From the Pastor
An important dynamic in the celebration of our faith is our gathering together to celebrate Mass. In our community of faith we see and feel God through our connection with one another. The tangible feel of God is connecting to our neighbor, so it is important to maintain those connections. As a parish community preparing to reopen and re-engage in communal celebrations of prayer and Mass, we shall be temporarily modifying liturgical protocols and procedures. The following points may assist in your understanding of what is being undertaken in order that as a parish we may reopen in the safest manner possible. We have been given and are operating under a set of protocols for the reopening of churches for public worship as directed by Bishop Steven Raica. These protocols are given not as suggestions but as undertakings that must be done to protect the health and safety of all people. Our first consideration must be for the health and safety of all people. Especially true for the most vulnerable members of our population, including the elderly and those with chronic illnesses. The recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, the State of Michigan and Federal guidelines for health and safety shall be observed. Please understand that the return to public Masses will happen in phases. Phases will be marked by dates and/or benchmarks of medical advances. The threat of the Coronavirus is still very much with us. The foreseeable future includes the continued wearing of masks, adherence to social distancing and regimental cleaning procedures. The aforementioned will impact the way we worship and the rituals that are a vital part of our faith. We have also been advised to keep in mind that these directives may be revised and updated depending on the Coronavirus situation and the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and State of Michigan guidelines. With the aforementioned in mind, the following restrictions shall be implemented and must be in place before a church may open for public Mass:
BEFORE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH HOLDS ITS FIRST PUBLIC MASS
We are obliged to make known to you the following information from the Diocese:
- 1. All the faithful in the Diocese of Gaylord are dispensed from their Sunday obligation to attend Mass through Sunday, September 6, 2020. Those who wish to attend Mass may consider that they have fulfilled their Sunday obligation not only on Sunday but by attending Mass any day of the week. RATIONALE: This is for the benefit of those who are sick, and those who are vulnerable to the disease. It may also be the case, based on reduced seating capacity of only twenty-five percent, that not all parishioners who wish to attend Mass will be able to attend Mass every Sunday. 2. Those who are symptomatic or who may have been in contact with another individual known or suspected of COVID-19 exposure within fourteen days are not permitted to enter the church. Members of the same household are to remain home as well. 3. Before coming to church, everyone is requested to take their temperature at home. If a person’s temperature is at or above 100.4 Fahrenheit (CDC Guideline) they and members of the household must remain at home. 4. Those who are at risk because of age (65 yrs. & older) or because of an underlying health issue are strongly encouraged to remain at home for the sake of their own health. Likewise, those who are not comfortable being in public for any reason at this time are also encouraged to remain home. Our Saturday 5 pm Mass will continue to be Livestreamed. 5. We ask and encourage parishioners to bring their own hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should be used before and after receiving Holy Communion.6. It is appropriate for people to wear face coverings/masks at this time, and thus the faithful are strongly encouraged to wear them. Face coverings are for one’s own protection and to protect other people. Parents should consider health guidelines and then use their judgement regarding whether small children can or should wear them. Masks may be pulled down or off just prior to reception of Holy Communion. 7. Reception of Holy Communion is encouraged to be by the hand. Communicants are to be instructed to hold out their hands carefully so that the Communion minister may safely place the Blessed Sacrament into their hands without touching them. The wearing of gloves is prohibited during reception of the Eucharist. 8. The faithful should be instructed with the understanding that these directives are temporary and subject to change. They will be notified as the situation changes. 9. With the exception of personally owned missalettes, no common use materials are to be in the pews (Hymnals, missalettes, Mass cards, envelopes, prayer guides, etc.). 10. Seating will occur in every third pew (two pews between occupied pews). 11. The Baptismal font and Holy water bowls are to remain empty until further notice. 12. Cry Room is temporarily off limits. 13. Offertory monies (weekly offering) are to be deposited in the large collection basket at the rear of the church. 14. Upon conclusion of mass please observe social distancing and safe exiting. No receptions or gatherings are allowed after Mass. The use of paper parish bulletins has been suspended at this time.
I must be honest. I expect this situation to continue for some weeks, and any plan for reopening churches must include every precaution to ensure public gatherings do not create a second wave of contagion, thus squandering the gains made through our sacrifice in these days.
Weekend Mass Schedule
Sunday: 8am, 10am, 12pm, 5pm
(5pm in Spanish)
Weekday Mass Schedule
No Mass Monday
Tuesday thru Friday: 8:15am
Low Gluten Communion available
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday: 3:30 – 4:30 pm (except Holy Saturday)
By appointment : 231.946.4211
Monday thru Thursday 9 am – 4 pm
Friday 9 am – noon
Closed 12-1 daily for lunch
Immaculate Conception office is located on Cedar Street, directly across the street from the church.