Category Archives: News

Novena for America and Her Elected Officials

Join other Catholics in praying a novena for America and her elected officials from Monday, October 26, through Tuesday, November 3 (election day). Catholics are encouraged to pray one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the day’s intention:

Day One (Monday, Oct. 26): As we prepare for the national and local elections in the midst of a global pandemic, may our political engagement be guided by our Catholic faith.

Day Two (Tuesday, Oct. 27): In this month of the Holy Rosary, may our Blessed Mother guide us in confronting racial inequalities and restoring peace in our communities.

Day Three (Wednesday, Oct. 28): May all Americans recall the necessity of dialogue, civility, and humility in this election season.

Day Four (Thursday, Oct. 29): May all people understand the moral and ethical dimensions of political decisions and decide accordingly.

Day Five (Friday, Oct. 30): May voters and elected leaders uphold the dignity of every human life in their political engagement.

Day Six (Saturday, Oct. 31): May Catholics recall all aspects of Catholic social teaching as they consider their votes.

Day Seven (Sunday, Nov. 1): May there be a transformation of politics to focus on the dignity of the human person and the common good.

Day Eight (Monday, Nov. 2): May we keep in mind the gift of religious freedom and our duty to defend and exercise it as faithful citizens.

Day Nine (Tuesday, Nov. 3): Today, as we approach the polls, may we understand and embrace the principles of our faith that should guide our political engagement.

Closing (Wednesday, Nov. 4): May the leaders elected this week be guided by the Holy Spirit as they fulfill their positions.

Go to www.grdiocese.org/faithful-citizenship to learn more about our call to faithful citizenship.

All Saints, All Souls, and Mass of Remembrance

Solemnity of All Saints

Sunday, November 1 – Usual Mass Times

On this day, we celebrate all the saints in heaven, known and unknown. “Halloween” means “All Hallows Eve” or “the evening before All Saints,” so feel free to embrace Halloween as an anticipatory celebration of this great Christian feast! All Saints’ Day is typically a holy day of obligation, and since it falls on a Sunday this year, either a Sunday Mass or the vigil Mass on Saturday will count for the obligation.


The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day)

Monday, November 2 – 6:30 p.m. Mass

After celebrating all the saints in heaven, the Church remembers all the holy souls in purgatory. We pray for them with the firm hope that they will be cleansed of their sins and received into the joys of eternal life. OLL will celebrate an evening Mass for All Souls’ Day.


Praying for the Dead in November

Catholics pray for the dead at all times of the year, but it is traditional to focus on this work of mercy in a special way during the month of November. Stop by the chapel to write the names of your departed loved ones in the parish Book of the Dead, then take a quiet moment to light a prayer candle in their honor.


Mass of Remembrance

Thursday, November 5, 6:30 p.m.

At our annual Mass of Remembrance, we will celebrate God’s healing grace and presence in our lives while remembering lost loved ones. You are invited to bring a photo or memento of your loved ones who have died to place near the altar before Mass and in the hall afterward. Due to COVID restrictions, the reception after Mass will be by invitation only.

Shoes and Cleaning Supplies Drive

We are conducting a collection of new shoes and cleaning supplies to replenish the Children’s Advocacy Center’s Cora’s Care Closet. The Children’s Advocacy Center’s mission is to help families with abuse prevention and intervention. Cora’s Care Closet meets the emergency needs of the children and non-offending family members that they serve. Often, the children who are removed from their homes leave with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Caregivers may be struggling to meet the new and unexpected needs of a child in crisis. The items are provided free of charge. The shoes and cleaning items we are collecting will replenish their shelves and help to ensure safer environments and stability for their clients and families.

There will be a display set up in the narthex that will have tags with suggested donation items. Please take one beginning the weekend of October 17 and then return the item the weekend of the October 31 to the same display, where there will be a collection basket for the donations. Questions can be directed to Alyssa Gaerte, the Mission Coordinator at OLL: agaerte@oll.org, 616-399-1062.

Respect Life Month

Respect Life Month 2020

October is both Respect Life Month and the month of the Rosary, and we’re observing both at OLL with a pro-life Rosary intention for every day of the month. Pick up a sheet with intentions in the narthex, and then bring an intention to prayer every day of October. We’ll pray for unborn children, the sick and dying, expectant parents, those who are mentally ill, the elderly, victims of violence and racism, and many more. You can pray with these intentions even if you don’t pray the Rosary. We will also have the special Respect Life Rosary available.

Download this Year’s Reflection

Learn More About Respect Life Month


Respect Life Guild at OLL

The Respect Life Guild is a group of volunteers who coordinate pro-life activities and education at the parish. If you are interested in receiving our communications, participating in our activities, and/or in helping to plan and implement pro-life events, please contact Cory Lakatos at clakatos@oll.org or 616-399-1062. The guild meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the parish library (see the parish calendar in case the meeting has been moved).

 

Pray the Pro-Life Rosary

The Holy Mother’s Beads has made special Pro-Life Rosaries. There are also pamphlets that guide you through all the additional prayers that ask for Our Lady’s intercession against abortion and the culture of death. These Rosaries and pamphlets are available in the narthex during Respect Life Month (October) or upon request.


Local Resources

  • 40 Days for Life is a community-based campaign of prayer, fasting, and outreach to cooperate with God in his plan to end abortion.
  • Project Rachel offers opportunities for reconciliation and healing for women, and for all, who suffer emotional and spiritual pain from an abortion experience. Their upcoming Rachel’s Vineyard Weekend Retreat is October 26–28 in the Grand Rapids area. The fee is $150, and scholarships are available. Register at least a week ahead of time by contacting Maggie Walsh at mwalsh@ccwestmi.org or 616-340-1824.
  • Positive Options provides free, confidential, and compassionate care for women and men facing an unplanned pregnancy.
  • Lakeshore Pregnancy Center is a Christ-centered ministry that responds to unplanned pregnancy and believes that every life matters, healthy relationships are vital, biblical sexuality is possible, and hope is eternal.

Resources from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

COVID Update from Our Bishop

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

Effective immediately, Bishop Walkowiak has announced the ability to open churches in the diocese more widely for Masses, providing guidance to pastors allowing them to admit to Mass the number of people they are able to safely accommodate while maintaining proper social distancing. In addition, he has extended through Nov. 23, the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. To safely maintain public Masses with an increased seating capacity, parishioners need to continue to follow diocesan guidelines including wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, and frequently washing their hands.

Weekly Adoration at OLL

Weekly Adoration at OLL

Thursdays from 3 – 9 p.m.
First Fridays from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Click Here to Sign Up or View the Schedule Online

If you have questions or need help signing up, contact Cory Lakatos at clakatos@oll.org or 616-399-1062 ext. 110.

How can I participate in Adoration?

  1. Drop by when it’s convenient for you: All are welcome to come to Adoration for any period of time, short or long, without signing up.
  2. Commit to a Holy Hour: We need parishioners to commit to each hour of Adoration (e.g. 5-6 p.m. every third Thursday, 10-11 a.m. every first Friday, 3-4 p.m. every Thursday, etc.). If you are unavailable a certain week, you can ask a sub to fill in for you. To commit to a Holy Hour, sign up online or in the narthex, or contact Cory Lakatos.
  3. Serve as a substitute: If you would like to be put on the list of subs, sign up online or in the narthex, or contact Cory Lakatos. You will be contacted ahead of time when there are open Holy Hours.

What is Adoration and why should I go?
During Adoration, the Eucharist is exposed on the altar, and we can pray in silence however we are led to by the Holy Spirit. Eucharistic Adoration helps us to acknowledge and reverence Christ’s real presence in the Blessed Sacrament, worship Jesus and grow closer to him, and participate more fully in the holy sacrifice of the Mass. “To visit the Blessed Sacrament is… a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord” (St. Paul VI).

Why do this now at our parish?
In the best of times, Adoration is an essential devotion recommended to all Catholics. But these are not the best of times. In this season of pandemic, recession, political turmoil, and other sufferings, this is the time to turn to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament more than ever. In a special way, Adoration gives us the opportunity to intercede for our world, our parish, and ourselves. In Adoration, we make ourselves open to Christ’s peace and allow him to make us into the saints our community so desperately needs.

How do I go to Adoration and benefit from it?

  • Adoration will usually take place in the chapel. On first Fridays, it will follow the 9 a.m. Mass. During Adoration, the chapel entrance will be open and the doors between the chapel and the narthex will be locked.
  • COVID restrictions during Adoration will be the same as for Mass (social distancing, face masks, etc.). When you arrive, sign in and take a slip of paper to leave on your seat so the staff knows where to clean.
  • Consider dividing your time before the Blessed Sacrament into three segments:
  1. Simply spend time with the Lord. This can take the form of contemplation, thanksgiving, spiritual reading, devotions like the Rosary and the Liturgy of the Hours, speaking to Jesus, and listening to him.
  2. Intercede for all of the people in your life. Pray for family, friends, coworkers, deceased loved ones, and others.
  3. Intercede for the whole world. This can include our community and nation, the poor, persecuted Christians, victims of wars and natural disasters, and the whole creation.
  • Sign out when you leave. If you have committed to a Holy Hour, please do not leave early. If no one has arrived for the next hour when your hour is over, contact the parish office. If this happens after office hours, place the veil over the monstrance before you leave the chapel.

Public Mass

Public Mass 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