My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Yes, we live in challenging times as the nation and the world continue to confront COVID-19. As we have seen, the governmental directives to combat the coronavirus have been constantly changing.
It is important that all of us join with our neighbors across the State of Michigan and beyond in observing measures to address the spread of COVID-19.
As we continue to practice social distancing to limit the virus' spread, our first response as the Body of Christ is to stand strong in faith.
We must remain calm and confident that the Lord is guiding our journey through these times, just as the Israelite people were led through their exodus to a land of new hope.
We must remain a Church with living faith, and not succumb to the darkness of these days which are a part, and solely a part, of our world history.
We continue to place this pandemic in the hands of our loving Father and ask our Blessed Mother to enfold us in the mantle of love and mercy.
Cooperation and Additional Directives
In following directives that were issued in Governor Whitmer’s “Stay At Home” Executive Order of March 23, 2020 and in place through Easter Monday, April 13, 2020, I am deeply saddened to inform you that Holy Week celebrations will not be offered publicly this year in the Diocese of Saginaw.
It is important that we cooperate with and support the governor and local health officials during this time. I have issued additional directives regarding the life of our parishes, the administration of the Sacraments – particularly to those who are sick and dying – and the celebration of Holy Week.
Bishop Gruss' Homily- March 25, Feast of the Annunciation
Though we are not able to gather in our parishes during Holy Week and on Easter, it is possible for us to be connected in other ways. Please visit the diocesan website, www.saginaw.org, where you can watch daily Mass, soon find ideas about celebrating Holy Week and Easter at home, sign up to receive our email updates and more.
Many of your parish websites are also wonderful resources during these days. I would ask you to please continue your financial support to your parish. They rely entirely on your contributions and your generosity. I am very grateful for your support, especially during this time.
In addition, I ask all the Faithful in the Diocese of Saginaw to join me, the Holy Father and faithful around the world in prayer this Friday, March 27 to pray at 1 p.m. (in union with the Holy Father in Rome) and, as you are able, to receive the Plenary Indulgence that will accompany the Eucharistic Benediction from the Holy Father.
These are extraordinary times in the life of our local Church. But the Lord, in the mystery of His love, care and concern for us, offers beautiful graces to help us in this time of need.
May we stay united, watchful in prayer, seeking healing especially for those who have contracted the coronavirus. Be assured of my prayers for all of you and across this nation and world. Please pray for me. Our Lady of the Assumption, pray for us.
Sincerely in the peace and joy of Christ,
Most Rev. Robert D. Gruss
Bishop of Saginaw