I wanted to offer you some insight as to what is occurring in our parishes as we continue in these uncertain times.
I continue to celebrate private Mass at our 3 churches as I did previous to the outbreak and the Churches are open then for those who wish to come in for private prayer. Mass intentions for our deceased family members are offered up during the private Mass as well as the intentions of all of our Church family.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is still offered and will continue to be so during the regular scheduled times that Mass would normally be held as well as by calling me for an appointment.
Although we are not currently posting local Mass from our 3 churches there are options available through various social media channels of other parishes in our diocese that have the resources to do so.
All Saints and Saint Michael/Christ the King parishes do have webpages, apps and Facebook sites to inform you on what is current in regards to what we know and to keep you updated on what we hear from the Diocese.
I also continue the Sacrament of Viaticum and Anointing of the Sick as needed.
In closing, I want to assure you again that I am praying for all of you when I celebrate Holy Mass. I also am available to talk to you if needed. Please be sure to leave a phone message so I know that you called and I will call you back.
WATCH LIVE on FRIDAY: Join Pope Francis on Friday, March 27 for a special Urbi et Orbi blessing from St. Peter’s Square. The prayer and blessing will be broadcast on the Vatican News website (https://www.vaticannews.va/es.html) at 1 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. Rome time)
Those participating in the live stream will have the opportunity to gain a Plenary Indulgence by meeting the additional requirements described here:
The prescribed work:
- United spiritually through the media to the Pope’s special prayer and blessing on Friday, March 27
- The recitation of the Holy Rosary
- The pious practice of the Way of the Cross
- Or some other form of devotion, such as reciting the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer or a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Usual Conditions:
- A spirit detached from sin
- Sacramental confession (as soon as possible)
- Eucharistic communion (as soon as possible)
- Prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions
EN VIVO el VIERNES: Únete al Papa Francisco el viernes 27 de marzo para una bendición especial de Urbi et Orbi desde la Plaza de San Pedro. La oración y bendición se transmitirá en el sitio web de Noticias del Vaticano (https://www.vaticannews.va/es.html) a la 1 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. hora de Roma)
Aquellos que participen en la transmisión en vivo tendrán la oportunidad de obtener una Indulgencia Plenaria con cumplimiento de requisitos adicionales delineados aquí:
El trabajo prescrito:
- Unirse espiritualmente a través de los medios de comunicación a la oración y bendición especial del Papa el viernes 27 de marzo
- La recitación del Santo Rosario
- La práctica piadosa del Vía Crucis
- O alguna otra forma de devoción, como recitar el Credo, el Padre Nuestro, o una invocación piadosa a la Santísima Virgen María
- Un espíritu desapegado del pecado
- Confesión Sacramental (lo antes posible)
- Comunión Eucarística (lo antes posible)
- Oración por las intenciones del Santo Padre
Our Parish Office is closed. The Business Manager will monitor e-mails and is working out of her home. If you have a question or concern, please email the parish office at : firstname.lastname@example.org
A message from Bishop Walkowiak:
My brothers and sisters in Christ,
These days of the coronavirus and the protective measures to prevent its spread can be anxious and unsettling times for us all. For many Catholics, the restricted access to our beloved sacraments constitutes a great trial. Some may be wondering whether the sacraments will be available to them if they need to become hospitalized.
We have news regarding the three major health care systems in West Michigan and their policies regarding access of priests to Catholics and their facilities.
Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Hospital will permit priests to celebrate the sacrament of the anointing of the sick and Viaticum for the dying only. The staff priest chaplain, Father Joachim, will handle all other anointings and regular pastoral care.
Spectrum Health Hospitals (Butterworth and Blodgett) and Metro Health Hospital will not allow priests access to the hospital under any circumstances.
So, unfortunately, the Church is unable to provide Catholics with the sacraments in a number of our local hospitals. It is sad that these conditions exist in these times when Catholics need and desire to receive the sacraments and gain their consolation and strength. We understand, of course, the protective measures that have been put in place for the common good.
Please pray for an end to this pandemic. Let us pray for those who are sick from it. Let us pray for our health care workers who accompany the sick and serve them in their time of need. And let us commend the dead to the compassion and love of our Lord, the Divine Physician!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak
Bishop of Grand Rapids
Additional note: The best way to be present at this time with a family member who is hospitalized is by phone. Our priests also are available to contact patients by phone. Please reach out to your pastor or associate pastor should the need arise.
Bishop Walkowiak issues the following directives for parishes and schools in the diocese, effective at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 24, in harmony with these government guidelines:
- All public Masses and all other liturgical and devotional services through Easter Monday, April 13, in the Diocese of Grand Rapids have been canceled.
- All Catholics within the territory of the Diocese of Grand Rapids are granted a dispensation from their obligation of attending Sunday Mass through April 13.
- Instructions for clergy regarding the liturgies of Holy Week will be forthcoming this week.
- Mass will continue to be livestreamed from the cathedral for those who wish to view it. It can be viewed on FOX 17, on the diocesan website and Facebook page.
- Catholics are encouraged to make a spiritual Communion, pray the rosary, or meditate on Sacred Scripture to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
- Funerals are to be celebrated without Mass with only immediate family members present, limiting those gathered to 10.
- Alternately, a committal service at the cemetery may be celebrated outdoors, with the appropriate social distancing guidelines in place, with a memorial Mass to be celebrated at a later date.
- Individual confessions at the parish will remain available during regularly scheduled times.
- Individual confessions will remain available on the evening of Thursday, March 26th from 5-8 p.m. as previously scheduled with due precautions being taken. Confessions should not take place in the confessional and should be set up in the main church with background music to protect privacy.
- Parish baptisms and weddings are postponed until a later date. Please contact your pastor in a situation where the death of a loved one appears imminent.
- Holy Communion is only available as Viaticum.
- Confirmation Masses through Monday, April 13, have been canceled and will be rescheduled.
- All Catholic Schools in the diocese remain closed in accordance with the Governor’s order. All school buildings will be closed to the public as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24. Essential staff may access the school building to provide food and remote learning programs and distribution with administrator approval.
- Faith Formation classes are suspended until Tuesday, April 14 in accordance with the Governor’s order. Plans should be made to deliver religious instruction curriculum to families if possible.
- Parish offices are closed to the public. Only essential staff such as a parish business manager may report as needed.
- The diocesan offices are closed until Tuesday, April 14. Diocesan staff members are working from home to the extent possible and can be reached via email.
These guidelines are in addition to those issued by Bishop Walkowiak earlier in March. These measures are intended to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The Diocese of Grand Rapids will continue to be in consultation with the Kent County Health Department and other state and federal health officials. Further guidelines will be issued upon their recommendations.
As people of faith, let us pray for all affected by this virus, especially those who are sick or who have died as well as for all health care workers who are working diligently to protect us in this time.
Additional factual information regarding COVID-19 may be found on the following websites:
Kent County Health Department (or your local health department website)
State of Michigan
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Thank you for your cooperation. We will continue to keep you updated as circumstances change.