Urgent Information

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Saturday, March 28:

NOTES

Weekend Mass:
 
Other Saint Thomas Information:
Supplemental Mass resources:
 
Other Faith Resources:
  • FORMED is free for 40 days (This has kid videos, podcasts, faith series, TONS)
  • BE NOT AFRAID Daily Conference (if nothing else, listen to the opening music!)
  • View Bishop Robert Barron’s daily mass online.
  • Magnificat Online is being offered for FREE during the month of March.

Friday, March 27 Update:

  • Father Jim:
  • Information from the Diocese and the Vatican:
    • These extraordinary times during the COVID-19 pandemic also provide us with extraordinary ways to pray together. Normally reserved for Christmas and Easter, Pope Francis is imparting a special Urbi et Orbi blessing this Friday,
      March 27
      from St. Peter’s Square.
       
    • All members of the faithful and other Christians are invited to participate in this special liturgy and blessing which will consist of Scripture readings, prayers of supplication, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The ceremony and blessing will be streamed on the Vatican News website at 6 p.m. in Rome, 1 p.m. (EDT). All participants will have the opportunity to gain a Plenary Indulgence by participating in the livestream.

Thursday, March 26 Update:

NOTES

  • Father Jim’s Mass for Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent is on YOUTUBE!  He celebrated his private Mass this morning with the view from the picture below.  Whether your picture is present or not, know that each one of you is prayed for and missed. Please continue to send your family pictures to Monica.

  • Continue to  Go D.E.A.P. (Drop Everything And Pray) at 3 pm (the hour of mercy) and pray the Memorare or Spiritual Communion Prayer.
     
  • In response to the Governor’s new guidelines:
    • CANCELLED: The Light is ON for you, confessions, and private prayer in the church at Saint Thomas BUT prayer continues in each of our HOMES as CHURCH.
       
    • The parish office will be open virtually. Please email or leave a phone message.  We will be checking both from home.
       
    • Sunday giving commitments:
      • Envelopes can be mailed to 1449 Wilcox Park Drive SE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49506.
      • Give online here. *slight charge to parish
      • Set up electronic giving by emailing Pauline.
         
    • If you have an EMERGENCY call 616-459-4662 and then hit #3. That will connect you with one of our Deacons who can get in touch with Father Jim.
       
    • Further information on the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter will be forthcoming.
       
    • FAQs from the Diocese of Grand Rapids regarding COVID-19.
       
  • Social Media connections:
  • Other Resources:
  • Check out past NOTES.

 

Tuesday, March 24 Update:

Daily mass celebrated by Father Jim: Mass for Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Monday, March 23 LATE Update:

  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for:
    • Prayers 
    • Family pictures for our pews
    • Emails making connections
    • Phone calls to fellow parishioners
    • Video messages to families 
    • Sunday Giving Commitments (offertory envelopes and calls to set up electronic giving)

These typically small acts have made a HUGE impact on our community!  Continue to connect!

  • Daily mass celebrated by Father Jim will be posted between 9 and 9:30 am on the parish website, myparishAPP, and NOTES. Mass for Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent. 
     
  • UPDATE: Go D.E.A.P. (Drop Everything And Pray) at 3 pm (the hour of mercy) and pray the Memorare or Spiritual Communion Prayer.
     
  • In response to the Governor’s new guidelines:
    • The parish office will be open virtually. Please email or leave a phone message.  We will be checking both from home.
    • Sunday giving commitment envelopes can be mailed to 1449 Wilcox Park Drive SE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49506.
    • If you have an EMERGENCY call 616-459-4662 and then hit #3. That will connect you with one of our Deacons who can get in touch with Father Jim.
       
  • Father Jim’s letter to parishioners from last weekend’s bulletin
     
  • Help us FILL-THE-PEWS! Please continue to send your family pictures to Monica.
     
  • Check out past NOTES!
 
March 21 Update:
 

Please see Monica’s Parish Letter & Notes 

Mass for the weekend of March 21-22

    • Father Jim recorded mass for Sunday, March 22.  Listen here.
    • Videos of songs from Saint Thomas
    • Mass will be live-streamed from the cathedral at 10 am on Sunday. Three ways to watch:
    • Our presider will be Most Rev. David Walkowiak, bishop of Grand Rapids. Father René Constanza, rector/pastor of the cathedral and member of the Paulist Fathers, is con-celebrating. 
    • Catholics are encouraged to make a spiritual Communion, pray the rosary, or meditate on Sacred Scripture to keep holy the Lord’s Day. Father Jim’s directions and video for making a spiritual Communion.
    • When Two or Three Are Gathered resource from the Diocese about celebrating Mass at home.

Other updates:

    • This weekend’s bulletin
       
    • Father’s letter to parishioners
       
    • Our Church is open for private prayer:
      • Monday – Friday: 7 am – 3:30 pm
      •  
      • Saturday: 7 am – 4:30 pm
      • Sunday: 7 am – 12:30 pm
         
    • Confession:
      • Saturdays: 3:00 – 4:30 pm
      • Thursday, March 26: 5 – 8 pm (The Light is ON for You)
      • The parish office is OPEN Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4:45 pm.  Please feel free to call (616-459-4662) and email us. (Healthy people welcome)
March 20 Update:
 
 
Videos:
 
 
March 19 Update:
 
 
March 18 Update:
 
Opportunities:
 
  • The parish office is OPEN.  Please feel free to call (616-459-4662) and email. (Healthy people welcome.)
  • The Church is open for private prayer Monday through Friday 8:30am – 3:30pm, Saturday from 3 – 4:30pm, and Sunday 8am – 12:30 pm.
  • Reach out and call a fellow parishioner using the Faith In Action ministry guide.
  • Reconciliation will be offered on Saturday from 3 – 4:30pm in the Church.
  • The offertory each week is a huge part of funding for our church and school. There is a growing concern over  reduced offertory during this emergency. Below are some options to help support the Saint Thomas Community:
    • Set up electronic giving by calling the rectory (616-459-4662)
    • Drop off (there is a mail slot in rectory office door) or mail in (1449 Willcox Park Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506) your Sunday offertory commitment.
    • Give online here (*slight charge to parish).
  • Food donations can be dropped at the Salvation Army Social Services department.

Faith resources

Options for Weekend Mass

  • Mass will be live streamed from the cathedral at 10 am on Sunday. It can be viewed on FOX 17, on the page. the Diocese’s Facebook and diocesan website
  • Catholics are encouraged to make a spiritual Communion, pray the rosary, or meditate on Sacred Scripture to keep holy the Lord’s Day. Father Jim’s directions for making a spiritual Communion.

March 17 — Updated Saint Thomas information: 

  • Daily and weekend Masses canceled through Sunday, April 5. 
  • Father Jim’s directions for Making a Spiritual Communion.
  • Adoration is suspended.
  • Stations of the Cross is canceled.
  • ARISE Men is canceled.
    • Message from ARISE Men: Consistent with Bishop Walkowiak’s directions, we are cancelling ARISE until further notice. The Men of ARISE will be praying Lauds (Morning Prayer) each Saturday morning as usual. We just will not be doing so together. Please join us in prayer, as we continue to stand in the gap for our Diocese, our State and our World. If you need a prayer resource, go to the Divine Office section of MyParish App or download the ibreviery App. God bless.
  • The Euchre Tournament is canceled for this Saturday, March 21.
  • Youth Group adoration is canceled.

Statement from Bishop’s Office:
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. 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.

Linked is a full letter from Bishop Walkowiak and an accompanying FAQ .

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

 
 

March 14 — Bishop Walkowiak has issued directives for parishes and schools in the diocese, effective immediately, in harmony with government guidelines. 

    • All weekend masses  (5pm, 7:30 am, 9 am, & 11 am) are cancelled.
    • Daily Masses will continue, including Saturday at 8 am and Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 7:15 am.
    • Reconciliation will continue on Saturday at 3 pm.
    • Stations of the Cross at 6 pm Fridays during Lent will continue.

Please read Bishop Walkowiak’s directives: Weekend Masses through Sunday, March 29 in the Diocese of Grand Rapids have been canceled. However, the Church’s life of prayer must continue:

  • 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 websiteand Facebook 
  • Bishop Walkowiak will celebrate the 10 a.m. Mass at the cathedral on Sunday, March 15.
  • Catholics are encouraged to make a spiritual Communion, pray the rosary, or meditate on Sacred Scripture to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
    • Daily Masses, where less than 100 people are gathered, should continue in accord with the guidelines from March 11, 2020in place.
    • Visits to the sick and homebound should continue. Normal cold/flu season guidelines should be followed.
    • Funeral Masses may be celebrated.
    • Confirmation Masses through Wednesday, April 1 have been canceled and will be rescheduled.
    • All Catholic Schools in the diocese are closed in accordance with the Governor’s order.
    • Faith Formation classes should be 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.
    • Any event at a parish where more than 100 people are gathered in a single space indoors should be postponed or canceled until further notice.
  • Schools and parishes may consider drive thru or take-out options for fish fries where less than 100 people are gathered in a single space indoors.
    • Any event at a parish where less than 100 people are gathered in a single space indoors may continue at this time at the organizer’s/pastor’s discretion.
    • The March 26 evening of penance, “The Light is ON for You” should take place as scheduled. Any other communal penance services should be modified accordingly.
    • Meetings for the Our Shepherds – Our Future Capital  Campaign will be postponed at this time. Updates will be communicated as we receive them.
    • If you are sick, please stay home.

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).

Churches should remain open for private prayer during normal weekend Mass times and other times as normally scheduled.

Around the Parish

  • Adult Faith Formation: Discover the figures who shaped the Church and changed the world in our series Catholicism – The Pivotal Players, Volume II! We will meet Tuesdays, April 21-May 26, 6:30-8pm, in the Rectory Conference Room, for a multi-part film series that illumines a handful of saints, artists, mystics, and scholars. Namely, Saint Augustine the Teacher and Saint Benedict the Monk. Facilitator and Parishioner, Mr. John Williams will share with us Bishop Robert Barron’s program. Please register by Tuesday, April 7 using our Catholicism: Pivotal Players online registration. The fee for the workbook is $20.
  • High School Summer Opportunity: We will be attending the Steubenville Youth Conference, June 26-28 at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Any high school student interested can register now. Registration is due March 25. Only 30 spots are available. To register, complete the Steubenville registration form and participant questionnaire and return them to Monica Morin in the Parish Office. 

Around the Diocese

  • Registration is now open for the Biblical Training Institute for Michigan Catholics 2020!  This year the Institute is focusing on The New Testament: The Gospels. This is an opportunity to develop a deep understanding and love for sacred scripture, to explore scripture with biblical experts, and to grow as a Bible study leader. For more Information and to register online, visit  www.catholicinformationcenter.org/bibleRegistration deadline is April 11 for the full series or the first conference.
  • Catholic Charities Young Professionals: CCYP is open to all West Michigan young professionals between the ages of 21 and 40. CCYP’s mission is to involve young professionals with Catholic Charities West Michigan. The group provides opportunities to network, volunteer, attend events, raise money, and plan service projects.  For more information, contact Bethany Stowe  (bstowe@ccwestmi.org), check us out on Facebook (@CCWMYoungProfessionals), follow us on Instagram (ccypwestmi) or join our LinkedIn group (Catholic Charities Young Professionals- West Michigan).  

For an extensive list of Diocesan opportunities, please visit the Diocese of Grand Rapids website.

Hosea

Surely It Is God Who Saves Me