OLOW Resumption of Public Mass

My Dear Family Members of Our Lady of the Woods,

I hope this finds you well, and making the most of this day with all its challenges, blessings, obstacles and graces.

As you have probably heard by now the Archdiocese of Detroit has come out with its DIRECTIVES FOR RESUMPTION OF PUBLIC MASSES which can begin starting on May 19th and definitely, keeping in mind the AOD Directives and our State of Michigan Executive Orders…some kind of “re-opening” by at least May 29th.

After extensive hours of discussion and planning, first with Mr. Jason Buckley, our Worship Coordinator, and then with our full Parish Staff in its meeting this morning, we are putting forth some initial guidelines.

What I would like to emphasize very strongly, is that these are initial efforts.

  • If you choose to come back at this time, please be SENSIBLE, OPEN, ACCOMMODATING and NON-CRITICAL or JUDGEMENTAL to our first initial efforts. We here as Parish Staff as ALWAYS ARE OPEN TO CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM, and so any ideas or suggestions you have you may always either email/go to our social media/or call the parish office.  So, those who will start back, please come with the HEART OF CHRIST!
  • PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS VERY CLEARLY, MY DEAR PEOPLE: many of you may not be ready to come back at this moment, AND THAT IS OK!!! There are many concerns to consider, including health issues, and even as the Archdiocese of Detroit had written: “All the faithful are dispensed from their Sunday obligation to attend Mass through Sunday, September 6th, 2020.”

I look like to remind you that we will still be live streaming here at our parish: Wednesdays at 10 am and Sundays at 11 am.  Note the time difference on Sunday…this Sunday, May 17th is still at 10 am, but from Sunday, May 24th, live streaming will be at the 11 am Mass. The AOD directive mentions that “those older than 65 years with a compromised health condition or caring for the sick in any way, should be encouraged to stay home. Anyone who is ill, has a temperature, cough, etc. should definitely stay home as an act of justice to the whole community.”  There might also be other reasons that are not age or health related:  I JUST WANT TO SAY TO YOU: IT’S OK!!!

BECAUSE THIS IS A GRADUAL PROCESS…we will opening slowly, and cautiously. What does that mean for us?

  • We will have TWO WEEKDAY MASSES on Tuesdays at 9 am and Fridays at 9am in the MAIN CHURCH that you may attend. We will only livestream the Wednesday at 10 am which will not be open to the Public.

So starting on May 19th, we will begin WEEKDAY MASSES IN THE MAIN CHURCH ON TUESDAYS AND FRIDAYS at 9 am.

  • For the weekend: we will have Confessions on Saturdays beginning at 3 pm until 3:30 pm with Mass at 4 pm; and Sunday Masses at 9 am and 11 am. If we have an overflow at any of these Masses, people will be invited to go to the Social Hall. Please be reminded that the 11 am Mass will also be livestreamed every Sunday for the unforeseeable future.

We also aim at using very minimal involvement for other ministries during this time. We will not be using sacristans or acolytes. There will still need to be a minimal use of a lector/commentator, a few musicians, and perhaps one or two ushers.

I would like to close by reminding you:

  • WHEN COMING TO CHURCH, ALL SHOULD HAVE MASKS WITH THEM. IF YOU DO NOT, THERE WILL BE A FEW AVAILABLE. If there are people in the parish who make masks, we would appreciate any donations.
  • IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU COME WITH YOUR HAND SANITIZER. AGAIN, THERE WILL BE SOME AROUND, BUT THERE COULD NEVER BE ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE COMING ALL THE TIME.
  • If you know of parishioners who do not have an email or other means of social media for the parish please have them call the office so we can connect with them. Kathy LeBoeuf and Homebound Ministries have done an amazing job, but we have 402 Addresses of active, registered parishioners without emails.
  • THE PARISH OFFICE WILL REMAINED CLOSED until the STATE EXECUTIVE ORDERS ARE LIFTED along with the AOD DIRECTIVES. You can still contact the parish office; we are in throughout the week.

I will continue to update you at my MONDAY WEEKLY PARISH ADDRESSES this Monday May 18th.

Let us find strength, hope and courage as a family of faith as we move forward. Let us close praying together in this Month of May, The Memorare:

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.

O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.