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Hours of Operation: Mon - Fri 8:00am - 8:00pm

About:

We are a grass roots community Organization working to SAVE the Historic Motherhouse and Holy Family Chapel owned by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Nazareth, located in the city of Kalamazoo in SW Michigan.





OUR MISSION

To encourage the Leadership at the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph (CSJ) in Cleveland to delay plans for demolition of their Historic buildings and Church ,located in Nazareth Michigan, until May 2020.


This will allow time to receive the plan that has been used to save buildings such as this Mother House and Churches from destruction around the country. 

 

There are local organizations who are interested in using these buildings for the community, and to preserve our history and this sacred space.


These are priceless resources and we will not BE SILENT. This is wrong at every level we will not be bullied into saying nothing.


All we are asking for is One Year to explore options that will better serve this community and salvage our history. The costs to mothball these buildings is NOTHING--0$.


There are other examples of religious working with their local community to utilize these types of buildings for the common good. Some have gone so far as to donate their buildings recognizing that it was the community in which they reside which supported them and this is a way of giving back. 


The Nazareth buildings could be donated to a worthy entity in Kalamazoo as well...and there are those who are interested!


  And yes its going to take public out cry.

YOUR MISSION

Call and email as many people as possible. Reach out on social media and to the City of Kalamazoo. The City would like to save this Precious History but cannot do it without hearing from YOU.


Meet us on the sidewalk on Gull Road, in front of the SSJ,  June 13th, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. until noon, to peacefully demonstrate support. Until this building is saved we will continue to meet on the 13th of every month thru October 2019.


Also contact CSJ and the local media to let them know how outraged you are that this is happening to Our Community. These Buildings could be easily donated to the proper people in this community to show true Christian Mission, as Pope Francis has called us to do. 


See updates below for meetings and gatherings. This project is also in need of funding, and prayers.


So....Give what you can and Pray, Pray, Pray!

UPDATES:


Update July 8, 2019

Wish I had better news! We have received a response from the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington D.C. who states that they approved the CSJ request to destroy these buildings almost 2 years ago! With this response, it would seem as though the CSJ Leadership never really wanted to save these buildings and did not work with local interested parties with this intent. Additionally, I have spoken with president of the National Conference of Women Religious who confirmed that this is happening with many of the  old convents and congregations all over the U.S.A. are demolishing  these structures believing that they are being 'good stewards and reducing their carbon footprint.'

The science does not bare this out and there are studies which indicate that refurbishing and reusing old buildings actually reduces the carbon footprint more! Check out this article "New Tricks with Old Bricks", 

https://www.scribd.com/document/3819883/New-Tricks-With-Old-Bricks 

 While it appears as though destruction of the old dorms has begun, it is not clear how much deconstruction has occurred to the Motherhouse or Holy Family Chapel.


Next Steps:


Meet us on the sidewalk on Gull Road

Saturday, July 13, from 11a.m.-12 noon. 

Yard signs will be available.

Bring your friends and fellow parishioners!


Until the buildings are destroyed, there is still an opportunity for the CSJ Leadership to change the direction of their path, but they need our help! If you have not sent a letter, called or emailed the CSJ Leadership, don't wait! Send one today.


Leadership Team:

Sr. Marie Hogan---mhogan@csjoseph.org

Sr. Kathy Brazda---kbrazda@csjoseph.org

Sr. Jacqueline Gooden---jgoodden@csjoseph.org

Sr. Pat Warbritton---pwarbritton@csjoseph.org

Sr. Sallie Latkovich---slatkovich@csjoseph.org


CSJ contact: 

Email: communications@csjoseph.org.


CSJ Leadership USPS mailing address:

Cleveland/Central Office

St. Joseph Center

3430 Rocky River Drive

Cleveland, OH, 44111-2954

PH: 216-251-0303


USPS mail:  Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph

Attn: Leadership Team

             2929 Gull Road

               Kalamazoo, MI, 49048-2611

         PH: 269-492-9388 



Sign the change.org petition here!  

Over 2500 SIGNATURES.



Update June 13, 2019

On June 5th we sent an email to the CSJ Leadership informing them of our communication to the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington D.C. (below). We received a response which from the CSJ (below). While they are standing firm in their decision to demolish this structure and destroy Kalamazoo's history along with it, we also stand firm in our hope and faith that their hearts may be softened and they will change their decision because it is the right thing to do.

Thank you to everyone who has signed the petition and has been praying about this issue.

And a special thanks to everyone who joined us as a peaceful presence on Gull Road on June 13th! 


Next Steps:

Until the buildings are destroyed, there is still an opportunity for the CSJ Leadership to change the direction of their path, but they need our help! 

If you have not sent a letter, called or emailed the CSJ Leadership, don't wait! Send one today.


Leadership Team:

Sr. Marie Hogan---mhogan@csjoseph.org

Sr. Kathy Brazda---kbrazda@csjoseph.org

Sr. Jacqueline Gooden---jgoodden@csjoseph.org

Sr. Pat Warbritton---pwarbritton@csjoseph.org

Sr. Sallie Latkovich---slatkovich@csjoseph.org


CSJ contact: 

Email: communications@csjoseph.org.


CSJ Leadership USPS mailing address:

Cleveland/Central Office

St. Joseph Center

3430 Rocky River Drive

Cleveland, OH, 44111-2954

PH: 216-251-0303


USPS mail:  Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph

Attn: Leadership Team

             2929 Gull Road

               Kalamazoo, MI, 49048-2611

         PH: 269-492-9388 



Sign the change.org petition here!  

Over 2500 SIGNATURES.


Email Response from CSJ Leadership:

June 6th reply from the CSJ Leadership,

Dear Mrs. Zemlick:

Thank you for your letter dated June 5, 2019. We appreciate the courtesy of you informing us of the actions that you are pursuing against us despite our strong and firm decisions that are based on thorough exploration, conversation, discernment and prayer with our sisters and others in the Kalamazoo community over several years.  We recognize you have a right to your opinion but we continue to request that you respect the decision that the Sisters can choose to decide how to proceed with their property. Our land is sacred to us and will remain so. And, as always, we remain committed to serving the people and the needs of Kalamazoo.

 

Sincerely,


Sr. Kathy Brazda,CSJ

Sr. Sallie Latkovich, CSJ

Sr Marie Hogan, CSJ

Sr. Pat Warbritton, CSJ

Sr.  Jackie Goodin, CSJ


Letter to the Apostolic Nuncio June 5, 2019

To: His Excellency, The Most Rev. Archbishop Christophe Pierre
       Apostolic Nuncio to the United States
       3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
       Washington, DC 20008-3610

Most Reverend Excellency,                                                                                                          May 30, 2019


I am writing you on behalf of the concerned citizens of Kalamazoo, Michigan and a campaign to save the Nazareth motherhouse and Holy Family Chapel belonging to the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph (CSJ).


We understand that your office, as well as Rome, have given the sisters permission to demolish these structures based on the premise that there are no feasible entities to take over these buildings for activities that align with their mission and values. This is simply untrue, and we urgently seek your intervention. Destruction of these buildings could start in early June.


I have been a nurse in Kalamazoo for more than 30 years, with a focus on community nursing, and I understand the social needs in this area. I can tell you that there was a competent coalition of social service providers who had come together with the sisters and the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo as well as property developers. Sadly, the planning of this group was abruptly halted by the sisters two years ago. Representatives from the Diocese of Kalamazoo and community service providers have attempted to bring the sisters back to the table as recently as this past April, to no avail. Coalition participants have also shared they do not know why the sisters pulled out of the planning. Furthermore, the sisters have not responded to our questioning on this matter other than to say they are firm in their decision to destroy this property.


There are many sisters who reside in the Nazareth faculty who would like to see the mother-house re-purposed and the citizens of Kalamazoo recognize and appreciate the great work of this congregation. While their order may be dying out; we value the sisters’ presence and want to maintain a positive relationship with them.


Consulting with developers and construction experts who have been in the mother-house, we know it is usable and would take little effort to change for the use the previous coalition was exploring.
I am asking you to investigate this matter further and help us bring the sisters back to the table of collaboration to explore meaningful use of this historic landmark.


You are our last hope! This country is bleeding convents and we are losing our sacred spaces at an unprecedented rate. This does not have to be the case and there is opportunity to do great things with this property. Once it is demolished there is no return and it would be a tragedy for this iconic history to be destroyed.


More information may be found on our website www.savenazareth.com.


I invite any questions and greatly appreciate your prayerful consideration on this matter. I look forward to your response.


Asking Your Excellency’s blessing, Yours Respectfully,


Anne Zemlick

Savenazareth.com


Cc: His Holiness Pope Francis
Reverend Bishop Paul J. Bradley



Update June 4, 2019

On June 3rd, our second attempt to convince the Kalamazoo City Commission to enact a moratorium on the destruction of this historic site was not successful.

May 30, 2019 we sent a letter to the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington DC and are awaiting action. 



Only other recourse at this juncture is to contact the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph Leadership




If our voices are not raised now, they will never be heard and our history will be gone forever.


Kalamazoo City Commission

Mayor Bobby Hopewell: mayor@kalamazoocity.org

Vice Mayor Erin Knott: knotte@kalamazoocity.org

Commissioner Jack Urban: urbanj@kalamazoocity.org

Commissioner Eric Cunningham: cunninghame@kalamazoocity.org 

Commissioner Don Cooney: cooneyd@kalamazoocity.org

Commissioner David Anderson: andersond@kalamazoocity.org



June 1, 2019

We have until Friday, May 31 to contact the Kalamazoo City Commissioners and request that they put on their June 3, 2019 City Commission meeting agenda, a resolution to establish a moratorium on any work on the Nazareth campus buildings for at least six months and consider extending to a year, with the exception of necessary work to properly mothball the buildings.

We also need to request the Commission reactivate the Historical Preservation Commission on this matter, and allow them to finish the process for considering Nazareth as a local historic district.


May 27, 2019

THERE IS NO TIME TO WAIT!     CONTACT THE KALAMAZOO CITY COMMISSIONERS TODAY!


At any time the SSJ can apply for their final demolition permit and the only thing the city authorities can do to delay this process is for the City Commission to vote in a resolution to establish a moratorium on any work being done on the buildings (see statement above). This moratorium is essential and would allow time to work with the SSJ leadership and community stakeholders on a meaningful use plan. 


We have discovered that the SSJ leadership have been less than forthcoming with the city commissioners, and nearly two years ago had closed the door to working with local stakeholders on the plans that would save the motherhouse and benefit the community!


It would appear that the SSJ leadership making this decision are not local, have little interest in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in this area, and are not invested in the people of Kalamazoo.  These are not the SSJ leaders of yesterday who came to this area to bring healthcare, education and help people in need. In the Catholic world we would say they have lost their way. As Christians and fellow human beings, we have to help them find their way back. 


This is politics at its worst and the only way we can overcome this poor behavior is to raise our voices and encourage our local civic leaders to do what they can to prevent this tragedy.




Update May 21, 2019

Thank you to those who came to the Kalamazoo City Commission meeting last night. It was a busy and long meeting and we appreciate your interest and support!


We presented our request to the Commission to delay the destruction of these buildings for at least 6 months and bring a “Blue Ribbon Panel” of stakeholders together to actively collaborate and explore options for using the Motherhouse at SSJ.


We also asked the commission to consider, at their June 3rd meeting, a resolution establishing a moratorium on any work on the Nazareth buildings for at least 6 months, with the exception of necessary work to properly mothball the building and authorize the Kalamazoo Historical Preservation Commission to further explore the options for designating the mother house as a “historical district.” This would preserve the chapel and other historical elements of the building while offering another opportunity to explore meaningful use at the same time. 


We did find out that the commissioners may not have all the information as they believe there are not other parties in the area who are interested in utilizing this building, which we know to be incorrect.


We are also experiencing our signs missing along Gull Rd. Please keep an eye out if you see someone take your sign and report it.


Thank you to all who joined us at SSJ on Monday, May 13th. This was a wonderful start!


Next Steps 

      Write the commissioners! Write the SSJ (local and Cleveland). Use snail mail and email! Let them know how and why you value this property and want them to work with interested parties, to come to some agreement for meaningful use for the betterment of our community.

If you represent a non-profit, community minded organization, who has an interest in using the buildings for the common/community good, let them know that too.

 

They need to hear from you!


The 11th hour is here! At this point the Congregation of SSJ can apply for a demolition permit at any time. Once they do that, the public and the commission have 10 days to try to delay the destruction.

 

ONCE THE WRECKING BALL FLIES OUR HISTORY AND SACRED SPACE WILL BE GONE FOREVER!



ACT NOW



Ongoing Gathering

                       The 13th of each month at 11:00 a.m. in front of SSJ on the sidewalk on Gull Road


Please mail checks to the address below (tax free status has been applied for). Any unused funds will be returned if possible. 



CONTACTS & LINKS

SSJ contact: 

Email: communications@csjoseph.org.

USPS mail:  Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph

                     Attn: Leadership Team

                     2929 Gull Road

                     Kalamazoo, MI, 49048-2611

                 PH: 269-492-9388 


Additional SSJ Leadership with decision making input:

                    Cleveland/Central Office

                    St. Joseph Center

                    3430 Rocky River Drive

                    Cleveland, OH, 44111-2954

                PH: 216-251-0303


This is our First Project

WE can do this 

As a community we can show how much we value our history and that we are stronger moving forward together, than apart. 


 We can Follow Jesus when others only want to follow themselves and the World.

History rich in Catholic Tradition

WE are not some radical group. We are Kalamazoo County residents, Nazareth alumni, private citizens and very devote Catholics that want to save the history of those who have gone before us in the last 30 some generations .

MEET THE TEAM

Anne Zemlick RN

Main Contact for this effort: Lifelong resident of Kalamazoo County working in all aspects of healthcare, specializing in elder care. We have 5 grown Children and 5 Grandchildren. 

Deacon Louis Zemlick

Lifelong Resident of Kalamazoo, I'm a business owner in this community and a  Deacon in the Church. My aunt, Sr. Anna Cryan, was a member of  SSJ and worked at Nazareth her whole career.

Like any good Irishmen we love a worthy fight and this is worth it. Lets Earn It. As of Today 5/15/19 I will be taking a supportive roll in this effort.  

Business, Community Leaders

Just to have your support means a lot your picture on this site as well as your comments make the difference on whether people give or support this effort, lets not miss this opportunity to Walk in Faith get out of the boat and follow Jesus, in this mission.

SAVENAZARETH.com - Home

YOU

We are looking for help,anyone who would like to deliver signs make calls or just pray, We need YOU

LOVE

This project started with the seed of $1,000.00 and we are hopeful that by May of 2020, we will have reached our financial goal, which we estimate to be the 100's of thousands if not closer to several million to support future use of the building.  Yard signs are still available and can be picked up at 3773 Sky King Kalamazoo MI as well as Newman's Book Shoppe or the Heritage Co, both located downtown Kalamazoo. 


Most fund raising  will be done through Save Nazareth Gofundme, or to help us save 3% in fees mail your check and make check out to:" Save Nazareth" 3773 Sky King Blvd. Kalamazoo, MI 49009.

Yard signs



We are using these items to increase interest.

Please help us.

Yard signs  available--make donation or FREE and picked-up at the address below. As well as Newman's Bookshoppe and Heritage Co. downtown Kalamazoo

TESTIMONIALS

"While visiting the SSJ motherhouse one day, I met a lady walking. Her name was Mary. She told me: You must save this place Deacon Louis it belongs to us"

- Mary Nazareth Michigan

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On my Facebook page today, I was reminded of a trip I took to Ireland 2 years ago. Pictures of ancient structures, castles, churches, convents and more! The pride and care the…

The Value of Sacred Space

While waiting for the Kalamazoo City Commission meeting to begin last night, I met a wonderful young man (I will refer to him as J) who was interested in this campaign. He shared…

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We had a very peaceful meeting out in front of Nazareth on Monday 5/13 2019, Due to tensions and to hopefully have better negotiations i will now be taking a non leadership roll…

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Our Big day is next Monday 10a, in front of the Mother House at Nazareth please come and show your support to try to save Nazareth. We have real project ahead of us and i hope we…

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CONTACT US

This is our business office ZEMLICK.com we are available M-F 7am till 5pm to pick up signs or if you have questions 269-370-3719 Louis@zemlick.com