July 23-Update

July 23 Update

Bishop Walkowiak has extended the dispensation for all Catholics within the territory of the Diocese of Grand Rapids from their obligation of attending Sunday Mass through Labor Day, September 7.

June 23 Update

We have received a letter from the Bishop regarding dispensation that we would like to share with you. Please read the letter from the Bishop here!

May 20 Update

We received updated information regarding public Masses from the Diocese this morning and are excited to share this letter from the Bishop!

While we are excited to share this information, please know that we are still working to finalize a plan for what this looks like at Holy Spirit. In the coming days we will be sending out additional details and guidelines for returning to Mass. Please be patient and stay tuned!

May 8 Update

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 through June 30.

While we are not in the clear yet, we want to begin to consider what reopening our churches for public Masses may look like. The date on which public worship is restored will depend upon developments in public health guidance and our confidence that resuming public Masses will not pose an undue risk. Reopening will proceed carefully and in phases. This letter from Bishop Walkowiak provides some of that initial guidance.

April 24 Update

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.

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.

Please read the full letter from the Bishop.

 

April 9 Update

The Diocese of Grand Rapids has extended its cancellation of ALL public Masses and all other liturgical and devotional services, effective immediately, through April 30, 2020. Please read the letter from Bishop Walkowiak.

 

March 23 Update

Today, Governor Whitmer issued an executive order requiring Michiganders to stay home, outside of critical functions, for the next three weeks. The diocesan leadership team has met via conference call to discuss how this order affects our parishes, schools, and work at Cathedral Square Center.

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.
    • Mass will continue to be live streamed 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

March 17 Update

From Bishop Walkowiak:
Governor Whitmer’s most recent executive order became effective today, March 17; it prohibits all gatherings of more than 50 people in a shared indoor space. Therefore, the Diocese of Grand Rapids has decided to temporarily suspend ALL public Masses and all other liturgical and devotional services, effective immediately, through Palm Sunday, April 5, 2020. With this suspension, all Catholics within the territory of the Diocese of Grand Rapids are granted a dispensation from their obligation of attending Sunday Mass through April 5. Baptisms, weddings, and funerals may continue to be celebrated outside of Mass with no more than 50 people in attendance. Our March 26th evening of penance, “The Light is ON for You” as well as individual confession times may continue as scheduled.

These have been difficult, but necessary decisions to make. The diocesan leadership team has been thoughtful and prudent in providing assistance to me. Science and recent experience have proven that participation in public gatherings significantly increases the risk of spreading this virus. As Catholics we must stand in solidarity with others and work together for the common good. We must recognize the value of every life and work together to protect all life.

Please view the full letter from Bishop Walkowiak to parishioners.

Additional information on the liturgical guidelines for the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter will be forthcoming from the Office for Worship and the Office of Communications, please watch your emails.

Let us turn to the calm and reassuring presence of our Blessed Mother during this time of uncertainty: http://usccb.org/news/2020/20-44.cfm

Here at Holy Spirit we are grateful to the Bishop and his leadership team for their guidance during this time. With these additional directives from the Diocese we have made the following changes at Holy Spirit:

  • Daily Mass, in addition to all weekend Masses, is cancelled through April 5, 2020. The church will be open for you to pray individually if you would like.
  • The parish office is now closed until further notice. We are still answering the phone, so please feel free to call with any questions or concerns. (616) 453-6369
  • Fr. Mark will still be holding Lenten Penance scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 at 6:00 pm.
  • As stated above, The Light is ON for you will also be held as scheduled.
  • Individual confession times will continue as scheduled.

In the event it is helpful, the information regarding prior updates is listed below.

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March 13, 2020 Update

Late this afternoon we received updated information from the Diocese regarding COVID-19 and steps that will be taken to ensure that all parish families remain safe and healthy.

The celebration of the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. We enshrine the divine law to give praise and worship to God on the Lord’s Day by the obligation to participate at Mass. We are, however, now in the midst of a pandemic which calls for extraordinary measures. Promotion of the common good is one of the pillars of Catholic social teaching and Catholic life.

New state guidelines and executive orders issued within the past 24 hours have prompted our new guidelines:

Bishop Walkowiak issues the following directives for parishes and schools in the diocese, effective immediately, in harmony with these government guidelines:

  • Weekend Masses through Sunday, March 29 in the Diocese of Grand Rapids have been canceled. However, the Church’s life of prayer must continue:
    • Churches should remain open for private prayer during normal weekend Mass times.
    • 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.
  • Funeral Masses may be celebrated.
  • All Catholic Schools in the diocese are closed in accordance with the Governor’s order.
  • Faith Formation classes are suspended until Monday, April 6 in accordance with the Governor’s order. Plans should be made to deliver religious instruction curriculum to families if possible.
  • The March 26th evening of penance, “The Light is ON for You” will take place as scheduled.

These guidelines are in addition to those issued by Bishop Walkowiak on March 11 and March 12, 2020. 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 have died and 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).

At Holy Spirit, with your health and well-being at the forefront of our decisions, we are cancelling or postponing the following events:

  • All soup supper and stations of the cross events are cancelled.
  • Living Stations of the Cross, presented by the Holy Spirit 7th and 8th grade students, is cancelled and may be rescheduled at a later date.
  • Any regularly scheduled meeting for the parish or school is to be cancelled and rescheduled for a later date.
  • The Knights of Columbus breakfast scheduled for March 22 is cancelled.
  • The donuts and coffee event scheduled for March 29 is cancelled.

Here are a couple items that will not change:

  • We will continue to offer Daily Mass at 8:00 am, Tuesday-Friday of each week.
  • Lenten Penance on Wednesday, March 18 at 6:00 pm will go on as scheduled.
  • As stated above; The Light is ON for you: An Evening of Penance on Thursday, March 26 from 5:00-8:00 pm will continue as scheduled.
  • The Blood Drive scheduled for March 22 will go on as planned in the Activity Center. If you are interested in giving blood please register online.

Additionally, Give Us This Day has made available at no charge a digital file of their periodical, which includes daily Mass texts. You can visit GUTD.net and select “Digital” in the upper right corner of the screen.

As you are well aware this situation continues to evolve and we will be sure to keep you informed on any updates as we receive them.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.