“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)
With the the temporary suspension of public Masses through Monday, April 13 and faith formation classes through April 14 and closing of Catholic schools due to COVID-19, we invite families and individuals to pray and reflect at home using the following resources. Please also check with your parish for online faith formation resources.
Resources for Families & Youth Ministry Leaders
Plenary indulgence offered for the Faithful suffering from COVID-19
The gift of special Indulgences is granted to the faithful suffering from COVID-19 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, among them is participation in the live broadcast from March 27 which is noted above.
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 for 40 Days: 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
Teaching the faith with current events: Sophia Institute for Teachers
Resources for youth ministry leaders and parents (NFCYM)
Downloadable Stations of the Cross coloring book (Knights of Columbus)
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)
Visit our Lenten resources page.
Mental Health resources
Stress, Anxiety, and Mental Health – Ave Maria Press offers resources and a team of experts who explore a variety of mental health issues.
Catholic Charities West Michigan – Call central intake for all locations, 616-356-6247.