All posts by Cory Lakatos

COVID Updates

Bishop Walkowiak Invites Catholics Who Are Health and Able to Return to Mass this Lent

Our Bishop Has Also Extended the Dispensation Until Further Notice for Those Who Are Unable to Attend in Person because of Health Reasons Or Other Factors

Read Bishop Walkowiak’s Letter to the Faithful

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 February 17 (Ash Wednesday). We must continue to honor the Lord’s Day, but for now this can be done in other ways, including watching the Mass from OLL at 11 a.m. on Sundays or afterward, or 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

Livestreamed Mass at OLL

OLL is livestreaming the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass, as well as Mass on holy days. Go to the OLL Facebook page to view the Mass live (you do not need a Facebook account). The recording will also be available afterward on this page and on the OLL YouTube channel.

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.

Sacramental Care in Hospitals During COVID-19

Click Here for More Information

Michigan Bishops’ Statement on Ethical Concerns Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines

Read the statement in PDF format: English | Español or full text below
COVID-19 Response in the Diocese of Grand Rapids

December 18, 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Peace be with you!

In these Advent days of preparation for the coming of our Lord, we hope and pray that the Prince of Peace may console you and draw you to himself. Over this past year the struggles with the global COVID-19 pandemic have weighed heavily on our hearts, yet our Lord has been with us to deepen our faith and trust in him. Know of our prayers for you and for all health care workers who are so diligently caring for those who are ill.

As vaccines for COVID-19 are now becoming available, we wish to address the moral questions that have arisen, insofar as some vaccines are developed using cells lines that have originated from the tissue taken from babies who were aborted decades ago.(1) Abortion is a grave evil, and we must avoid complicity in abortion. Let us also pray for God’s peace, healing, and mercy for all those who have had abortions.

At the time of this writing, the Food and Drug Administration has given approval for the emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer. Two other vaccines, one developed by Moderna and the other developed by AstraZeneca, might also gain FDA approval.(2)

It is morally permissible to receive the vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna. Neither of these vaccines have used cell lines originating in tissue taken from aborted babies in their design, development, and production. However, both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine did use such a cell line in the confirmatory testing. This connection to the abortion is very remote, however, and it is important to keep in mind that there are varying levels of responsibility. Greater moral responsibility lies with the researchers than with those who receive the vaccine. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has indicated that it is morally permissible to be vaccinated if there are no alternatives and there are serious health risks.(3) Such serious health risks are present due to the current pandemic.

The vaccine developed by AstraZeneca is more morally problematic, however. It did utilize in the design, production, development, and confirmatory testing a cell line that originated from tissue taken from an aborted baby. This vaccine may be received only if there are no other alternatives. If one does not have a choice of vaccine and a delay in immunization may bring about serious consequences for one’s health and the health of others, it would be permissible to accept the AstraZeneca vaccine. It is somewhat similar in production to the Rubella vaccine, which the Pontifical Academy of Life indicated could be received for grave reasons and if there are no other alternatives.(4)

If one were to choose not to be vaccinated, one would have a moral responsibility to embrace the necessary precautions to avoid spreading the disease to others.

At this same time, we join our voices to call for the development of vaccines that have no connection to abortion. Our consciences must not be dulled, nor may we imply in any way that abortion is acceptable.

Let us implore the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that God may bring an end to the pandemic and that all esteem and respect the dignity of human life.

Most Rev. Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit
Most Rev. Paul J. Bradley, Bishop of Kalamazoo
Most Rev. Earl A. Boyea, Bishop of Lansing
Most Rev. John F. Doerfler, Bishop of Marquette
Most Rev. Robert D. Gruss, Bishop of Saginaw
Most Rev. Walter A. Hurley, Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Gaylord
Most Rev. David J. Walkowiak, Bishop of Grand Rapids

1 For more on the morality of COVID-19 vaccines, see the joint statement of the chairmen of the USCCB Committee on Doctrine and Pro-Life Activities on which our statement is based: moral-considerations-covid-vaccines (
2 For more information about specific vaccines being developed for COVID-19 see this reference chart from the Charlotte Lozier Institute: COVID-19-Vaccine-Candidates-and-Abortion-Derived-Cell-Lines.pdf (
3 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Certain Bioethical Questions (Dignitas Personae) (2008), nos. 35-36: Instruction Dignitas Personae on Certain Bioethical Questions, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (
4 Pontifical Academy for Life, “”Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Foetuses,” (9 June 2005) in National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 6:3 (2006): 541-49

Lenten Fish Fry

Lenten Fish Fry and Bake

Join us at Our Lady of the Lake on Fridays during Lent:
February 19 and 26; March 5, 12, 19, and 26

Click Here for the Menu and Order Form

  • Serving: 4 – 7 p.m.
  • Ordering: Drive-up only; orders taken from and delivered to your vehicle (stay in car)
  • Payment: Cash and credit/debit cards accepted

Please patronize this fundraiser that supports the Church and the charitable organizations helped by our Knights of Columbus Council 7115. For more information on the Knights, visit or contact Gerry Kneeshaw, Grand Knight, at or 269-823-8226.

Lent, Holy Week, and Easter

Sign Up for the Daily Heart-to-Heart Email at


  • CRS Rice Bowls: These will be available at the welcome desk starting February 13 and are due to the basket in the narthex by Easter Sunday.
  • Return Blessed Palms — February 13-14
  • Ash Wednesday Masses — February 17: 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary (watch the 12 p.m. Mass live on Facebook or afterward on YouTube or
  • Sunday Masses: 5 p.m. on Saturdays, 9 and 11 a.m. on Sundays in the sanctuary (watch the 11 a.m. Mass live on Facebook or afterward on YouTube or
  • Weekday Masses: 12 p.m. on Tuesdays, 9 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays in the sanctuary
  • The Sacrament of Reconciliation: 9-10 a.m. every Saturday; February 24 from 6-7 p.m.; March 10 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.; March 18 from 5-8 p.m.; March 24 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. (in the cry room)
  • The Rosary: 30 minutes before every Mass in the chapel
  • Thursday Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament: Every week from 3-9 p.m. in the chapel (not on Holy Thursday)
  • First Friday Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament — March 5: 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the chapel
  • Friday Fish Fries — Knights of Columbus: Every week from 4-7 p.m. (curbside pickup only)
  • Friday Stations of the Cross: Every week at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary (enter through the chapel); led by a different parish group each week:
    • February 19: God’s Embrace (Mary’s Way of the Cross)
    • February 26: Respect Life Guild (St. Alphonsus Ligouri)
    • March 5: RCIA (For the Holy Souls in Purgatory)
    • March 12: DeSanctis Family
    • March 19: Crafty Ladies
    • March 26: Women of the Word
  • 40 Days for Life Prayer Vigil — February 27: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Grand Rapids (click here to sign up)
  • Mass for the Solemnity of St. Joseph — March 19: 9 a.m. in the sanctuary (watch live on Facebook or afterward on YouTube or
  • Mass for the Solemnity of the Annunciation — March 25: 9 a.m. in the sanctuary (watch live on Facebook or afterward on YouTube or

Holy Week:

  • The Rosary: 30 minutes before every Mass in the chapel
  • Masses for Palm Sunday — March 27-28: 5 p.m. on Saturday, 9 and 11 a.m. on Sunday in the sanctuary (watch the 11 a.m. Mass live on Facebook or afterward on YouTube or
  • Mass on Tuesday of Holy Week — March 30: 12 p.m. in the sanctuary
  • Mass for Holy Thursday — April 1: Reception of the holy oils at 6:45 p.m. in the narthex; Mass at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary (watch live on Facebook or afterward on YouTube or; Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. in the chapel
  • Liturgy for Good Friday — April 2: Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary (watch live on Facebook or afterward on YouTube or
  • Blessing of the Easter Food — April 3: 10 a.m. in the chapel
  • Easter Vigil Mass — April 3: 9 p.m. in the sanctuary (watch live on Facebook or afterward on YouTube or

Octave of Easter:

  • The Rosary: 30 minutes before every Mass in the chapel (except the 8 a.m. Mass on Easter Sunday)
  • Masses for Easter Sunday — April 4: 8, 9:30, and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday in the sanctuary (watch the 11:30 a.m. Mass live on Facebook or afterward on YouTube or
  • Weekday Masses: 12 p.m. on Tuesday, 9 a.m. on Thursday and Friday in the sanctuary
  • Divine Mercy Chaplet — April 10-11: 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. on Sunday in the chapel (this is instead of the usual Rosary and can be applied to the Divine Mercy Sunday indulgence)
  • Masses for Divine Mercy Sunday — April 11: 5 p.m. on Saturday, 9 and 11 a.m. on Sunday in the sanctuary (watch the 11 a.m. Mass live on Facebook or afterward on YouTube or

40 Days for Life

Saturday, February 27, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Click Here to Sign Up for an Hour of Prayer

Would you be willing to pray for one hour to end abortion? 40 Days for Life is a pro-life effort that consists of forty days of praying, fasting, and holding a peaceful vigil in front of an abortion facility. The spring campaign will take place from February 17 through March 28. This will be the twenty-third campaign in Grand Rapids, and it will take place in front of Heritage Clinic for Women at 320 East Fulton Street. This is the only free-standing surgical abortion facility still operating in our community. Dozens of area churches have adopted a day of prayer. Our Lady of the Lake and St. Francis de Sales Catholic Churches have adopted Saturday, February 27, to pray at the peaceful vigil. At least two individuals are needed for each hour of the vigil from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sign up here or at the welcome desk at Our Lady of the Lake. For more information, contact Cory Lakatos (, 616-399-1062) or visit

Lent: A Daily Heart-to-Heart with Jesus

Click Here to Sign Up for the Daily Heart-to-Heart Email

Every day, from Ash Wednesday to Divine Mercy Sunday, you will receive:

  • A short excerpt from the Litany of the Sacred Heart or another prayer
  • A brief meditation and call to action
  • Links to more resources to help you draw close to the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Lent

When a soldier pierced our Lord’s heart with a lance during his Crucifixion, blood and water gushed forth to cleanse us from our sins. Now the Sacred Heart of Jesus beats with love for us eternally in his resurrected, glorified Body. The Sacred Heart is traditionally shown encircled by the Crown of Thorns, surmounted by the Cross, and aflame with divine love. These symbols reveal Jesus’ sacrifice for our salvation, his great mercy, and his desire for closeness with each of us. In this one image we are reminded of our Lord’s life, Death, and Resurrection, the grace he gives us through Baptism and the Eucharist, and our need to do penance united to his Cross. This makes the Sacred Heart a fitting emblem of our journey through Lent toward Good Friday and Easter.

So this Lent, let’s set aside a few minutes each day for a heart-to-Heart with Jesus. Together, we will pray the Litany of the Sacred Heart and other prayers line-by-line, meditating on Jesus’ love and mercy, and asking him to make our hearts like his.