Author: Kayla Adams

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January 8, 2024

My Dear People,

I am writing this letter to you from my heart. The recent release of the Michigan Department of Attorney General’s report on clergy sexual abuse clearly marks a painful moment in the life of the Diocese of Gaylord. It is a moment when the reality of 70-plus years of clergy records, having been examined by the Attorney General’s Office, reveal the scope of past sinful behavior of priests and deacons. This moment is heavy and calls for an honest reckoning.

I believe what the Church teaches; the Church is a family of believers. As such, we must face this moment with the same familial bonds that see us through the trials and tribulations of our biological families. No family is perfect, but God gives us family life, so we do not fall into isolation or despair.

The first thing our family of faith needs to do is to express deep sorrow to the victims/survivors of sexual abuse and pray for their healing. Their lives, and the lives of those around them, have been tragically altered due to the selfish manipulations of a once trusted clergyman. Next, we need to act justly and offer penance. Looking forward, most importantly, we need our family of faith to remain diligent in safeguarding our children and our vulnerable adults.

As painful as it is, I encourage adult members of our family to read the entire Attorney General’s report. In the report, there are victims/survivors who are both male and female, minors and adults. I do not know or understand why these clergy abused others. There is a saying “hurt people hurt people,” suggesting perhaps those who abused were abused themselves. Perhaps they just took advantage of their sacred office and didn’t think they would get caught. Perhaps they lost their way and became accustomed to their power and position which gave them protection from scrutiny.

In this brief letter, I want to express my sorrow and shame for the sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by clergy of our diocese, as revealed in the Attorney General’s report. It will take time to absorb the full impact of this report and our response.

I speak as much to myself as I do to you when I say, please remain faithful and steadfast. Please do not despair. The vast majority of priests and deacons are faithful and have not been involved in the sordid behaviors described in the Attorney General’s report. We will carry on as a family of faith and entrust ourselves to our merciful Father and blessed Mother.

In Christ our Life!

Most Reverend Jeffrey J. Walsh

Prayer for Healing Victims of Abuse
God of endless love,
Ever caring, ever strong,
Always present, always just;
You gave your only Son
To save us by the blood of his cross.

Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace,
Join to your own suffering
The pain of all who have been hurt
In body, mind and spirit
By those who betrayed the trust placed in them.

Hear the cries of our brothers and sisters
Who have been gravely harmed,
And the cries of those who love them.
Soothe their restless hearts with hope,
Steady their shaken spirits with faith.
Grant them justice for their cause,
Enlightened by their truth.

Holy spirit, comforter of hearts,
Heal your people’s wounds
And transform brokenness into wholeness.
Grant us the courage and wisdom,
Humility and grace, to act with justice.
Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labors.
Grant that all harmed by abuse may find peace in justice.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

Diocese of Gaylord Press Conference:

Watch Bishop Walsh’s press conference that aired 1 pm, Jan. 8, 2024

Bishop Walsh’s Message to the Faithful:

How to Make a Report: Abuse of Minors or Vulnerable Adults by Priests, Deacons or Others

To report allegations of sexual abuse of minors or vulnerable adults within the Diocese of Gaylord by priests, deacons or other employees or volunteers, regardless of when it occurred, individuals should: 

  1. Contact local law enforcement, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (855.444.3911),
    or the Michigan Department of Attorney General (844-324-3374). 
  2. Contact the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, Larry LaCross, at 989-705-9010.

In the State of Michigan many professionals, including clergy, teachers, doctors, counselors, and named others are mandated reporters.  This means such individuals are REQUIRED to make an oral or online report IMMEDIATELY to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services if they suspect a child is being neglected or abused in any way.  Individuals may call the State report line at the number above, which is answered twenty-four (24) hours a day or submit a report online at ( There may be significant penalties for mandated reporters who fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect.  Even if individuals are not mandated reporters, the Diocese of Gaylord encourages ANYONE who has reason to suspect a child is being abused or neglected in any way to report the matter to local authorities. More information can be found at Reporting Process (

The Michigan Attorney General’s office has also set up a special phone line for people to share information that may be of help in their ongoing investigation of sexual misconduct by Catholic clergy.  That number, again, is 844-324-3374.

Location: All Saints Parish @ St. Anne’s

Date: 07/19/2023

Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Your commitment to saving lives through blood donation is absolutely crucial, as hospitals and patients rely on the blood we collect together to keep our community healthy.


You will notice that we are making further repairs to the front steps. Last fall just before the frost set in (when the project was first completed) it was noticed that the slope at the landing of the steps was just about 7 degrees, which is not up to code. The greater slope was caused by the overall lowering of the elevation of the sidewalk to accommodate the code for the ADA pad at the corner of Lockwood and 9th. It was too late to fix it last fall to fix it. Meridian Contracting Services LLC, our contractor, recognized the issue on their part and agreed to come back in the spring to make the necessary modification to reduce the slope to less that 1 degree at the bottom of the stairs. The only way to accomplish that is by adding an additional step and repouring the concrete at the bottom of the stairs up to the sidewalk.

For full transparency, I wanted to share with all of you the total cost of the project already paid: $60,771. Meridian has agreed to make the necessary changes at their expense to make it right, including recoating the stairs to make it all match and repairing the places which have already rusted through. However, we did agree to pay an additional $3,153 to extend the handrails and form and pour the additional step. That makes the entire project cost: $63,924. I’ve been in consultation with the Finance Council throughout this whole process. I want to apologize for the major inconvenience of having half the stair out of commission this weekend and the other half out of commission next weekend – especially for our graduates this Sunday. It will be 10 days until the steps are fully open again. 

I want to thank you all for generous donations that more than accounted for this capital improvement project. The funding came from our overage on CSA last year, which far exceeded the cost of the new boiler plus a few additional special gifts from parishioners for about $35,000. Know that our parish staff work hard to ensure that every dollar you give to the parish is spent wisely and prudently.


The new steam boiler for our parish church is being installed in the coming weeks by Weinkauf LLC. The contract with Weinkauf was originally signed by me back in May 2022. Unfortunately, due to supply chain issues we did have the boiler in Alpena until December 2022. At that point, it would have been impossible to install without severely damaging the plaster in the church as the church would have gone unheated for weeks. The new steam boiler is being installed now. The new water treatment system and circulating pump are also being installed along with fresh air ventilation into the basement. The vent can be seen on the Lockwood side of the church. The new boiler will be much more efficient and will be ready for heating our beautiful church this winter. We also discovered from the manufacturer of our Air Conditioner system that the units can be used as heat pumps down to 19 degrees. That is why we were able to shut down the steam boiler almost 6 weeks earlier than in previous years, saving in natural gas. The heat pump system is much more efficient that the steam boiler at above freezing temperatures, which is helping us realize some great savings. Once the project is completed, we will share with you all the total cost of the system upgrade. The cost has been paid by your generous gifts to the Catholic Service Appeal 2022 in overages returned to All Saints.


By this time, many of you may have noticed that there is no water at the spigots or sprinklers at the cemetery. This spring our maintenance team attempted to prime and start the pump and it failed. We are investigating with contractors, plumbers, and electricians the extent of the damage and the current condition of the pump. The pump is from 1958 and we have no records of any maintenance having been performed – although we would assume something has been done to is since then. Please be patient and encourage others to be patient as we do everything we can to restore the water to the cemetery grounds. Water is available at the cemetery chapel from 9 am to 1pm. However, you are encouraged to bring some water from home to water your plants. It doesn’t help that we haven’t had rain in weeks! Some people in our community have contacted us and have treated me and our staff inappropriately. I’ve asked our staff to be as kind and forgiving as possible, but they do not deserve to be treated like that by the general public. We are doing everything we can do restore the water.