“God does not abandon us, he goes with us even now in this time of trial and testing. In this moment, it is important for us to anchor our hearts in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Now is the time to intensify our prayers and sacrifices for the love of God and the love of our neighbor. Let us draw closer to one another in our love for him, and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives.” – Archbishop Gomez, president of the USCCB (Read his full reflection and prayer – March 13)
On May 19, the Diocese of Grand Rapids announced the return to public Masses and liturgies in our parishes starting May 29. The reopening will take place in phases. We are recommending people stay home if they are considered vulnerable due to age (over 60) or have underlying health conditions. The dispensation of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains in effect through June 30 for this reason.
For those for whom it remains necessary to stay home, we invite you to pray and reflect from home using the following resources. Please see resources below. Please also check with your parish for online faith formation resources.
Resources for Families & Youth Ministry Leaders
Plenary indulgence for the Faithful during the COVID-19 pandemic
The gift of special Indulgences is granted to ALL the faithful during this time. This includes anyone suffering because of COVID-19, including those who are sick with the disease, commonly known as coronavirus, as well as to health care workers, family members and all those who in any capacity, including through prayer, care for them. Certain conditions should be met. Click “Decree details” below for more information:
Decree details (Vatican) | Learn more about plenary indulgences (EWTN)
Faith Formation & Learning resources
We encourage parishioners to check with their parishes for online faith formation resources, to help facilitate ongoing learning for families during this time. The diocese also recommends the following websites which offer free online resources to support learning at home:
Lakeshore Academy for the New Evangelization (Online courses in April)
FORMED is free through May 29: Augustine Institute has made its FORMED platform free to everyone for the next 40 days. Includes Catholic movies, faith formation videos, audio talks, and great children’s videos.
To subscribe, visit https://formed.org/signup and enter “Faith At Home Grand Rapids” for access to faith-fueling, inspiring and informative stories, teaching and more.
Sadlier Connect | Pflaum Publishing | RCL Benziger | Loyola Press
Online Faith Formation and Training (National Catholic Partnership on Disability)
Resources for youth ministry leaders and parents (NFCYM)
Teaching the faith with current events: Sophia Institute for Teachers
From the USCCB
Resources for Catholics during COVID-19
Includes prayers, faith formation resources and more.
Read how Catholic school students in our diocese are continuing their learning (Catholicschools4u.org)
Read Religious education in a time of coronavirus (NCR, March 16, 2020)
Mental Health resources
Catholic Charities West Michigan (CCWM) – CCWM’s therapists are available to help, providing counseling via Telehealth for individuals throughout West Michigan. To schedule an appointment, please call their hotline at 616-356-6247 or email email@example.com.
Stress, Anxiety, and Mental Health – Ave Maria Press offers resources and a team of experts who explore a variety of mental health issues.
Coping with Crisis Webinars – View upcoming and previous webinars available from the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM)
Webinars on Self Care – from the Catholic Apostolate Center