Part III, “The Eucharist: A Mystery to be Lived”. The primary focus is to address the alarmingly increased amount of the Faithful who do not understand, or choose not to believe, the Real Presence of Jesus alive in the Eucharist. The pastoral document is also to include positive ways to encourage all Catholics to return to the Sunday Eucharist. The purpose of the proposed document is to teach about living the Mission of the Eucharist.  Contrary to what some of the media reported, the document is not intended to target any individual or focus on only a single issue. [For additional clarification on the Bishops’ Meeting I encourage you to view my video message released last week and you may read my full statement on our website.]

I am convinced that we all need to do what the Bishops’ Conference proposed document states in the three-part outline:  we must help our fellow sisters and brothers to believe in the Mystery of the Eucharist; we must celebrate this central Mystery of our Faith with devotion, respect and absolute belief; and we must live this Mystery by being Eucharistic for one another—by giving of ourselves in loving service to all.  And we must begin to do this immediately.

My dear sisters and brothers, we need to realize that whether as a Bishop, priests, deacons, or lay faithful we are all called to first see Who the Eucharist is.  We must come to the Eucharist and realize Jesus has made Himself present…Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity… on our altars in in every tabernacle. We must realize that with each reception of the Eucharist, we are entering into the most intimate relationship possible with God, as we consume Him, and He, in turn, makes us more intensely part of His divine life.  It should amaze us every time we come before the Eucharist, how God desires so much to be intimate with us, He becomes our Bread to eat.  When we realize that profound belief, we must allow the reception of the Eucharist to change us to act more like Jesus Christ.  As we consume Jesus and are in communion with Him, as we become one with Him, we can then live out our mission as the Body of Christ.  Our hands become His Hands on Earth; our Feet, His Feet.  We then are able to be transformed, as members of His Body, to be the Eucharist we have consumed.  We must take seriously this charge: “to take and eat,” and we are all called to allow this intimacy to change us to live out the mission of the Eucharist.

One of the most powerful moments in the life of our Diocese in recent years was the Eucharistic Congress held in October 2019, just months before the pandemic began. At that wonderful event, attended by more than 1,000 witnesses to our Eucharistic Faith, and moved by the Holy Spirit, I declared the “Year of the Eucharist”, and we concluded that grace-filled event with a Eucharistic procession through the streets of Kalamazoo. We now need to recapture this life-transforming energy about our Faith and pass it along to others. As we approach our 50th Jubilee Anniversary (July 21, 2021) as the Body of Christ in the Diocese of Kalamazoo it is my hope that we become driven to share the Good News of Jesus, Present in the Eucharist.

In this regard I warmly invite everyone to do the following: come back to Sunday Mass; embrace the teachings on the Eucharist; be inspired by the Love of the Eucharist to live out the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy [for additional ideas and resources, visit www.diokzoo.org/eucharist]

May the Eucharist be the Gift that brings us together, strengthens our faith, deepens our hope, and inspires us to love Jesus and one another as we move into our next 50 years.

Faithfully yours in Christ,

 

Most Reverend Paul J. Bradley

Bishop of Kalamazoo

 

 

*The Pew Research Center, “What  Americans Know about Religion”,  Pew Research Study,  July  2019

Dear Diocese of Kalamazoo,

As you may have heard over the last few months, Starr Commonwealth in Albion (Calhoun County) has opened its residential facility to provide housing for hundreds of unaccompanied migrant children in response to an urgent request from the U.S. government.  In coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Starr Commonwealth will provide temporary shelter for these children until they can be reunited with family or placed with sponsors.

Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazoo’s mission is “We are God’s hands providing housing, health, and hope to His children.”  As the service arm of the Church, we are diligently working to understand how we can serve the influx of refugee children that have recently arrived at Starr Commonwealth.  Catholic Charities is in communication with the leadership at Starr Commonwealth, and recently toured the facility, to better understand the needs of the children and how we as a Diocese can be of assistance.  Thank you to the many in our community that have already reached out to find out how we can care for these children.

Starr Commonwealth is housing up to 240 children (ages 5-17 years) and the average stay is 38 days before a child is reunited with family or placed with a sponsor in Michigan.  Currently, the Federal Government is providing bilingual caregivers with child development backgrounds, as well as food, clothing, education, and medical screening/care for all the children.  The facilities will be needed for a minimum of one year, but no end date has been given.  The Diocese of Kalamazoo is identifying a group of bilingual Priests, Deacons, and Sisters that will support at Starr Commonwealth for the children’s spiritual and sacramental needs.  Parish support by collecting rosaries, children’s Spanish language Bibles and Spanish language prayer cards has been identified as wanted and appreciated by the children.

How you can help:

Donate children’s Spanish language Bibles, Spanish language prayer cards and Rosaries by:

  • Donating at www.ccdok.org, select the DONATE button, then select the drop-down arrow and click on Unaccompanied Children – Spiritual Materials.
  • Purchase items at Newman’s bookstore at 340 E. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo https://newmansbookshoppe.com and deliver to Catholic Charities, 1819 Gull Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49048
  • Handmade Rosaries and welcome cards are also appreciated and can be mailed or delivered to Catholic Charities.

 

Pray!  Please continue to keep these children and all those assisting them in your prayers.

 

Please join us in praying for these children and all children at the border and in other relocation centers across the U.S.  “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”  Mark 9:37

 

God Bless,

Deacon Don Bouchard, DO, MBA

Executive Director, Catholic Charities Diocese of Kalamazo0

Did you know that Catholic Charities/Bridges Counseling has specialized groups and therapy for pregnant and parenting women suffering from depression and anxiety (PMAD:  perinatal mood, anxiety, and depression)?  Individual sessions and/or therapy groups are available for women currently pregnant or for women who have given birth within the last twelve months. You will NOT be turned away due to type or lack of insurance.  Call 269-370-0628 or visit www.ccdok.org to learn more.

 

 

MONTH TWO – Developing Baby               

The developing baby is now called a “fetus”, which is Latin for “little one”.  She is making rapid progress developing all her external and internal organs.  During the second month baby teeth form, and fingers and toes are developing.  Her ears, nose, lips and tongue can now be clearly seen.  Brain waves can be recorded.  The skeleton changes from cartilage to bone.  The central nervous system is now functioning, and so forty muscle sets begin their first exercises.  By 8 weeks all body systems are present.  This little one is now jumping, flipping and turning – her first dance steps!

 

 

 

This Lent, include Catholic Relief Services’ national virtual events in your CRS Rice Bowl experience. Learn more about the lifesaving work carried out around the world by CRS, our partners and the communities we serve—supported by the generosity of your Lenten offerings. To sign up or for more information about these events, visit crsricebowl.org/virtualevents.

Ash Wednesday Reflection: February 17

On Ash Wednesday, join our Facebook Live event as we reflect on the meaning of Lent and answer kids’ questions about the season. Visit the CRS Facebook page for more information!

Stories of Hope: School Speaker Events

These events will feature speakers representing CRS’ work in Madagascar and El Salvador. CRS’ speakers will dive deeper into the CRS Rice Bowl Stories of Hope, share their own stories and offer a peek into what it is like to live in the countries highlighted by CRS Rice Bowl. Students will have the chance to submit questions in advance of the event to be answered by the speaker.

March 1 at 11:30 a.m. EST: Elementary School Event—Madagascar

March 2 at 11:30 a.m. EST: High School Event—Madagascar

March 8 at 1 p.m. EST: High School Event—El Salvador

March 9 at 1 p.m. EST: Elementary School Event—El Salvador

Family Prayer Evening (Spanish): March 18

Gather your family and connect with us via Zoom to pray as a community of faith for our global family. The time and Zoom link will be shared closer to the event.

Meatless Cooking with Michelle Benzinger—Instagram: March 19

Join Michelle Benzinger, Catholic author, podcast host and creative director of Greenhouse Collective and Meaningful Market, as she and her family cook a meatless recipe from one of the countries featured in CRS Rice Bowl this year. Visit the CRS Instagram page for more information!

Family Prayer and Worship Evening (English): March 24 at 7 p.m. EST

Gather your family and connect with us via Zoom to pray and worship as a community of faith for our global family. The event will feature Danielle Noonan—musician, worship leader and speaker—and a special pre-recorded guest performance by Catholic musician Sarah Kroger. The Zoom link will be shared closer to the event.

On October, 19, 2019 the Diocese of Kalamazoo is hosting a Eucharistic Congress to Ignite the Faith in Southwest Michigan.  This congress will bring together about 1000 of the faithful of the Diocese of Kalamazoo to unite in prayer and dialogue to inspire more faith in Southwest Michigan.

The faithful will gather at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo.  While at the congress they will pray, be encouraged by talks, and discuss in small groups how the Diocese of Kalamazoo can accompany families, foster more priests, and encourage the growth and sharing of the faith throughout their community.

We are currently looking for sponsors to assist with the approximate $50,000 cost of the event.  Sponsors will be listed in the program and throughout the venue as well as on the diocesan webpage and social media.  The higher level sponsors also include a specific room acknowledgement as indicated below.

The four levels of sponsorship are:

Tongues of Fire: $2,000 – includes digital acknowledgment on keynote room

Burning Bush: $1,000 – includes digital acknowledgement on a breakout room

Flaming torch: $500 – includes acknowledgement at lunch

Sanctuary Lamp – $250

If you would like to help sponsor this congress, you can sign up and make payment on our website at www.diokzoo.org/ecsponsorship.  If you have any question or would like to speak to someone about sponsorship opportunities please contact Tom Dowdall at tdowdall@diokzoo.org, or 269-903-0145.

Thank you for your support of this initiative to transform the Church in Southwest Michigan.

With the Love of Christ,

Jamin Herold

Executive Director – Parish Life and Lay Leadership

Director of Eucharistic Congress

Diocese of Kalamazoo

jherold@diokzoo.org

269-903-0183

GREAT GIFT IDEA!  BUY ANY RETREAT AS A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOUR LOVED ONE!  

 

1. Young Adult Retreat 2019 – A Grown Up Look At the Virtues: Looking to get away to spend some time with the Lord during the season of Lent? Join us from Friday March 1st at 7 pm – Sunday March 3rd and take this time for prayer, presentations, recreation, reflection, and fellowship at Pretty Lake Camp (9123 West Q Ave., Mattawan, MI 49071). Cost is $50 per participant. Please register by contacting Tim McNamara (tmcnamara@diokzoo.org) and stay tuned for more information. God bless!

 

2. Diocesan Annual Lenten Retreat 2019 (Formally Diocesan Annual Open Retreat) – March 16-17, 2019 at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp (8258 Victory St., Vicksburg, MI 49097). Our facilitators are Madeline Haydon, Michelle Moynihan, and Nicole Kegley, all three who serve at their respective parish as Echo Apprentices. The retreat begins at 9:00 am on Saturday, March 16th and concludes at 11:30 am on Sunday, March 17th. There are two options available when you register – one is with an overnight stay and the second is for those who would like to commute. The cost structure is as follows (please note all rooms have two queen beds):

Single Occupancy: $120
Double Occupancy: $80
Triple Occupancy: $65
Quadruple Occupancy: $60
Commuter Rate: $40

Deadline for these prices is March 1st. After that there is an additional $20 added on and rooms will be given on a first come, first serve basis. All registrations are due by March 8th. To register, please visit https://imdisciple.com/lentenretreat For more information, please contact Tim McNamara attmcnamara@diokzoo.org.

3. Diocesan Women’s Retreat: Intended for any adult woman, this retreat is meant to provide intentional time for you to reconnect with the Lord Jesus Christ and to encounter other women from around the Diocese who desire to grow in their faith. This retreat will be held at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp (8258 Victory St., Vicksburg, MI 49097) on Saturday, November 2nd – Sunday, November 3rd. There are two options available when you register – one is with an overnight stay and the second is for those who would like to commute. The cost structure is as follows (please note all rooms have two queen beds):

Single Occupancy: $120
Double Occupancy: $80
Triple Occupancy: $65
Quadruple Occupancy: $60
Commuter Rate: $40

To register for the Women’s Retreat, please contact Tim McNamara at tmcnamara@diokzoo.org. Thank you and God bless!

 

 

MASS OF REPARATION AND HEALING FOR THE CHURCH

O C T O B E R 7 , 2 0 1 8 , 3 P . M .
S T . P H I L I P P A R I S H
1 1 2 C A P I T A L A V E N E – B A T T L E C R E E K , M I 4 9 0 1 7
DIOCESE OF KALAMAZOO
www.diokzoo.org – 269.349.8714
B I S H O P P A U L J . B R A D L E Y , C E L E B R A N T

At this critically important moment in the life of our Church we are called to
come together in prayer and devote our time for the intentions of the continued
healing of all victims of abuse and for the ongoing reparation and healing
of our Church. There will be time for Pastoral Conversation following the Mass.

 

 

DIOCESAN 50th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION:  A special Mass for couples of the Diocese of Kalamazoo who are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversaries in 2018 will be held on Sunday, October 14, 2018, 3:00 pm at St. Augustine Cathedral in Kalamazoo. Couples celebrating their 50th Anniversary any time in 2018 are asked to contact their parish office rectory so that their names can be submitted for a personal invitation from Bishop Bradley to participate in this celebration.