MONTH SEVEN – Developing Baby


“I can look around!”


Beginning this month the baby uses all four senses. His eyelids open and close, and the eyes look around. The baby can hear, taste, touch, cough, yawn and hiccup. He now recognizes his own mother’s voice. His grip is even stronger now than it will be after his birth. The hair on his head is growing longer and the downy covering on the rest of his body is disappearing. During this time the baby will receive antibodies from his mother providing him immunity to a wide variety of diseases.


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August 13, 2021

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

In recent days, it has become clear that, in spite of our hopes that the pandemic was coming to an end, the variant forms of the Coronavirus require us to remain vigilant in continuing to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and one another from their ill effects. In the midst of this, a question has been raised as a result of certain institutions and employers requiring vaccination for COVID-19, but allowing for a “religious exemption” in certain circumstances, for those who choose not to receive it. Some members of the Faithful have inquired about obtaining a letter from their parish priest that would somehow serve in granting this exemption when needed. Since this has given rise to confusion it is important to make appropriate clarifications.

Last December, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a “Note on the Morality of Using Some Anti-COVID-19 Vaccines” (December 21, 2020), which effectively articulates the position of the Catholic Church in the midst of the current confusion (please see attached). While the document makes clear that the reception of certain vaccines (not all) are morally acceptable, due to the gravity of the threat posed by COVID-19 and the absence of alternative vaccines, at the same time every individual has the right in conscience to make that determination. In other words, “practical reason makes evident that vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation and that, therefore, it must be voluntary” (cf. n. 5). If a person chooses in conscience not to receive a vaccine, it is incumbent upon him or her to take the necessary precautions to protect others by observing whatever protocols are deemed necessary by health officials to do what can be done to prevent the spread of the virus, especially to those who are most vulnerable.

In light of this, encouragement and support have been given to those who have chosen to receive the vaccine, which is certainly a morally acceptable option. As always, individual medical decisions need to be made in consultation with one’s physician, who has the training and expertise to assess what is best for each person. It is important to seek out doctors and medical staff who have a proper understanding of the human person and respect the Catholic Faith and moral teaching that are a part of the life of those for whose health they care. When dealing with one’s own personal situation, it is also of utmost importance that this be done with a deep awareness and concern for the common good, realizing that the state of one’s health is necessarily related to the health of others.

Put simply, as Catholics, a decision in conscience to either receive one of the morally acceptable vaccines for COVID-19 or a decision not to receive a vaccine (and observe the proper preventative protocols) are both legitimate responses according to Catholic moral teaching. While I have directed that none of our clergy, parishes or institutions should provide a letter/statement to any individual granting “religious exemption”, it is my hope that this letter will help to clarify the rights that all the Faithful have in conscience with regard to the current pandemic.
Please continue to pray with me that improved and morally sound solutions will be sought and discovered, and that our Loving God will bring this pandemic to an end. Asking that the Holy Spirit will bring healing and strength to all, especially to the sick and vulnerable among us, and asking the intercession of our dear Blessed Mother as we celebrate her Glorious Assumption, I remain

Faithfully yours in Christ.

Most Reverend Paul J. Bradley

Bishop of Kalamazoo


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, 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 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

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

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  If you have any question or would like to speak to someone about sponsorship opportunities please contact Tom Dowdall at, 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




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 ( 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 For more information, please contact Tim McNamara

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 Thank you and God bless!




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
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.