Friday, May 8, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I hope that you and your loved ones are well and safe at this time. Like me, I am sure you are yearning for the day when we can again gather together at Sunday Mass in our parish churches so as to receive our Blessed Lord in Holy Communion.
Because the State of Michigan’s stay-at-home order is now to remain in effect through the end of May and because we remain committed to supporting the common good, including the health of all our neighbors, our plans to celebrate public Masses starting on May 18 have been, sadly, delayed until, at the earliest, June 1. This is a painful decision but one, I believe, that is both prudent and necessary.
From May 18, however, our pastors will be allowed, should they wish, to celebrate, by invitation only, weekday Masses for small groups of parishioners. Unfortunately, this will not happen on Sundays until after June 1. The Diocese of Lansing is also finalizing liturgical guidelines for the safe celebrations of the Mass during this pandemic. These are small but certain steps towards restoring public Masses.
The word “patience” comes from the Latin word pati meaning “to suffer.” I know that many us, clergy and lay faithful, are suffering as we wait patiently for the restoration of public Masses. In anticipation of that wonderful day, let us use this time to prepare our hearts to receive Our Lord in worthy fashion by praying to Jesus every day. Meditate upon his life in the Holy Rosary. Reconcile yourself to him in the Sacrament of Penance. Ask him to give you strength as you wait for him and know that he eagerly waits for you to be one with him very soon.
Assuring you of my prayers, I am sincerely yours in Christ,
Bishop of Lansing