Mass Dispensation Extended due to Covid 19

November 13, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

During these difficult months during the pandemic, I have granted a general dispensation from the grave obligation that we as Catholic Christians have to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation in the Archdiocese of Detroit, in part to help ease the conscience of those who are unable to be present for public worship due to risk of illness to themselves or their families. The most recent dispensation expires on November 22, at which point we had hoped the pandemic would have eased enough to allow all of us to return in an unrestricted way to our celebrations of the Holy Eucharist.

Unfortunately, local and state health officials report that we not only continue to experience an increase in cases in our region and elsewhere, but that the rate of increase is rising dramatically and dangerously. I have been in communication with leaders in our Catholic hospitals and they are very concerned about the immediate future and the challenges they face caring for all those in need, not just those experiencing serious complications from COVID-19.

Dispensation

After carefully considering these and other factors, I am extending the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation for people living in or visiting the Archdiocese of Detroit until Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021. As we have from the beginning, we will continue to closely monitor the situation in our region, with an eye on the day – hopefully in the not-too-distant future – when all of us are able to safely reunite in our normal patterns of worship.

Attending Mass

This extension is given so as not to unduly bind the consciences of those who are greatly troubled by the destructive potency of the coronavirus, and to care for the most vulnerable among us, such as the elderly. At the same time, one should not take advantage of the dispensation without a true need. Catholics who have already begun to engage in non-essential activities, such as widening one’s social circle or going out to eat, should return to Sunday Mass – an essential activity – as church capacity allows. Our souls greatly need the grace that comes from the re-presentation of Christ’s saving death and resurrection and this is what Jesus has entrusted to us in the celebration of the Mass. Just as businesses, schools, and other locations have opened safely, so have our parishes. Our pastors, parishes, and the faithful have worked diligently and adapted well in order to ensure the health and well-being of everyone who has been able to come to church for Mass, Confession, or to pray. I want to offer my sincere gratitude for the efforts that have been undertaken to implement and maintain the first-rate precautionary measures that have kept our parishes and schools safe.

Keeping Holy the Lord’s Day

Whether or not they are able to attend Mass, all baptized Catholics are reminded of the grave necessity they have to keep holy the Lord’s Day. This a divine law that neither I nor anyone else can ever dispense. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection of our Lord, and as such Christians from the earliest days have set it apart as a day unlike others. When it is not possible to participate in person in the Sacrifice of the Mass, it is vitally important for every member of the Catholic Church to observe the Sabbath by prioritizing prayer, time for God and for family, and works of charity. To that end, many of our parishes have been broadcasting their services over the internet during these last several months. While this virtual means of watching Mass can never replace the unmediated contact with the Real Presence of Our Lord we receive by being present and participating in Mass, these livestreamed Masses have been a way to help Catholics nourish their souls when they cannot be present for Mass.

Let us trust that the Lord accompanies us through all difficulties, including this pandemic. As we approach Advent and prepare for flu season, we should remember to pray daily for health care workers, first responders, including our priests, and all who are and will offer compassionate service and healing in the months to come. Let us also continue to invoke Our Lady of Lourdes, patroness for those who suffer illness, asking her to pray with us for healing and protection for the people of southeast Michigan and beyond.

With assurances of my prayers for you, I remain,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit

Family of Parishes—Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we creating Families of Parishes?

Before the pandemic, the local and universal Church were already facing significant challenges, including the shortage of priests to care for parish communities. The coronavirus pandemic and its associated health and economic crises accelerated these problems.

  We now have fewer resources to keep our mission active. Archbishop Vigneron, in consultation with clergy and lay advisors, has determined that now is the time to act.

  Our mission to unleash the Gospel hasn’t changed, but how we approach that mission must shift in response to our circumstances. We must move forward with greater collaboration and better stewardship of our resources.


  With this shift, we take inspiration from the early Church. From the beginning, Christ knew the mission he gave his disciples would be difficult and that they would face many challenges, so he sent them to preach the Gospel two-by-two (Mk 6:6-7 and Luke 10:1). Like us, the early disciples knew what was asked of them but not necessarily how to accomplish it or what the end result would be. St. Paul himself was shipwrecked three times (2 Cor 11:25) but wherever he ended, he remained committed to the same mission with which we are entrusted today. Because of St. Paul’s commitment and the commitment of the early apostles, the Gospel was heard across the world.


  Like the disciples, we have been asked to unite and go on mission together, enhancing each other’s strengths and working collaboratively to Unleash the Gospel around us. And while the impact of the pandemic may feel like a shipwreck – like St. Paul, this is not what we planned or wanted – we know that God wants us to continue his mission with the same zeal and dedication of the early apostles. He will be with us every step of the way.

 

Does this mean our mission to Unleash the Gospel has changed?

Not at all. Through Synod 16, we discerned that God was calling us to transform our archdiocese into a band of joyful missionary disciples, sent on mission to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in southeast Michigan. God continues to send us on this mission to bring Christ to this place and in this time. Those around us are still thirsting for the Gospel, the words of eternal life. The new model of Family of Parishes will allow us to better serve this mission.

 In fact, it is during times of crisis — when people are in need and face uncertainty — that they are more open to hearing the Good News. We must seize the opportunity to bring the message of the Gospel to all during these times. 

 More to follow in the coming weeks.


Grandparents Day, September 13—Generations

   God, you have blessed me indeed as the child I love has had a child I love with all that is within me. I pray that in your mercy you watch over and protect my grandchild as you have always done for me. May their lives be long and healthy. May they have the courage to follow their dreams and should the day come when I am no longer on Earth with them, may they look back upon me with fond memories and may they never forget that they were and always will be deeply loved by me.

Taken from jesuitresouce.org

Family of  Parishes

In the coming weeks I will share with you information on– Families of Parishes. Here are some frequently asked questions.

 What is a Family of Parishes?

Synod 16 called for a complete renewal of structures of our parishes to make them radically mission-oriented. Our goal is to make our parishes places where individuals and families can encounter Jesus anew, grow as disciples, and be equipped to be witnesses to the Risen Christ.

The current health and economic crises have accelerated the process of renewing the way our parishes are organized and structured. It is clear we need a new model for continuing on mission.

Over the next two years, all parishes of the Archdiocese of Detroit will join other parishes in new groupings called “Families of Parishes.” Families of Parishes are groups of parishes, generally three to six, sharing resources to advance the mission. This new model will allow the priests, deacons, and lay staff associated with each parish to better share their gifts and talents with the whole Family of Parishes.

While the move to Families of Parishes has been deemed necessary and appropriate by Archbishop Vigneron, the specifics about how best to achieve this directive have not been decided. A proposal has been drafted based on an initial assessment of our own circumstances, combined with what has been learned from other dioceses who have made similar structural changes. A phase of discernment and planning will take place from Pentecost through Advent of 2020, involving members of the presbyterate and laity committed to developing structures that serve our needs and advance our mission.

This is a significant change of the way our parishes are currently structured, but a necessary step in our missionary transformation. Just like the early Church and the missionary activity of the early apostles, the transition to this new structure will require docility to the Holy Spirit, a spirit of collaboration and innovation, and confidence in God who continues to lead us in our mission to unleash the Gospel in southeast Michigan.

 When will the Families of Parishes be announced? What is the timing for Families to be formally put in place?

The finalized list will be published in Advent of 2020. We anticipate a few changes to the groupings may be made after the list is published, as we begin the process and make any necessary adjustments.

We anticipate that there will be two waves of Families of Parishes. The first wave will begin preparation in January of 2021 and will launch in July of 2021. The second wave will begin preparation in January of 2022 and will launch in July of 2022. These waves will be announced at Advent of 2020. This timeline was designed to effectively address our needs while allowing for over a year of collaborative discernment before our first Families of Parishes officially come together.

More to follow in the coming weeks.


Right to Life Lifespan

Life Chain – Sunday, October 4, 2020

From 2:30 to 3:30 pm

This year members of our congregation will be joining thousands of other pro-life people who will line the sidewalks along routes in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties.

St. Valentine will be standing on Middlebelt Road North of 5 mile on the East side of the street.

We hope you can join us.

Rose  Pattenaude, Church Rep


 Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Loretto at 8:30 a.m.

The Parish Office will be open on Tuesday, September 8th at 8:30 a.m.


The Catholic Biblical School of Michigan

Bringing the Bible to LifeEver wonder about the Biblical roots of our faith? Or what the ancient wisdom of Scriptures has to say about living as a disciple in our world? Start a journey through the entire Bible, guided by expert live teachers with the Catholic Biblical School of Michigan’s new classes starting this September at St. Isidore in Macomb (Thu 7-9 pm), Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Beverly Hills (Tue 7-9 pm), Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak (Wed 1-3 pm) or and online (any day/time). Through donations, CBSM is accessible to all with 100% of requests for financial aid granted. Find out more with an on-site or virtual Open House Info Night or register for a class by Sept 14th. Visit cbsmich.org/join. Or, contact us at info@cbsmich.org or 586-438-3085.