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New Mass Times
(beginning May 26, 2020)
Tuesday and Friday 8:30 am in Church
Saturday 4:30 pm in Church
Sunday 9:00 am and 11:00 am in Church
November 13, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
During these difficult months during the pandemic, I have granted a general dispensation from the grave obligation that we as Catholic Christians have to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation in the Archdiocese of Detroit, in part to help ease the conscience of those who are unable to be present for public worship due to risk of illness to themselves or their families. The most recent dispensation expires on November 22, at which point we had hoped the pandemic would have eased enough to allow all of us to return in an unrestricted way to our celebrations of the Holy Eucharist.
Unfortunately, local and state health officials report that we not only continue to experience an increase in cases in our region and elsewhere, but that the rate of increase is rising dramatically and dangerously. I have been in communication with leaders in our Catholic hospitals and they are very concerned about the immediate future and the challenges they face caring for all those in need, not just those experiencing serious complications from COVID-19.
After carefully considering these and other factors, I am extending the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation for people living in or visiting the Archdiocese of Detroit until Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021. As we have from the beginning, we will continue to closely monitor the situation in our region, with an eye on the day – hopefully in the not-too-distant future – when all of us are able to safely reunite in our normal patterns of worship.
This extension is given so as not to unduly bind the consciences of those who are greatly troubled by the destructive potency of the coronavirus, and to care for the most vulnerable among us, such as the elderly. At the same time, one should not take advantage of the dispensation without a true need. Catholics who have already begun to engage in non-essential activities, such as widening one’s social circle or going out to eat, should return to Sunday Mass – an essential activity – as church capacity allows. Our souls greatly need the grace that comes from the re-presentation of Christ’s saving death and resurrection and this is what Jesus has entrusted to us in the celebration of the Mass. Just as businesses, schools, and other locations have opened safely, so have our parishes. Our pastors, parishes, and the faithful have worked diligently and adapted well in order to ensure the health and well-being of everyone who has been able to come to church for Mass, Confession, or to pray. I want to offer my sincere gratitude for the efforts that have been undertaken to implement and maintain the first-rate precautionary measures that have kept our parishes and schools safe.
Keeping Holy the Lord’s Day
Whether or not they are able to attend Mass, all baptized Catholics are reminded of the grave necessity they have to keep holy the Lord’s Day. This a divine law that neither I nor anyone else can ever dispense. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection of our Lord, and as such Christians from the earliest days have set it apart as a day unlike others. When it is not possible to participate in person in the Sacrifice of the Mass, it is vitally important for every member of the Catholic Church to observe the Sabbath by prioritizing prayer, time for God and for family, and works of charity. To that end, many of our parishes have been broadcasting their services over the internet during these last several months. While this virtual means of watching Mass can never replace the unmediated contact with the Real Presence of Our Lord we receive by being present and participating in Mass, these livestreamed Masses have been a way to help Catholics nourish their souls when they cannot be present for Mass.
Let us trust that the Lord accompanies us through all difficulties, including this pandemic. As we approach Advent and prepare for flu season, we should remember to pray daily for health care workers, first responders, including our priests, and all who are and will offer compassionate service and healing in the months to come. Let us also continue to invoke Our Lady of Lourdes, patroness for those who suffer illness, asking her to pray with us for healing and protection for the people of southeast Michigan and beyond.
With assurances of my prayers for you, I remain,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit
Files coming soon.
May 24, 2020
This Tuesday, May 26, St. Thomas will resume public Masses. In alignment with the liturgical directives issued by Archbishop Vigneron, we are committed to providing a safe and clean environment for everyone to worship our Lord. The health of our parishioners is of utmost importance to us and new procedures and protocols have been put in place to ensure this. Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation as we work through our new “normal” together. For those unable to attend Mass in person, we will continue to provide weekend Masses on our parish website.
Some changes you will notice:
· People must wear a mask in church. Please bring your own if possible.
· People must sanitize their hands when entering church. Please bring your own if possible.
· We will practice social distancing. Some pews will be roped off. Tape on the floor spaced 6 feet apart. Please don’t sit together unless you live in the same house. Please do not use the hymnals if you see them.
· A new way of the collection will be implemented.
· You may wear gloves but not to receive Holy Communion.
· We ask that everyone receive Communion in the hand.
· There will be no Sign of Peace before Communion.
· We will only distribute the Host for Holy Communion.
· The minister will purify their hands if they touch your hands or tongue.
· We will use the Fr. Prus Room if needed for social distancing.
· We may have an outside Mass in summer if weather permits.
The dispensation from the Sunday obligation to attend Mass is granted to all the faithful through Sunday, September 6, 2020. Although the faithful are dispensed from their Sunday obligation to attend Mass, they must observe the Lord’s Day and are encouraged to spend time in prayer on Sunday, meditating on the Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection (an excellent way to do this is through participating in a broadcast of the Sunday Mass) or participating in a spiritual or corporal act of mercy.
WHO SHOULD NOT ATTEND MASS:
· Those who are older than 65 years old (the recommended CDC age), with a compromised health condition or caring for the sick in any way, are encouraged to stay home.
· Anyone who is ill, has a temperature, cough, etc., should stay home as an act of justice to the whole community.
As every parish realizes, it will not be perfect. It will take time to adjust to a new way of attending church during this time when we need to distance ourselves and take many precautions. All of us will have to be open to changes and go with the flow.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
With prayers for good health and safety for everyone, God bless us all!
A resource for parishioners to learn about the faith is FORMED, an online media platform by the Augustine Institute. Because of the coronavirus and the cancellation of public Masses, FORMED is free for the next month. Known as the “Catholic Netflix,” FORMED combines materials from the Augustine Institute, St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, Ignatius Press and more to provide Catholic content as widely as possible to parishes.
Content includes movies, documentaries, audiobooks and recorded talks on several Catholic topics.
Join us for morning Mass!
Tuesday and Friday at 8:30 AM.
Our weekend Masses are 4:30 PM on Saturday, and 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM on Sunday.
Please join us!
St. Thomas the Apostle Parish is a post Vatican II Roman Catholic community that faithfully worships and serves in the Holy Spirit in order to bring the Gospel message of Our Savior Jesus Christ to the world so all will have faith in God.
Everyone is welcome to experience our community through our worship or service opportunities and our social events where friendships are formed and fellowship is shared. Our annual festival held the third weekend in September is a great time for all ages and just one of our many social activities.