Category Archives: News

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Candle Blessing, Procession, and Mass

Tuesday, February 2, 6:30 p.m.

“My eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” — Luke 2:30-32

We are celebrating a special Mass for this feast, which is also called Candlemas. Traditionally, candles are blessed and then carried in procession on this day because of Simeon’s declaration that the infant Christ is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles.” Bring your own candles to be blessed; there will also be candles available for participants to light and carry in the procession. The Mass will also be livestreamed.

COVID-19 Vaccine Town Halls


The State of Michigan is hosting a series of virtual town halls about the COVID-19 vaccine through Facebook Live on the MDHHS Facebook page. Residents will have the opportunity to hear from health and faith leaders about the safety, efficacy, and importance of the COVID-19 vaccine for safely opening Michigan.

The first virtual discussion is 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, January 21.

Covid-19 Vaccine Faith
                    Town Halls 2

Joining Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health, the following panelists will be part of the January 21 discussion, moderated by Dion Williams, director of Faith Based & Urban Affairs for Governor Gretchen Whitmer:

  • Imam Mohammed Ali Elahi, Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights
  • Rabbi Mark Miller, Congregation Beth El in Bloomfield Hills
  • Bishop Charles Ellis III, Senior Pastor, Greater Grace Temple in Detroit
  • Dr. Herbert Smitherman, MD, Detroit Receiving Hospital
  • Rev. Lydia Bucklin, Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan

In the coming months, Michigan will also host town halls for the Black and Brown community and the general public, in partnership with public health and community leaders. Check back here for the link for the virtual town hall.

Wedding Anniversary Mass

Wedding Anniversary Mass

Saturday, February 13, 5 p.m.

Are you celebrating a significant wedding anniversary this year? Our parish wants to bless and celebrate you!

This Mass will include a blessing for couples who were married in a year ending in a one or a six, plus all couples who have been married for fifty years or more. Couples who RSVP will receive a grab-and-go treat after Mass. We will also display your wedding photo on the bulletin board.

You must RSVP by Sunday, February 7, to participate. Fill out the form in the bulletin and submit it to the parish office or email with your names, wedding date, the number of years you have been married, and a copy (not the original) of a wedding photo for display.

Sunday of the Word of God

Sunday of the Word of God

January 24, 2021

Knowledge of the Scriptures is knowledge of Christ! Pope Francis declared the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time to be the Sunday of the Word of God. This is an opportunity for all of us to increase our devotion to the Lord through the study of Sacred Scripture. Our parish is providing free online resources to help you prepare for the Sunday of the Word of God, learn how to read the Scriptures, better understand the context of the Bible, and incorporate the Word of God into your everyday life. Go to to sign up and get started.

Pro-Life Events in January 2021

Join thousands of Catholics nationwide in the annual Respect Life novena, 9 Days for Life, Thursday, January 21 – Friday, January 29. Get daily intentions, brief reflections, and more. Sign up at!

Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

Friday, January 22, 2021

On January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Church in the U.S. observes the annual Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. We are called to observe this day through prayer and penance. Visit for more information.

Choose Life Candle Kits

Choose Life Candle Kits are now available in the narthex for parishioners to take. Each kit includes one candle, one white bag with “Choose Life” imprinted on it, and complete instructions. Position one of these luminaries on the front porch of your home or in another location where it will bear witness to the value of every human life, especially on or before the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children (January 22).

March for Life in Holland

Saturday, January 23, 11 a.m.

Join us at the corner of 10th Street and Central Avenue in Holland as we march around Centennial Park for the dignity of every human life! This event is hosted by Holland Right to Life. The OLL Respect Life Guild will meet up at the corner of 10th and Central at 10:45 a.m. All parishioners and guests (of all ages) are welcome. Pro-life posters are encouraged but not required. A prayer service will follow the march at 11:30 a.m. at Central Avenue Christian Reformed Church on the east side of the park.

LANE in 2021

What Is Man?

Class Begins January 11

Instructor Greg Smith will walk through Catholic teaching on the most controversial topics of our day. What is a human being? What are human rights or responsibilities? What are the rights of individuals, families, and the government, particularly in subjects like sexuality and marriage? Go to to watch a trailer, learn more, and sign up. This class is available with a LANE All-Access Pass or individual course tuition.

One Whirling Adventure in 2021

New Episodes Beginning January 5

What is “One Whirling Adventure,” and why does it matter? Go to to watch the mid-season trailer to discover our Catholic heritage, and to get an update on past Season 1 episodes and episodes to come in 2021. In winter and spring there will be episodes on St. Anthony of the Desert, relics, Catholic Ireland, the Jerusalem of Jesus, cathedrals, and much more! One Whirling Adventure is available with a LANE Digital Passport or AllAccess Pass. Watch free sample episodes and subscribe to LANE at

We’ve Got a Lot of LANE Ahead!

LANE came a long way in 2020, beginning as an in-person only ministry to adults and adding many online options for both adults and children. 2021 will see more opportunities for lifelong Catholic learning. Go to to watch the trailer and get a sneak peak of what’s ahead!

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

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 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.

Click Here to Read Bishop Walkowiak’s Most Recent Updates

Bishop Walkowiak has extended the dispensation for all Catholics within the territory of the Diocese of Grand Rapids from their obligation of attending Sunday Mass through Ash Wednesday (February 17, 2020).

Public Masses and the celebration of the sacraments will continue with the appropriate COVID-19 mitigation strategies in place. Those who are able to attend Mass should return, remembering that our physical presence at the Eucharistic table is irreplaceable. These mitigation strategies need to be followed to ensure public Masses remain available.

This dispensation is granted broadly to ensure that anyone who needs to stay home can do so in good conscience. If you are homebound, please contact your parish to inquire about the ability to have Communion brought to you.

Mass will continue to be televised at 10 a.m. Sunday on FOX 17 and livestreamed on the diocesan website ( and Facebook page (Diocese of Grand Rapids). While this dispensation is in effect, all baptized Catholics are reminded of their obligation to keep the Lord’s Day holy.

Sacramental Care in Hospitals During COVID-19

Click Here for More Information