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Contact

Director of Communications
John Dornan
Phone: 919-821-9732
Mobile: 919-632-5045
Email: john.dornan@raldioc.org

Assistant Director of Communications
Anjanette Wiley
Phone: 919-821-9730
Mobile: 919-606-6834
Email: anjanette.wiley@raldioc.org

Editor, NC Catholics
Kate Turgeon Watson
Phone: 919-821-9738
Email: Kate.turgeonwatson@raldioc.org

Web Manager
Michelle Heeden King
Email: michelle.king@raldioc.org

Media Production Specialist
Mark Hite
Phone: 919-821-9734
Email: hite@raldioc.org

Administrative Assistant
Suzanne Smith
Phone: 919-821-9749
E-mail: Suzanne.smith@raldioc.org

Bulletin Announcements

Bulletin Announcements are posted each Monday by 10:00 am.
To receive Bulletin Updates via email, contact: Suzanne Smith at suzanne.smith@raldioc.org.

Announcements are available as Word and PDF at the bottom of the page

The May directory has been posted The online, password protected directory has been re-organized. You must be logged in to see it on this page: http://dioceseofraleigh.org/content/diocesan-directory .  If you need the password or see an error, email Suzanne Smith at Suzanne.smith@raldioc.org.

Around the Diocese: May 21, 2018

Connect with the Diocese! Follow us on Facebook, You Tube, Instagram and Twitter for inspirational, educational and entertaining content!

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The Diocese of Raleigh is seeking a full time Communications Specialist (Bilingual-Spanish/English) Key responsibilities / day-to-day job functions

• Create bilingual (Spanish and English) content to promote the ministerial work of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, including Catholic Charities
• Utilize various communication methods to highlight positive community impact and increase brand awareness within Spanish- and English-speaking populations throughout the Diocese of Raleigh
• Work with central and regional staff to tell success stories, maintain the online presence for the agency, and create marketing materials
• Will include occasional travel to regional offices throughout central and eastern North Carolina.

Project Rachel Support Group Bulletin Announcement:
Please include the following information in your parish bulletin during June and July
The majority of participants who reach out to Project Rachel tell us they read about this ministry in a bulletin announcement.  They may tell us that before they could find the courage to call, they had to see the announcement many times.
Thank you for assisting the Project Rachel ministry.  If your parish requires more brochures, please call or email us.   We also have a website at: http://projectrachelnc.org/
where brochures can be downloaded.
In Christ,
Jackie Bonk
Director, Project Rachel (919-621-0916)

Project Rachel Support Group   Abortion is one of the most common procedures in the US, experienced by millions of women, many of whom are Catholic.   Abortion creates a wound in post-abortive women, (and men) resulting in spiritual and emotional problems.  The Project Rachel ministry assists women and men who have been wounded by abortion to find truth and healing.  There is a support group beginning in the Triangle area in August. If you have experienced an abortion and would like more information about the support group, contact Project Rachel at (919) 852-1021 or email projectrachel@nc.rr.com.  For more information go to http://projectrachelnc.org/ (website) Calls and appointments are kept strictly confidential.

Bulletin Announcement for:   6/3, 6/10, 6/17
The Diocese of Raleigh invites all to attend a Celebration of Freedom Mass with Bishop Zarama on Thursday, June 21 at 6:30 pm at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 2817 Poole Road, Raleigh. A reception and picnic sponsored by the Knights of Columbus will follow the Mass.
This event is part of Religious Freedom Week, a celebration of our religious freedom from June 22 to 29, 2018. The theme this year is “Serving Others in God’s Love” and will celebrate the values of our faith with respect to the gift of life, marriage, conscience rights, and many humanitarian concerns. During Religious Freedom Week, the faithful are encouraged to pray for the intention of preserving and promoting religious freedom and to dedicate any of their regularly scheduled devotions such as Holy Hours or the Holy Rosary to this intention.
For more information and educational resources on the Religious Freedom Week, contact Mary Beth Phillips at Marybeth.phillips@raldioc.org or 919-719-8267.

World Youth Day in Panama: January 28-21, 2019 Interested in going? Visit https://raldioc.configio.com/go/wyd2019 For more information contact Ricardo Veloz at  (919) 600-8750 or Ricardo.Veloz@raldioc.org right away.
 
Jornada Mundial de la Juventud 2019 en Panamá: ¿Estas interesado en ir?  Visite https://raldioc.configio.com/go/wyd2019 Para más información contacte a Ricardo Veloz al (919) 600-8750 o Ricardo.Veloz@raldioc.org inmediatamente

Through the honor and memorial opportunities of religious art or liturgical items, your family and loved ones will have a special place in our new cathedral for generations. Gift levels vary. View an online catalog

To learn more, go to holynamecathedralnc.org or contact Greg Leitner at 919-821-9721 or via e-mail at greg.leitner@raldioc.org.

Join Catholic Charities for their Inaugural “Drive Out Hunger” Golf Outing at North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh on Monday, June 11, 2018.  Proceeds will benefit Catholic Charities food pantries across the diocese and provide groceries to the 16.5% of North Carolina families who lack reliable access to healthy meals. For more information and to register, please visit www.CatholicCharitiesRaleigh.org/golf-2018 or call (919) 821 – 8142.  

 

Can you paint and swing a hammer?  Or are you interested in learning these skills and more?

Join Catholic Charities and the Knights of Columbus as we help repair homes damaged by Hurricane Matthew in the Tar River and Cape Fear Deaneries.  Volunteers of all experience levels are encouraged to participate!

COURAGE is a prayer and fellowship group that assists individuals with same-sex attractions (or SSA) to live chaste lives in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Meetings are for men and women and strict confidentiality is maintained. For more information email: courage.sacred.heart@gmail.com. Or call: (919) 289-9489.

Durham Bulls Bulletin Announcement Pitch in for Charity and support Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh by coming to an evening of baseball with the Durham Bulls at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Friday, July 27th at 7:05 pm. A portion of every ticket purchased through the Catholic Charities link will support our work! Enjoy this Food Truck Friday with the Bulls and be sure to stay for fireworks after the game! For more information, please visit www.CatholicCharitiesRaleigh.org/BullsPitch4Charity or contact Daniel Altenau at (919) 821-9767 or at Daniel.Altenau@raldioc.org.

Wilmington Sharks Bulletin Announcement Pitch in for Charity and support Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh by coming to an evening of baseball with the Wilmington Sharks at Legion Stadium on Friday, July 20th at 7:00 pm. A portion of every ticket purchased through the Catholic Charities link will support our work! Stay for fireworks after the game! For more information about the game, please visit www.CatholicCharitiesRaleigh.org/SharksPitch4Charity or contact Daniel Altenau at (919) 821-9767 or Daniel.Altenau@raldioc.org.

Carolina Mudcats Bulletin Announcement Pitch in for Charity and support Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh by coming to an evening of baseball with the Carolina Mudcats at Five County Stadium on Friday, July 13th at 7:00 pm. A portion of every ticket purchased through the “Catholic Charities – Pitch in for Charity” group will support our work! Stay for fireworks after the game! For more information about the game, please visit www.CatholicCharitiesRaleigh.org/MudcatsPitch4Charity or contact Daniel Altenau at (919) 821-9767 or Daniel.Altenau@raldioc.org.

EnCourage is the affiliate support group for parents, friends and family members of loved ones with SSA. EnCourage helps members to focus on their own spiritual development and offers a supportive environment to share information and guidance for maintaining healthy relationships with our loved ones. For more information, email encourage.sacred.heart@gmail.com.  Or call: (984) 221-0730. Strict confidentiality is maintained.

Help us to support the Bishops’ Initiative on marriage! Couples who attend Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends not only rediscover the joy, intimacy & romance in their relationships, but also become more active in their parish. Together, we are making marriages, families and our Church stronger & healthier. You can help couples in your parish find us by placing information and a link to Worldwide Marriage Encounter (http://www.wwme.org/) on your parish website. Contact us and we can provide information about WWME and a logo that can be used. Thanks!

Please include the bulletin announcement shown below in your Sunday, May 27th, 2018 parish bulletin.
Sunday, May 27th, 2018
“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." Is God in your marriage?  He is with you to help you have the marriage that will honor Him. The next Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekends are: Aug 3-5, 2018 in Chapel Hill, NC and Nov 9-11, 2018 in ATLANTIC BEACH, NC. Early sign up is recommended. For more information visit our website at: https://NCMarriageDiscovery.org or contact us at applications@NCMarriageDiscovery.org or 704-315-2144.

Retrouvaille A Lifeline for Marriage – Retrouvaille helps couples through difficult times in their marriages. It is designed to provide the tools to help get your marriage back on track. It will give you the opportunity to rediscover each other and examine your lives together in a new and positive way. You will not be sharing your struggles with other people. You will hear from couples that have been through the program themselves. They will share their journey from brokenness to reconciliation.  This program has helped couples experiencing all levels of marital difficulty, even those in deep misery. For confidential information , call 800-470-2230 or 434-793-0242, e-mail us at retrouvaillenc@msn.com, or visit the web site at www.retrouvaille.org.

WEEK 1     June 10, 2018
Stress in Your Marriage? – Retrouvaille is a program for married couples that feel bored, disillusioned, frustrated, or angry in their marriage. Some experience coldness. Others experience conflict in their relationship. Most don’t know how to change the situation. This program has helped many couples experiencing such difficulties.  For confidential information or to apply to attend the program beginning with a weekend on October 12, 2018 call 800-470-2230 or email: retrouvaillenc@msn.com or visit the web site at www.retrouvaille.org.

WEEK 2       June 17, 2018
Marriage Help – Retrouvaille has helped tens of thousands of couples at all stages of disillusionment or misery in their marriage. This program can help you too. For confidential information or to apply to attend the program beginning with a weekend on October 12, 2018 call 800-470-2230 or email: retrouvaillenc@msn.com or visit the web site at www.retrouvaille.org.

WEEK 3                June 24, 2018
You Can Help Your Marriage – Do you feel alone? Are you frustrated or angry with each other? Do you argue or have you just stopped talking to each other? Retrouvaille helps couples through difficult times in their marriages. For confidential information or to apply to attend the program beginning with a weekend on October 12, 2018 call 800-470-2230 or email: retrouvaillenc@msn.com or visit the web site at www.retrouvaille.org.

WEEK 4                July 1, 2018
Stress in Your Marriage? – Retrouvaille is a program for married couples that feel bored, disillusioned, frustrated, or angry in their marriage. Some experience coldness. Others experience conflict in their relationship. Most don’t know how to change the situation. This program has helped many couples experiencing such difficulties.  For confidential information or to apply to attend the program beginning with a weekend on October 12, 2018 call 800-470-2230 or email: retrouvaillenc@msn.com or visit the web site at www.retrouvaille.org.

WEEK 5                July 8, 2018
Rediscover Your Marriage – Retrouvaille simply means 'rediscovery'. The program offers the chance to rediscover yourself, your spouse, and a loving relationship in your marriage. Many couples headed for divorce have successfully saved their marriages by attending. Retrouvaille is a not spiritual retreat, not a sensitivity group, not a seminar, not a social gathering. For confidential information or to apply to attend the program beginning with a weekend on October 12, 2018 call 800-470-2230 or email: retrouvaillenc@msn.com or visit the web site at www.retrouvaille.org.

2018 Diocesan One-Day Marriage Preparation Workshop
Inviting all engaged couples who are preparing for the Sacrament of Matrimony to attend a One-Day Diocesan Marriage Preparation Workshop. At this workshop you will deepen your relationship with your fiancé as you prepare to begin living out the sacrament of marriage. Topics for the day include: Theology of Marriage, Communication and Conflict Resolution, Finance & Stewardship, Intimacy and Natural Family Planning, and Living a Sacramental Marriage. Remember to talk with your Pastor before signing up.  Registration and a list of dates and locations can be found at: https://raldioc.configio.com/go/marriageprep  Additional Details: Rebekah.tolson@raldioc.org 919-821-9753

2018 Workshop for Engaged Couples
Are you currently engaged and looking for a way to deepen your relationship as you prepare for marriage in the Catholic Church? Consider joining other engaged couples at a One-Day Marriage Preparation Workshop sponsored by the Diocese of Raleigh Office of Married Life. Remember to talk with your Pastor before signing up. Registration, dates and locations can be found at: https://raldioc.configio.com/go/marriageprep Additional Details: Rebekah.tolson@raldioc.org 919-821-9753

2018 Marriage Preparation Workshop
Are you engaged and looking for a way to enrich your relationship before the wedding day? Take some time as an engaged couple to learn from a dedicated team of married couples & ministers who will reflect with you on your wedding vows and living these vows in your married life.  Remember to talk with your Pastor before signing up.  For more information and to register, please visit: https://raldioc.configio.com/go/marriageprep  Additional Details: Rebekah.tolson@raldioc.org  919-821-9753

Marriage Preparation Ministry
Do you have a desire to serve engaged couples as they prepare to enter into the sacrament of marriage? We are seeking out individuals and couples who would be interested in serving engaged couples in the parish and diocese by being a part of the One Day Marriage Preparation Workshop Team. There are varying roles that you could be a part of including: hospitality, presenting, and facilitating, and more.
Please contact Rebekah Tolson with the Office of Married Life at 919-821-9753 or Rebekah.tolson@raldioc.org .

Taller Diocesano de Preparación Matrimonial
Invitamos a todas las parejas que estén comprometidas y estén en el proceso de recibir el Sacramento del Matrimonio, a participar en el taller diocesano de Preparación Matrimonial. Este taller consiste de un día: de 9:00 am a 4:00pm. En este día las parejas profundizarán sobre su vocación o llamado al Sacramento de Matrimonio, y obtendrán herramientas que les ayuden, no solo a prepararse para el día de la celebración, sino para algo más importante, su vida matrimonial después de la boda, que es, toda la vida como “esposos”. Los temas que se trata en este día son: “Sacramento del Matrimonio”; La Economía en el Hogar”, “Comunicación y Resolución de Conflictos”, “Amor y Sexualidad”, “La Planificación Natural de la Familia”, “Jesús, Amigo Verdadero” y “El Perdón-Adoración”.
Puedes encontrar las fechas y lugares en que se llevarán a cabo estos talleres en: https://raldioc.configio.com/go/unidos  Mas información al teléfono (919) 821-9735 o envíame un correo electrónico a roberto.cortes@raldioc.org

¿Estás Pensando en Casarte?
Pues entonces te invitamos a que te prepares para lo que es tu mayor inversión en la vida: tu Matrimonio. Ven y prepárate para este gran proyecto que Dios tiene para ti y tu pareja; y, junto a otras parejas con ese mismo fin, profundiza lo que es la belleza del matrimonio y las bendiciones que recibes en él. ¿Como? Asistiendo a uno de nuestros Talleres diocesanos de Preparación Matrimonial de la diócesis de Raleigh. Puedes encontrar los detalles en: https://raldioc.configio.com/go/unidos Mas información al teléfono (919) 821-9735 o envíame un correo electrónico a roberto.cortes@raldioc.org

Me quiero casar y…????
¿Estás listo para casarte? Ven, te invitamos a hacerlo. Contamos con talleres diocesanos de preparación matrimonial. Pero… ¿qué es eso? Bueno, es un día en que compartes con otras parejas que tienen la misma meta que tu: Ser Feliz en el Matrimonio. Pues en este taller te damos las herramientas de cómo lograrlo, y puedes recibir el testimonio de parejas que ya han recorrido esa experiencia del Sacramento. Tenemos varias fechas y lugares, búscalas en: https://raldioc.configio.com/go/unidos Mas información al teléfono (919) 821-9735 o envíame un correo electrónico a roberto.cortes@raldioc.org

¿Te Gustaría servirle a Dios junto con tu Pareja?
Sabes, Dios te ha llamado al Matrimonio y puedes servirle a Él en pareja. Te invitamos a servir en este ministerio de vida matrimonial. Tu ayuda es muy importante y muy valiosa. Si quieres participar, buscamos parejas que nos ayuden en la preparación de las parejas que se van a casar. Puedes aportar tus talentos, cualquiera que estos sean. Tendrás un roll de acuerdo a lo que puedas y quieras desempeñar y la oportunidad de aprender para realizar otros. Solo necesitamos tus “ganas de Servir”, contáctame. Mas información al teléfono (919) 821-9735 o envíame un correo electrónico a roberto.cortes@raldioc.org

Divorced?  Remarried?  Planning to marry someone who is divorced?  Do you have questions about freedom to marry in the Catholic Church?  Did you know that the Tribunal is available to answer these and any other questions you may have about remarriage in the Church?  Please contact Mrs. Vikki Newell 919-821-9759 with your questions, or you may wish to visit our website http://www.dioceseofraleigh.org/offices/tribunal for further information.  We welcome the opportunity to help you.

Single/Single Again Ministry
If you are single, separated, divorced or widowed person, please join us for our 23rd Annual Single/Single Again Beach Retreat, August 24-26 at Trinity Retreat Center in Salter Path NC.  It is a weekend of prayer, renewal and relaxation.
The theme this year is SAY YES 2 YOUR LIFE:  HOW TO EXPERIENCE GOD IN YOUR LIFE EVERYDAY.    Our Facilitator is Ms. Sally Orcutt, O.P
For additional information please contact Celia Keator at ckeator@nc.rr.com.

Pro-Life Bulletin Announcements

Tradition teaches us Christ was conceived on the Feast of the Annunciation. We will watch the parallel development of “Abigail” in the womb beginning on March 25 (Feast of the Annunciation) until December 25.  The Office of Human Life and Dignity is making available a series of bulletin messages describing the fetal development of “Abigail.” Each week we will send out the messages to the parishes.  Please consider inserting these messages in the bulletin for the upcoming weeks and each week through December 25.

May 27 (week 10)
Abigail has fingerprints at ten weeks.  The fingers can curve around an object placed in the palm.  Abigail can now feel pain.  She is having a wonderful time shifting, dancing and playing in the womb.  Her mother is coping with many changes as well; nurturing a baby is hard work.”
“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward.“ Psalm 127:3

June 3 (week 11)
The most critical part of Abigail’s development is now complete.  Abigail enters into a period of rapid growth.  Her eyelids fuse close and will not open again until about 26 weeks.  Her eye color is already determined and Abigail can squint and even swallow. Abigail is over an inch long and is moving around in her home, the womb.  The mother’s uterus will increase its capacity by 1000 times during pregnancy.
“For nothing will be impossible for God.” (Luke 1:37)

June 10 (week 12)
Abigail is almost 2 inches long. Fingers and toes are separated.  Abigail could easily stand on her Daddy’s little fingernail.  Her feet are the size of the Precious Feet pins that have become a symbol of the pro-life movement.  Fingernails and hair are starting to grow.
Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

June 17 (week 13)
Abigail now sleeps and exercises the muscles energetically. She is able to turn her head, curl her toes, make a fist and open and close her mouth while breathing the amniotic fluid to help develop the respiratory system.  While Abigail is active, she is very small, weighing about one ounce.
“Just as you do not know how the breath comes to the bones in the mother’s womb, so you do not know the work of God, who makes everything.”  (Ecclesiastes 11:5)

June 24 (week 14)
Baby Abigail is almost three inches long and growing very fast.  She will continue to grow until about 23 years of age.  Her vocal cords are beginning to form.  Her mother is feeling better and has more energy.
“And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him.”  (Luke 2:40)

July 1 (week 15)
Abigail’s taste buds are working!  She drinks more amniotic fluid and it tastes sweet.  Her skin is transparent and is very sensitive to pain except for her back and the top of her head.  She may be small, but she is growing fast!  This week, Mom will enjoy fireworks and celebrate the birth of our nation, but Abigail won’t hear anything – yet.
“God [had] from my mother’s womb set me apart and called me through his grace…” (Galatians 1:15)

July 8 (week 16)
Soon Abigail will be able to grasp with her hands.  What will she grasp?  Her other hand!  She has her own unique fingerprints now. Her fingernails and toenails are growing.  She also has an adult’s taste buds.  Her eyebrows and hair on her head are sprouting.  But it will probably change color and texture after birth.  She is kicking, twisting, and flailing really hard.  But, Mom can’t feel Abigail moving in the womb – yet.
“They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.”  (Isaiah 35:2)

July 15 (week 17)
I’m getting a little baby fat under my skin.  My heart is pumping as much as 6 gallons a day at a rate about double my mom’s.  I can swim and kick and do somersaults!  I’m the same size as my placenta now.  I’m not a lightweight anymore – I weigh almost six ounces and I am about three inches long. 
Mom might be able to hear tiny thumps of Abigail’s heartbeat with an external monitor now.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,” Jer. 1: 5

July 22 (week 18)
When I am sleeping, I have REM (rapid eye movements), which means I am dreaming, but I can’t remember my dreams.  My vocal cords have formed but I don’t make a sound – must be because there is no air in here.  Isn’t it amazing that I’m able to breathe “underwater,” inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid? 
Mom is probably starting to “show” now.
“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."  (John 10:10)

July 29 (week 19)
Abigail is working on developing great lungs.  Mom may start to feel Abigail as a flutter in her lower abdomen.
Abigail’s private parts are clearly visible now, but no peeking – after all, Abigail is naked.  Doesn’t Abigail have a right to privacy?
Wow!  I like sucking my thumb.
Just as you do not know how the breath comes to the bones in the mother’s womb, so you do not know the work of God, who makes everything.  (Ecclesiastes 11:5)

August 5 (week 20)
I can hear my mother’s heartbeat and some other funny noises she makes.  I’m beginning to know her voice.  My umbilical cord (that’s where I get my food from) is really awesome – an engineering marvel. 
Abigail’s umbilical cord transports 300 quarts of fluid per day and completes a round-trip of fluids every 30 seconds. 
I am 20 weeks old now, and in another 20 weeks I will be born! 
"You did form my inward parts; you did knit me together in my mother's womb.”  (Ps 139

August 12 (week 21)
If you were to shine a very bright light on my mother’s abdomen, I may slowly move my hand in front of my eyes. If you make a very loud noise, I may cover my ears with my hands.  But I can also hear my mom’s voice, and when she sings a lullaby, it soothes me, and helps me sleep.
Dad, did you know:  Low-frequency sounds, mimicking a male voice, penetrate the abdomen and uterine wall better than the higher frequencies of the female voice?
Mom may be able to feel kicks now. Don’t forget those prenatal vitamins!

August 19 (week 22)
Hair is starting to grow on my head.  I wonder—what color is it?  My legs are getting stronger, so soon Mom will really feel my kicks. I like sleeping in the same position now.  I’m over 6 inches tall when I stretch out, and I weigh over 10 ounces.
Mom can distinguish two heartbeats if she lies quietly and flat on her back, locates her own heartbeat by finding her pulse, then lays her hand on her belly.  Abigail’s heart pumps about six gallons of blood every day.
“For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:44-45)

August 26 (week 23)
My tongue is fully formed now.  I’m practicing giving people a raspberry!  I can hear noises from the outside.  Some loud ones scare me. I know Mom’s voice and like the music she listens to.  I now have fingernails and fingerprints.  I’m not as little as I used to be just a few weeks ago.  Now I am about 10 inches long if I could stand up straight!
Mom is waiting to find out if Abigail is a boy or girl.
“…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father .”  (Philippians 2:11)

September 2 (week 24)
I can hear Mom’s conversations more clearly now.  I can hear her read, sing, and talk.  I like to kick back, suck my thumb, and listen to her read to me.  My eyelids and eyebrows are fully formed.  My fingernails have grown to the end of my fingers.  My brain is growing really fast so I’m going to be very smart.  Abigail weighs nearly a pound now. 
“Therefore, take these words of mine into your heart and soul….Teach them to your children, speaking of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest.” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19)

September 9 (week 25)
I have fine hair all over my body that is there to protect my skin.  Abigail will lose all this body hair before birth.  I’m a little thin at this point, but am putting on more baby fat.  My eyes are formed, but the iris does not have color – I’d like brown eyes! 
Abigail now weighs over a pound and is about a foot long. 50 years ago, if the baby was born at this age, the child could not have survived.  But today, with modern technology, babies born at this age have a good chance of survival.
“Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.  Do not be afraid.  You are worth more than many sparrows.”  (Luke 12:7)

September 16 (week 26)
I’m really beginning to bulk up.  I gained 6 ounces this week!  I think most of it was muscle, but also some bone mass and some organ development.  My taste buds allow me to distinguish bitter, sweet, and sour.  My lungs have developed so well, I’m now officially considered viable. Abigail could live outside the womb.  Each parent contributed 15,000 genes that determined not only what Abigail looks like, but also how Abigail interprets tastes, Abigail’s athletic abilities, allergies, health, and much more.
“Yet you drew me forth from the womb, made me safe at my mother’s breast.”  (Psalm 22:10)

September 23 (week 27)
Thousands and thousands of brain cells are growing in Abigail’s head every day!  Soon Abigail will have billions of brain cells. I can make a fist and grasp things.  My spine is beginning to form to protect my spinal cord.  I’m covered by a white, cheesy substance that protects my skin.  Don’t worry, it will come off right after birth.
Mom can tell if her baby gets the hiccups.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”  (Jeremiah 1:5)

September 30 (week 28)
Abigail’s taste buds continue to form.  I can taste sweet things now.  My mom likes chocolate, and so do I.  A bright light can be seen through my mommy’s tummy.  I have eyelashes and eyebrows now.  My fingerprints are fully formed.  My toenails and fingernails are growing and may need to be clipped when I’m born.
Mom may be feeling like a “Soccer Mom” now that her uterus is the size of a soccer ball.
“How sweet to my tongue is your promise, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”  (Psalm 119:103)

October 7 (week 29)
Whoa!  I’ve had trouble with my balance, but it’s getting better.  I’m going to be in my first Life Chain today.  The cars may not notice me, but my mom will.  Not much room to wave in here, but my eyes are opening, so I will practice blinking at everyone. 
Abigail weighs about 2 pounds. 
Mom’s talking about different names for me.  How about Abigail?
“Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord; cry out to the rock of our salvation.”  (Psalm 95:1)

October 14 (week 30)
Abigail has doubled in size over the last 4 weeks and is getting cramped in the womb. 
I am about 14 inches tall now and growing really fast.  I don’t have as much room to do my exercises.  I try to stretch out, and Mom can feel me move about.  My muscle tone is getting much better, and my body is filling out with baby fat.   You could hear my heartbeat if you put your ear on my mother’s tummy. 
“Rejoice always.  Pray without ceasing.  In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

October 21 (week 31)
I must be getting younger.  The wrinkles I had everywhere are slowly disappearing as I gain more and more weight.  I used to have a big head, but now my body is catching up. Hair is growing on my head – nice fine hair.  I can move my eyes, but it is still pretty dark in here.  I can hear my mom.  I can’t wait to see her.
Abigail takes mom’s breath away as she kicks her lungs and ribs. The third trimester is filled with aches and pains and general discomfort for Mom, but she knows that soon she will see her baby.
“I was a stranger and you welcomed me…whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:35,40)

October 28 (week 32)
I weigh three pounds now and will gain about a half pound each week until birth.  It’s really cramped now, so Abigail has assumed the fetal position.  I can see, but I don’t have 20/20 vision and I won’t have 20/20 vision until I’m 7 to 9 years old – hopefully.
Mom is pretty uncomfortable. Fatigue is her constant companion. Sleeping on her left side may help, as it will remove some pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in her back. 
“For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.” (Wisdom 11:24)

November 4 (week 33)
Abigail weighs over 3 pounds and may weigh about 7 pounds at birth.  My brain is growing very fast. I’m starting to have regular sleep and awake time.  I have dreams, but I keep them secret between God and me.  I’m using my four senses of vision, hearing, taste, and touch.  I try to stretch out but there is not enough room. Mom is planning a Baby Shower.  I don’t know why, it’s always wet in here.
“Should there be a prophet among you, in visions will I reveal myself to him, in dreams will I speak to him.” (Numbers 12:6)

November 11 (week 34)
I’m almost 17 inches long but I’m all curled up so it is hard to see how tall I am. I like to look around when I’m awake, but it is hard to see anything – it’s all fuzzy.  Ouch!  I scratched myself with my long fingernails.
Abigail has started to move head down because 96% of babies are born that way. Mom’s uterus is stretching and is pushing her organs every which way, causing heartburn, constipation, indigestion, and breathlessness.
“Whoever humbles himself like a child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:5)

November 18 (week 35)
Abigail’s immune system is really beefing up.  Abigail will be ready to fight infections and illnesses right after birth.  The amniotic fluid has reached its peak so he has lots of padding.  Abigail’s skull is pliable and soft, ready for delivery.  I’m going to decide when I will be born.
Mom feels she has to go to the restroom frequently – the pressure is on.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation…all things were created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:15-16)

November 25 (week 36)
Abigail weighs about 5 ½ pounds now.  She is really putting on baby fat, which will help keep her warm after birth.  The lungs are almost complete.  You may be able to see Abigail’s body parts as the uterine wall gets thinner – feet, head, and hands.
Mom is looking for a pediatrician to examine the baby after birth.  She’s getting ready in case Abigail is ready.
“Therefore, stay awake!  For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24:42)

December 2 (week 37)
Abigail is absorbing about a gallon of amniotic fluid per day.  She is now receiving valuable antibodies from Mom to fight off infections. Fat is deposited in Abigail’s cheeks this week, and the muscles that help Abigail suck are helping to fill her little face. Abigail is about 6 pounds and over 20 inches in length. I’m still eating leftovers from Thanksgiving. I’m a little plump, but I’m ready for my first picture.
Sometimes moms have cravings.  Pickles and ice cream make a good snack.
“Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.”  (Romans 15:7)

December 9 (week 38)
Abigail is now considered full-term but continues to gain and grow every day.  Lungs are days from completion.  I’m practicing breathing with my amniotic fluid.  It is easy to grasp things with Abigail’s little fingers.  Typically, boys will weigh more than girls at birth.  Only 4% of babies are actually born on their due date.
Mom, pack your bags, and don’t forget the camera for those all-important pictures of the baby.
“They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.”  (Isaiah 35:2)

December 16 (week 39)
Abigail now weighs between 5 and 9 pounds.  The average size of a baby is 7 pounds. 
It’s really crowded in here, and it’s very hard to move. 
The umbilical cord doesn’t have any nerve endings (this means that neither Mom nor Abigail will feel any pain when it is cut!), and it is about ½ inch thick.  The good news for Mom is it’s easier to breathe because the baby is moving down. The bad news is Mom may be running to the bathroom every two minutes.
“God [had] from my mother’s womb set me apart and called me through his grace…” (Galatians 1:15)

December 23 (week 40)
Celebrate!  Abigail is born!   Don’t be surprised at how Abigail looks after birth.  Her head may be misshapen and the skin may be discolored with patchy looking rashes.  Abigail, like all babies, is made in the image and likeness of God. 
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  (Luke 2:14)