All posts by Cory Lakatos

Takeout to Help Out

The Shops at Westshore’s Takeout to Help Out Initiative to Benefit Good Samaritan Ministries

From Monday, November 30, to Wednesday, December 2, The Shops at Westshore is hosting Takeout to Help Out to raise funds for families who are at risk of losing their housing due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Participating restaurants will donate a portion of proceeds from their designated day to Good Samaritan Ministries to be used for programming that prevents eviction and helps families achieve financial security.

Support for Good Samaritan Ministries is especially critical at this time as hundreds of families are being served through the Eviction Diversion Program. This program provides back rent for qualifying families, ensuring they do not lose their homes in this already challenging time.

The schedule for participating restaurants is as follows:

  • Monday, November 30 – On the Border
  • Tuesday, December 1 – Noodles & Company
  • Wednesday, December 2 – Chipotle and Menchies Frozen Yogurt

“We are excited to be part of this endeavor to provide support to such a great organization like Good Samaritan Ministries. The programming they provide to our community members is truly priceless especially during this pandemic when so many of us are hurting,” said Jean Ramirez, General Manager of The Shops at Westshore.

“Knowing that participating establishments and their employees are likely financially impacted by the pandemic, we’re excited to partner in a way that benefits both the businesses and the families we serve,” said Drew Peirce, Executive Director of Good Samaritan Ministries.

Advent: God Is With Us

Advent: God Is With Us

Experience Christ’s Presence

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During the season of Advent, we prepare ourselves for three comings of the Lord:

  1. His coming in history, which we will commemorate during the Christmas season;
  2. His coming today in the sacraments, the scriptures, and our ordinary lives; and
  3. His coming at the end of the world to establish his eternal kingdom.

Through his incarnation, ongoing presence, and second coming, Jesus is truly Emmanuel, which means “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). This Advent, let us dwell on the past, when God foreshadowed the coming of the Messiah and then “made his dwelling among us” by taking on human flesh (John 1:14). Let us focus on the present, since Jesus has promised that he will always be with us, “until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). And let us look to the future, when “God’s dwelling [will be] with the human race” (Revelation 21:3).

Public Masses and COVID Updates

Public Masses at OLL During the Pandemic

We are grateful that we can hold public liturgies during the pandemic. We pray that our community will draw together to worship our Lord and to protect every member of our parish, especially the most vulnerable. To that end, we are taking a number of precautions based on guidelines from the Diocese of Grand Rapids to ensure the health and safety of everyone who attends Mass. Please read the following guidelines and watch the video below about pandemic Mass procedures. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Mass Attendance Guidelines:

  • Attendance is limited, and we are practicing social distancing. Individuals who are not part of the same household need to sit at least six feet apart. An usher will help you find seats, so please arrive sufficiently early. Social distancing also applies in other parts of the building.
  • Masks are required. Bring your own face covering. This applies to everyone over the age of two. We understand that this may be difficult with children; please do your best.
  • Mass looks a bit different. Holy water fonts remain empty. We cannot give physical greetings. Distribution of the Precious Blood remains suspended. Worship aides for Saturday and Sunday Masses are available as you walk in, and after Mass you must dispose of them in the recycling bins or take them with you. You may drop your offering in a collection podium in the narthex before or after Mass, or you can give via the website, text message, or mail.
  • Extra sanitization is in place. Staff wipe down frequently touched surfaces between Masses. Parishioners are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer, especially for use before Holy Communion.
  • Consider attending weekday Masses. This is a good option if you are concerned about higher attendance on Saturday and Sunday. Weekday Masses will take place in the sanctuary. See the calendar for the weekday Mass schedule.

While we always love to see you at Mass, we understand if you need to stay home for health reasons. Accordingly, our bishop has dispensed all Catholics in the diocese from their obligation to attend Sunday Mass through November 23. We must continue to honor the Lord’s Day, but for now this can be done in other ways, including watching the Mass from the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Grand Rapids.

If you have questions or concerns, please call the parish office at 616-399-1062. Thank you for your patience and cooperation! We hope to see you back at Mass soon!

In Christ,

Rev. Michael F. Cilibraise

Click here to read Bishop Walkowiak’s most recent letter to the faithful in full.

Given the current situation and our restricted capacities for Mass, Bishop Walkowiak is extending the dispensation for all Catholics within the territory of the Diocese of Grand Rapids from their obligation of attending Sunday Mass through January 4. Public Masses and the celebration of the sacraments will continue with the appropriate COVID-19 mitigation strategies in place: the required wearing of masks, proper social distancing, and cleaning according to CDC guidelines. These mitigation strategies must be followed to ensure public Masses remain available. Those who are able to attend Mass should return, remembering that our physical presence at the Eucharistic table is irreplaceable. Pastors will be making decisions about parish programming in accordance with State epidemic orders issued November 15.

Livestreamed Masses

OLL will livestream Masses on the Sundays of Advent, the Immaculate Conception, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Go to the OLL Facebook page at the following times to view the Masses live (you do not need a Facebook account). The recording will also be available afterward on the OLL YouTube channel.

  • First Sunday of Advent: November 29, 11 a.m.
  • Second Sunday of Advent: December 6, 11 a.m.
  • Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: December 8, 6:30 p.m.
  • Third Sunday of Advent: December 13, 11 a.m.
  • Fourth Sunday of Advent: December 20, 11 a.m.
  • Christmas Eve: December 24, 4 p.m.
  • Christmas Day: December 25, 11 a.m.

Parish Office and Chapel

The parish office is open for appointments only on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The chapel is open for private prayer during the same times.