After over a month of multiple requests to meet Bishop Walsh, the newly installed Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord, with members of Gaylord Diocesan Watch, we have have received a formal refusal of the Bishop to meet with us. This letter from Bishop Walsh came after our recent post highlighted the refusal of the Diocese to acknowledge a certified, return receipt letter we sent. In fact, multiple letters were sent in an effort to openly communicate with the Bishop.
This is the body of a most recent correspondence we sent to Bishop Walsh:
His Eminence Jeffrey Walsh
Bishop of Gaylord
611 W. North St.
Thank you for accepting receipt of this correspondence. We warmly welcome you to your new position as bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord. As our spiritual father and pastor, we hope you will consider and positively respond to our request to meet with you in the near future. Our group, Gaylord Diocesan Watch, has been trying to schedule an appointment to meet with you for several months, to express our concerns to you directly about problems in the diocese that directly affect our local parishes and parishioners. We have been told that it is not possible to make an appointment to see you, because of your hectic schedule.
We understand that the demands on your time are, at this point, overwhelming, but we appeal for a simple meeting, in Gaylord (or at a place and time of your choosing) to introduce ourselves and open a heretofore closed line of communication between our group and the chancery. If you deem such a meeting possible, please have Chancery staff contact us to arrange this. If it is not possible, we look forward to hearing from you, as to the reasons.
Please feel free to contact us at any time. We hope and pray to help!
The contents of Bishop Walsh’s belated response dated May 3, 2022 is as follows:
This letter is to thank you for your prayers for myself and for the people who make up the Diocese of Gaylord. Unfortunately, based on my understanding of “Gaylord Watch” writings, I do not foresee a positive outcome to a meeting such as you requested in your letter, which was received on April 19, 2022.
In Christ our Life!
Most Reverend Jeffrey J. Walsh
Bishop of Gaylord
Unfortunately, the lack of transparency and accountability is once again seen in this Diocese with regard to its Bishop. Gaylord Diocesan Watch never asked for anything other than to introduce ourselves and express our concerns. Our only desire is to establish honest and open communication with the Bishop. Apparently, he does not consider this a “positive outcome” of meeting with us. How could it not be positive? Yet he, and other clergy, routinely request our time and money for the Diocese? Doesn’t the latest push for “Synodality” involve listening?
What is there to “understand” with regard to our writings? Maybe Bishop Walsh has a misunderstanding of us. Wouldn’t a face to face meeting possibly correct any misunderstanding and give him a better “understanding” of who we are?
Also, why is Gaylord Diocesan Watch, a known entity in the Diocese for over two years, addressed in quotations as “Gaylord Watch”? Is this really a typo, or is it an attempt at insulting the organization?
In the latest issue of Faith along Michigan’s 45th Parallel (March/April 2022, also known by some as Fluff along Michigan’s 45th Parallel), Bishop Walsh is given the following question:
What are some of your priorities for your first year of ministry in the Diocese of Gaylord?
To listen and to learn.
Really? To Whom?