All posts by Cindy Nestle

EXTENSION THROUGH SEPT. 7 OF THE DISPENSATION FROM THE OBLIGATION TO ATTEND SUNDAY MASS

Bishop Walkowiak announces the extension of the dispensation for all Catholics within the territory of the Diocese of Grand Rapids from their obligation of attending Sunday Mass through Sept. 7 (Labor Day). The dispensation is granted broadly to ensure that anyone who needs to stay home to protect the common good can do so confidently, in good conscience. But those who are truly able to attend Mass should remember that we are transformed by being joined to Christ in the Eucharist. Only a weighty reason should keep us from being sanctified through participation in and our reception of Christ’s body and blood.

COVID-19 Response and Recommendations: Updated July 22

 

Dispensation for all Catholics, extended through July 31

 

June 23, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

For almost a month now we have had the opportunity to resume public Masses in the Diocese of Grand Rapids. Our pastors and parish staff are very happy to see you again! The diocese has provided detailed guidance on safety and sanitization protocols to our pastors. The diocese’s guidelines were reviewed by doctors in West Michigan, including an infectious disease expert. Their confidence in our precautions assured me that we could responsibly resume the all-important task of celebrating the Eucharist together. The logistics for how these directives are implemented will be different for each parish. Please watch your parish website or social media, or call the parish office for details.

I remind those who are able to attend Mass to abide by the diocesan/parish guidelines in order to protect your fellow congregants as well as yourselves and your loved ones. I thank you for your cooperation and especially thank pastors who are doing their best to see that everyone who comes to church remains as safe as possible by observing the guidelines. While I believe we have done our best to protect the health and well-being of our parishioners, I am well aware the risks of COVID-19 remain.  Therefore, I am extending the dispensation for all Catholics within the territory of the Diocese of Grand Rapids from their obligation of attending Sunday Mass through July 31.The dispensation is granted broadly to ensure that anyone who needs to stay home to protect the common good can do so confidently, in good conscience. But those who are truly able to attend Mass should remember that we are transformed by being joined to Christ in the Eucharist. Only a weighty reason should keep us from being sanctified through participation in and our reception of Christ’s body and blood.

Our obligation to keep holy the Lord’s Day is of utmost importance to our continued faith life. Mass will continue to be televised at 10 a.m. Sunday on FOX 17 and livestreamed on the diocesan website(grdiocese.org) and Facebook page(Diocese of Grand Rapids). Please continue to check the diocesan website: http://bit.ly/GRdioceseCOVID19Updatesand social media for the latest information on our COVID-19 response.In this time of trial and testing, may we all love and care for one another and be patient and kind.We entrust our prayers to the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes, patroness of those who suffer illness.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend David J. WalkowiakBishop of Grand Rapids

PARISHIONER GUIDELINES FOR RETURNING TO PUBLIC MASSES

The Diocese of Grand Rapids announced the date for resuming
public Masses and all other liturgical and devotional services,
May 29, 2020
All Catholics within the territory of the Diocese of Grand Rapids are granted a dispensation from their
obligation of attending Sunday Mass through June 30. We recommend people stay at home if they are
considered vulnerable due to age (over 60) or underlying health conditions. If you are sick, please stay home.
Though the dispensation remains, our obligation to keep holy the Lord’s Day is of utmost importance to our
continued faith life. Mass will continue to be televised at 10 a.m. Sunday on FOX 17 and livestreamed on the
diocesan website (grdiocese.org) and Facebook page (Diocese of Grand Rapids).

PARISHIONER GUIDELINES FOR RETURNING TO PUBLIC MASSES

ATTENDANCE WILL BE LIMITED
Churches will reopen at a 25% seating capacity. With fewer
people at each Mass, it may not be possible for you to attend
with regularity for the first few weeks, or even to attend on
Sunday.
SOCIAL DISTANCING WILL BE PRACTICED
Pews will be taped off to achieve proper social distancing.
Individuals who are not members of the same household will
need to sit at least 6 feet away in all directions from others.
MASKS/FACE COVERINGS WILL BE REQUIRED
All members of the faithful who are two years of age and older
will need to bring and wear their own appropriate face covering
to attend Mass. Parents, we know this may be hard with young
children, please just try your best. Holy Communion may not be
received in the hand if you are wearing gloves.
MASS WILL LOOK DIFFERENT
Among a few of the changes: physical greetings will be omitted;
the temporary suspension of the distribution of the Precious
Blood remains in effect; collection baskets will not be passed, you
are encouraged to give online or in a common basket upon your
arrival or departure from Mass.
EXTRA SANITIZATION WILL BE IN PLACE
Ushers or a group of volunteers will be wiping down frequently
touched surfaces between Masses. Parishioners are
encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer.

Beginning Friday, May 29 parishes may resume these celebrations if they are prepared.

May 19, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ, It is with great joy that I write to you today to announce a date for resuming public Masses and liturgies in the Diocese of Grand Rapids. Beginning Friday, May 29 parishes may resume these celebrations if they are prepared. I have considered the advice of doctors in West Michigan, public health officials, and the diocesan staff in making decisions throughout this pandemic. I am grateful for their insight and consultation.
These past few months have required significant sacrifice. I am grateful to our pastors and their parish staffs who kept our churches open and worked to support the faithful through this time. Through it all, we have continued to bear witness to Jesus Christ through new methods of evangelization and outreach, through the sacraments, and prayer. I thank you for your patience and for showing your love of neighbor during this pandemic. This crisis has provided us a golden opportunity to freshen up our “yes” to God and to enrich the Domestic Church through our time together. Reopening will proceed carefully and in phases. The diocese has provided detailed guidance to our pastors. The logistics for how these directives will be implemented will be different for each parish. Please watch your parish website or social media for up to date information, or call the parish office. A quick overview of diocesan directives may be found here. All Catholics within the territory of the Diocese of Grand Rapids are granted a dispensation from their obligation of attending Sunday Mass through June 30. We recommend people stay at home if they are considered vulnerable due to age (over 60) or underlying health conditions. If you are sick, please stay home. Though the dispensation remains, our obligation to keep holy the Lord’s Day is of utmost importance to our continued faith life. Mass will continue to be televised at 10 a.m. Sunday on FOX 17 and livestreamed on the diocesan website (grdiocese.org) and Facebook page (Diocese of Grand Rapids). Please approach this reopening phase with patience and caution. We want the reopening to be successful so that we do not have to suspend public Masses again. The risks of COVID-19 remain and we must follow these regulations to safeguard the health of everyone in our community. Please continue to check the diocesan website: http://bit.ly/GRdioceseCOVID19Updates and social media for the latest information on our COVID-19 response. Let us pray for each other, for the sick and deceased, for their families, and for all frontline workers and officials who are working to protect us and restore our communities to good health. We entrust these prayers to the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes, patroness of those who suffer illness.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak
Bishop of Grand Rapids

Suspension of ALL public Masses through May 28, 2020

Mindful of the current circumstances and to continue our efforts to protect the common good, the Diocese of Grand Rapids has extended its suspension of ALL public Masses and other liturgical and devotional services through May 28, 2020. The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains in place through June 30.

PLEASE READ THE BELOW LETTER FROM BISHOP WALKOWIAK:

https://grdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Bishop-Walkowiak-Letter-Parishioners-COVID-19-May-8-2020.pdf

 

 

ALL public Masses and all other liturgical and devotions services, CANCELLED through May 17, 2020

Following consultation with doctors in West Michigan, the Diocese of Grand Rapids has extended its cancellation of ALL public Masses and all other liturgical and devotional services through May 17, 2020. This order is in harmony with Governor Whitmer’s updated stay-at-home order.

The transitional diaconate ordination scheduled for Saturday, May 16 will be privately celebrated and livestreamed for the public on the diocesan website and Facebook page.

All Catholics within the territory of the Diocese of Grand Rapids are granted a dispensation from their obligation of attending Sunday Mass through June 30. Priests are to continue to celebrate Mass each day without a congregation.  Go to the below link to read the letter from Bishop Walkowiak.

https://grdiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Bishop-Walkowiak-Letter-Parishioners-COVID-19-April-24-2020.pdf