January 20, 2022
Dear Friends in Christ,
I have heard from many of you who long to come back to Mass and to receive the Eucharist. However, you do not feel comfortable as COVID cases continue to accelerate in our region.
In order to make Mass accessible to as many as possible, every pastor is now required to create a socially distanced section in their church by this weekend, January 22/23, if they do not have one yet. Each pastor may determine the best way to indicate this section in the church. Parishioners are required to wear masks in the socially distanced section. This directive is in effect until February 28, upon which time it will be re-evaluated. Models predict that Michigan may be through the worst of this latest surge at that point.
Of course, parishioners are strongly encouraged to wear a mask in other areas of the church and at all in person meetings held on church grounds.
I recognize that many of our pastors and their staffs have taken extra steps to protect and care for parishioners during this pandemic. I hope you are ready to be welcomed back, to be safe, to be fed, to be home.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak
Bishop of Grand Rapids
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