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Archdiocese of Detroit suspends public Mass

By: Kristyne E. Demske | C&G Newspapers | Published March 13, 2020

METRO DETROIT — Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron announced March 13 that public masses would be suspended throughout the Archdiocese of Detroit until Holy Week because of the spread of coronavirus.

“After consultation with health care professionals and government officials, I am temporarily suspending all public masses in the Archdiocese of Detroit until Monday, April 6,” he wrote in an email message sent out to parishioners in the Archdiocese.

Vigneron went on to say that the decision to temporarily suspend daily and weekend mass, beginning March 14, was not taken lightly, but that it was important to ensure the health and safety of the community by following the counsel of local, state and federal government and health officials.

“We should pray and fast for God’s mercy on our local community and the whole world to end the coronavirus pandemic,” he wrote. 

Vigneron said that those wishing to partake in mass can find it celebrated each day via live-stream and other media channels at aod.org.

Public masses are expected to resume April 6 in alignment with the reopening of schools across the state. That is also the start of Holy Week. The Archdiocese said that the schedule is subject to change as the COVID-19 situation develops.

The Archdiocese of Detroit instructed all 87 Catholic schools in the diocese to move their Easter Break to March 16-20, during which time students will not report to class physically or virtually. Instructional staff will report to prepare distance learning plans during that time. Students and staff will begin distance learning March 23 through April 3, with the expectation that they can return to school April 6, provided there is no extension or modification of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order closing all schools during that three-week period.

For parishes, all other events, including faith formation classes, are also to be suspended, although parishes can make arrangements for continuing education through digital resources if they are able. Communal celebrations of the sacrament of reconciliation will also be suspended, although individual confessions can be heard at the discretion of the priest and with the proper care taken to prevent the spread of the virus.