Bishop Walkowiak issues the following directives for parishes and schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids, effective at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 24, in harmony with Governor Whitmer’s new executive order, 2020-21:
• All public Masses and all other liturgical and devotional services through Easter Monday, April 13, in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are canceled. o 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.
o Further information on the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter will be forthcoming.
o 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.
o 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. o 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.
• Parish baptisms and weddings through Monday, April 13 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.
• 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.
Mass will continue to be livestreamed from the Cathedral of Saint Andrew every Sunday at 10 a.m. for those who wish to view it. It can be viewed on FOX 17, on the diocesan website and Facebook page.
Updates can continuously be found at https://grdiocese.org/bishop-walkowiak-guidelines-to-help-prevent-spread-of-coronavirus/
The Diocese of Grand Rapids serves more than 191,000 Catholics, 80 parishes and 31 schools in an 11-county area of West Michigan. For additional information visit our website grdiocese.org. Connect with the diocese on Facebook (Diocese of Grand Rapids), Twitter (@GRDiocese), and Instagram (@GRDiocese).
Image from https://grdiocese.org/parishes-location/cathedral-of-saint-andrew/