Immigrant Rights Legislation Update

On October 31, 2019, Senate Bill 0631 and 0632 and House Bills 5192 and 5193 were introduced and are sponsored by Sens. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, and Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, in the Senate and Reps. Alex Garza, D-Taylor, and Rachel Hood, D-Grand Rapids, in the House.   Both bills are supported by Michigan Immigrant Rights Center and the Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary.  We encourage you to attend any future hearing and to take a moment to contact your elected officials to express your support.

Find your Michigan Representative

Find your Michigan Senator

The bills would make noncommercial Michigan driver’s licenses and state identification cards available to applicants who do not have proof of U.S. citizenship or immigration status. The bills eliminate the “legal presence” requirement for proving Michigan residency and they would specify types of documentation allowable for proving Michigan residency and identity for the new category of documents.

The bills would have a broad positive impact. They would

  • Allow citizens and currently, eligible immigrants who lack the documentation required by the Secretary of State, to get licenses and state identification cards.
  • Widen the insurance pool and lower costs for all Michigan residents due to unlicensed and uninsured drivers submitting fewer claims.
  • Promote public safety by ensuring that drivers are trained, screened and tested; law enforcement will be able to more efficiently and effectively identify individuals they stop.
  • Increase workforce and economic participation by making it easier for individuals to travel to work, go to the grocery store or doctor, rent an apartment, access health care, purchase insurance, etc.
  • Increase state revenue through vehicle registration and taxes on insurance premiums and car purchases.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia already have similar laws that provide access to a driver’s license or identification, regardless of immigration status.

The Best Chicken Under Heaven?

Under construction

Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary are happy to announce the completion and recent first habitation of the new poultry house on the grounds of the HVM Formation Center in Gwagwalada, Nigeria.  This new facility was entirely financed by gifts from generous US supporters!  Deep and sincere appreciation goes to all donors.  God bless you for your kindness and benevolence!  May God harken to your prayers and grant your hearts’ desires.

The Sisters HVM have long operated a small poultry pen in the front yard at the Gwagwalada Formation Center.  This new chicken house is much larger.  It can house 500 or more birds, ranging from day-old chicks to fully-grown roaster chickens ready for sale during the upcoming Christmas holiday season.  

Future efforts and financing might extend production to layer hens and eggs which would go much farther in meeting the protein needs of the Sisters and the local community.

15th Annual Fundraising Gala

Sunday, October 13, 2019.
15th Annual Fundraising Gala: .  2-6 p.m.

Fr Don Archambault

Join other supporters of Sisters Home Visitors of Mary at the beautiful St John Armenian Conference Center, Southfield, MI on Sunday, October 13, 2019, for the 15th Annual SHVM fundraising gala.

This year joyfully honoring Fr. Donald Archambault, retiring Corpus Christi pastor, for his many years of dedication as pastor in the City.

New earlier start time this year:  2:00 pm.  Dinner at 3:00 pm

Proceeds from the annual fundraising gala will go to support the HVM missions in Nigeria.   Early childhood formation and family live have always been a focus of HVM.  With your help we hope to build a permanent Home Visitors of Mary Day Care Center and move from the small space Sr. Vivienne has rented the past four years.

The current day care center in Apo, not far from Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Cathedral, provides a loving center for children six months to two years of age.  It’s in an area where both parents must work for a living, struggling to exist.   The HVM sisters support these families by providing a safe and loving environment for the children’s early years.

I wish to support 15th Annual HVM Gala.

If an questions, please contact Sr. Rosemarie Abate at 313-869-2160 or email


Labor Day 2019: The Dignity of Work

The Dignity of Work & The Rights of Workers.

Labor Day in the US provides an opportunity to reflect on what the Church teaches us about the dignity of work and rights of workers.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, together with Catholic Relief Services, recently created THIS VIDEO (<<< click here) to communicate the Church’s teaching on work.

In the Catholic traditions, work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continued participation in God’s creative action.  As we mark Labor Day in the US, we are invited to reflect on low wages and inequality in our workplaces and how the persistence of low wages is a barrier to full participation in that creative action.

Pope Francis espoused these same principles in his first public writing, “The Joy of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium), the historic Apostolic Exhortation he issued on November 24, 2013.  See especially this summary of his words on failure of traditional economic dogmas >>>  One Of The Most Powerful Critiques Of Modern Capitalism That You Will Ever Read

What can YOU do to support workplaces built upon justice and dignity?


Water for God’s Thirsty Children

Safe water is a fundamental human need and right everywhere in the world.  There is no life without water.  Many of us here in Michigan give little thought to water.  We take it for granted.  We live only miles away from the largest fresh water seas in the world — the Great Lakes — and our local governments usually provide safe and usable water for our everyday needs.

But even close to us, many of our neighbors lack access to safe water: in Flint, lead was allowed into the water by government mismanagement, in Detroit area, our neighbors struggle to keep water service in the face of high prices and overdue bills. 

Elsewhere around the planet people of all ages fall ill and die because of contaminated water.   The World Health Organization estimates that 1,000 children die every day due to illness causes by drinking contaminated water.

Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary in Nigeria are doing there small part to help.  Due to your generous support, the SHVM Formation House property in Gwagwalada is equipped with a deep water well that provides safe water for the sisters.  Local families living nearby have always been welcomed into the front yard to gather water from the SHVM well, thus insuring safe water for household use.  But they still needed to carry the water long distances back  to their homes in heavy buckets. 

To make it easier for their neighbors, the Sisters ran a pipe with faucet from their well directly through the nearby wall of the SHVM compound.  Now the local families have much easier access to share God’s liquid gift from the SHVM deep water well.  And they have much shorter trips to carry the heavy jugs of water back to their homes for their use drinking, cooking, and washing themselves and their children.

This photo taken from a passing car shows a neighbor man filling up water containers at the Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary water faucet.

Other organizations working to improve access to safe water include:  Water With Blessings and Children’s Safe Drinking Water



August 25: Ring Bells for Racial Healing

Dear Friends,

2019 marks the 400th Anniversary of Black enslavement in the United States. Please join Pax Christi USA and the Episcopal Church on August 25th to continue the long walk to freedom and the critical work of racial healing.  See details from Pax Christi below.


# # # # # # 

August 19, 2019

From: Pax Christi USA – Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau

Subject: Celebrate the National Day of Healing to Commemorate 400 Years of African American History and Culture

Dear Faithful Members of Pax Christi USA:

On behalf of the Pax Chisti Anti-Racism Team, we are joining with the members of the Episcopal Church on August 25 to participate in a Healing Day of National Bell Ringing.  Please read this letter from the Episcopal Church for more details and information >>>  click here. 

We are inviting you to contact your local Catholic parish asking them to toll their church bells at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, to commemorate the 400 years of African History and Culture in the US and to continue (or begin) the work of racial healing.

If, wherever we are on Aug. 25, individually or as a community, we could find a bell somewhere in our homes and walk out on our porches, patios, yards, or open a window, and ring that bell for the liberation of our brothers and sisters too long denied human dignity and human rights.

Thank you for ringing a bell for long-deserved freedom.

Sr. Anne-Louise Nadeau

Interim Executive Director, Pax Christi USA

# # # # # # #

Sisters Home Visitors of Mary supporters may also wish to read the The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery.

Statement on Gun Violence

Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary, rooted in our faith and in Jesus’ model, work in prayer and action to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence. 

The most recent horrendous events again reaffirm that America suffers a gun violence epidemic.  We stand with the many who grieve these tragic deaths.  We pray with the families.  And we support public policies that reduce death and injury from gun violence. 

Gun violence is a complex issue.  Many areas need to be addressed.   As a beginning, in solidarity with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, we call on our elected leaders to promptly enact legislation that:

  • bans assault weapons
  • requires universal background checks for all gun sales, 
  • provides funding for gun violence prevention research, and 
  • makes the trafficking in weapons a federal crime.

We commend those who have worked tirelessly to prevent gun violence and we join them in their efforts to advocate for policies that promote human dignity by protecting life.

Blessings in Christ,

Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary 

15th Annual Fundraising Gala

Fr Don Archambault

Join us a the beautiful St John Armenian Conference Center, Southfield, MI on Sunday, October 13, 2019, for the 15th Annual SHVM fundraising gala. 

This year’s gala joyfully honors Fr. Donald Archambault, retiring Corpus Christi pastor, for his many years of dedication as pastor in the City.   Dinner, Silent Auction, Dancing and Entertainment featuring Gisele Carver.  

Proceeds from the annual fundraising gala go to support the HVM missions in Nigeria.   Early childhood formation and family live have always been an HVM focus.  With your help we hope to build a permanent Home Visitors of Mary Day Care Center and move from the small space rented the past four years Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Cathedral in Abudja.  

It’s in an area where both parents must work for a living, struggling to exist.   The HVM sisters support these families by providing a safe and loving environment for the children’s early years of development. 

If any questions, please contact Sr. Rosemarie Abate at 313-869-2160 or email 


National Clergy Ask “When Will Americans Have Enough?”

National Cathedral, Washington D.C.

“As leaders of faith who believe in the sacredness of every single human being, the time for silence is over.”

Opinion: Mariann Edgar Budde, Randolph Marshall Hollerith, and Kelly Brown Douglas,

Detroit Free Press, August 1, 2019



The escalation of racialized rhetoric from the President of the United States has evoked responses from all sides of the political spectrum. On one side, African American leaders have led the way in rightfully expressing outrage. On the other, those aligned with the President seek to downplay the racial overtones of his attacks, or remain silent.

As faith leaders who serve at Washington National Cathedral ¬ the sacred space where America gathers at moments of national significance – we feel compelled to ask: After two years of President Trump’s words and actions, when will Americans have enough?

We have come to accept a level of insult and abuse in political discourse that violates each person’s sacred identity as a child of God. We have come to accept as normal a steady stream of language and accusations coming from the highest office in the land that plays to racist elements in society.

This week, President Trump crossed another threshold. Not only did he insult a leader in the fight for racial justice and equality for all persons; not only did he savage the nations from which immigrants to this country have come; but now he has condemned the residents of an entire American city. Where will he go from here?

Make no mistake about it, words matter. And, Mr. Trump’s words are dangerous.

These words are more than a “dog-whistle.” When such violent dehumanizing words come from the President of the United States, they are a clarion call, and give cover, to white supremacists who consider people of color a sub-human “infestation” in America. They serve as a call to action from those people to keep America great by ridding it of such infestation. Violent words lead to violent actions.

When does silence become complicity? What will it take for us all to say, with one voice, that we have had enough? The question is less about the president’s sense of decency, but of ours.

As leaders of faith who believe in the sacredness of every single human being, the time for silence is over. We must boldly stand witness against the bigotry, hatred, intolerance, and xenophobia that is hurled at us, especially when it comes from the highest offices of this nation. We must say that this will not be tolerated. To stay silent in the face of such rhetoric is for us to tacitly condone the violence of these words. We are compelled to take every opportunity to oppose the indecency and dehumanization that is racism, whether it comes to us through words or actions.

The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde is the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith is Dean of Washington National Cathedral. The Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas is Canon Theologian of Washington National Cathedral.

Click here to view the full original opinion article in the Detroit Free Press.

Lights for Liberty

LIGHTS FOR LIBERTY,   Friday, July 12.


On Friday July 12th, 2019, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps, will bring thousands of Americans out to protest to protest the inhumane conditions faced by migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.   COME AND JOIN IN DETROIT 6 to 8 pm at the Immigration Office on Mt. Elliott and E. Jefferson.

Find other local events around the county HERE

 Beginning at 7 p.m. on July 12th, advocates, activists’ and impacted persons will speak on the issue of human detention camps in the United States. At 9 p.m., around the country and around the world, participants will light candles in a silent vigil for all those held in US detention camps to bring light to the darkness of the Trump administration’s horrific policies.

Lights for Liberty is a coalition of people dedicated to human rights, and the fundamental principle that all human beings have a right to life, liberty and dignity. They are partnering with international, national, regional, and local communities and organizations who believe that these fundamental rights are not negotiable.