St. Mary Catholic Church

157 High Street
Williamston, MI 48895
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Office Hours

Weekdays, 9:00am - 3:00pm

Contact Us

Office: (517) 655-2620
Religious Ed: (517) 655-2520
School: (517) 655-4038
Fax: (517) 655-3933
Email: contact@saint-mary.church

Inclement Weather Policy:
Click here.

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Mass Times

Saturday Vigil Mass: 4:30pm

Sunday: 7:30am, 9:00am, 11:00am

Monday: No Mass
Tuesday - Friday: 8:00am^
Saturday: 9:00am

^During the school year, please only use the main church entrance (under the bell tower) for entering/exiting the church for weekday Masses.

Click here for updated guidelines for Mass (updated Feb. 15, 2021).

Live stream: We live stream the Saturday 4:30pm Mass. Watch here. (The Masses will remain available through the rest of the weekend.)

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Reconciliation

All Confessions, unless noted below, are in the confessional located in the chapel and are socially distanced. Please wear a mask.

Sundays:
8:30am - 8:50am*
10:30am - 10:50am*

Wednesdays - outside:
6:00pm - 6:45pm, or until finished
***Confession is outside in the school parking lot. In severe weather it is moved indoors to the confessional.***

Saturdays:
-9:30am - 10:00am, or until finished 
-3:30pm - 4:20pm*

*These Confession times precede a Mass and must conclude at the time stated.

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Eucharistic Adoration

There are opportunities throughout the week; click here for a list of times.

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Stations of the Cross

Fridays during Lent: 6:30pm
Good Friday: Live stations at 3:00pm at McCormick Park

Mortem Tuam

The “Mortem Tuam” is the Latin translation of the Memorial Acclamation: “We proclaim your death, O Lord, and your resurrection until you come again.”

Emily Flint sings the Mortem Tuam twice as it is sung during Mass.

This short video breaks down the Latin pronunciations for the Mortem Tuam.

Lent 2021

Wondering why we Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays? 
“Since it is believed Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross on a Friday, Christians from the very beginning have set aside that day to unite their sufferings to JesusThis led the Church to recognize every Friday as a “Good Friday” where Christians can remember Christ’s passion by offering up a specific type of penance. For much of the Church’s history meat was singled out as a worthy sacrifice on account of its association with feasts and celebrations….The whole point is to make a sacrifice that draws a person closer to Christ, who out of love for us made the ultimate sacrifice a person can make. ”  

There are many ways you can grow closer to Jesus this Lent.
Scroll down for a variety of events, Bible studies, and more!

Registration has been extended through Sunday, Feb. 28.
Click here for more information.
Click here to register.

Join host Scott Hahn to uncover how and why all of God’s action, in creation and redemption, is ordered to the Mass. It’s time to wake Catholics up to the awesome power, the incredible gift, that is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The alternative is unthinkable. Click here.

Join Renewal Ministries’ President, Ralph Martin, for a LIVE online Lenten Mission. This four night mission will help you build a solid foundation for the spiritual journey through the wisdom of the saints, as found in Ralph’s book The Fulfillment of All Desire.

This Lenten Mission will build on topics covered during our Advent Mission (which focused on the “purgative” stage of the spiritual journey). Content will be new for those who participated in Advent (focusing on the “illuminative” stage of the spiritual journey), but will also stand alone for newcomers. All are invited to join us to learn timeless wisdom for the spiritual life. Click here to register.

This virtual retreat is an invitation to all who struggle to overcome the greatest obstacle of all in the spiritual life – discouragement. This is a call to hope, a call to solace in times of suffering, and a call to stand tall in times of affliction. Fr. Timothy Gallagher will help you learn how to enter into the sublime peace and joy that our Lord promises.

Virtual Retreat on March 6 from 10 AM – 3:30 PM
The retreat will consist of live and pre-recorded talks, opportunities to ask questions of Fr. Timothy, and to discuss your struggles in small groups. Registration is required.
Early registration of $20 through February 26 at noon.
Registration February 26 – March 4 at noon will be $25. 
Click here for details & to register.

Every Wednesday at 8:00 pm Eastern Standard Time for 6 weeks!
Dr. Edward Sri will be leading a virtual study of No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk Through Christ’s Passion Bible every Wednesday starting February 24, 2021!
In No Greater Love, Dr. Sri—a Bible scholar, theologian, and popular Ascension presenter—will guide you on a biblical pilgrimage through the Passion in six easy-to-understand lessons.

Each LIVE lesson will be free on Facebook, but they will be based upon the associated study videos, so it is highly recommended to watch the study videos before each livestream! Click here for details and to register.

The Encounter School of Prophetic Ministry is a three day school that provides the foundations for you to be equipped to hear God’s voice more clearly for yourself and the world around you through training and activation of the prophetic gifts of the Holy Spirit in your life. Based on the curriculum of the Encounter School of Ministry, attendees will experience three powerful days of activation-based learning in a safe and relational environment grounded in teaching faithful to the Church.
Join in person or on Zoom! Click here for details & registration.

40 Days for Life starts on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, through Mar. 28. Pray and fast for an end to abortion.

Please consider signing up for an hour prayer vigil at Planned Parenthood in Lansing. Click for details & to sign up.

Teresa Pratt will also lead a Rosary for Life at St. Mary Church on Thursday evenings from 6pm – 7pm.

Set a Fire is our Blessed is She reflection book for your Lenten journey this year. We believe every woman can fully live her life when she’s guided by the Holy Spirit. The journal is sold out, but a digital download is available. Click here.

Have your best Lent ever with this introduction to mental prayer and beautiful Gospel reflections! Click here for details and the download.

In this daily apologetics series you’ll learn: How was Jesus a prophet? What will happen to those who never hear of Jesus? What is a miracle? How can I join or help someone join the Catholic Church? How did the Church begin? What did the Early Church Fathers believe about the Eucharist? And much, much, more… Click here.

2021 LENTEN GOSPEL REFLECTIONS BOOK by Bishop Robert Barron. Includes the Gospel reading for each day of Lent 2021, brand new reflections from Bishop Barron, reflection questions, journal pages, and Stations of the Cross reflections. Click here.

Bp. Barron also offers daily Lenten Gospel reflections that you can receive in your inbox. Sign up here.

Nothing will transform your life so completely, absolutely, and forever like really learning how to pray. That’s why this year’s BEST LENT EVER journeys through Matthew Kelly’s latest book, I Heard God Laugh: A Practical Guide to Life’s Essential Daily Habit.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday and continuing through all forty days of Lent, you will receive a daily email with a short video to help you reconnect with yourself and your God.
Click here.

From Bishop Boyea: “I invite you to join me in reading through the Holy Bible over the course of the next 12 months, starting this Advent. Together, it will be our Year of the Bible. Each day, I will text you a chapter of Sacred Scripture directly to your cellphone. We will then read it and meditate upon it. Over the weeks, I’ll also text you invitations to events; share video reflections with you; and let you know about other Year of the Bible updates. By the end of 12 months, we will have made our pilgrimage together.” Click here.

Each 20-25 minute episode includes: two to three scripture readings,
a reflection from Fr. Mike Schmitz, and guided prayer to help you hear God’s voice in his Word. Click here for details and to listen.

Watch the following on FORMED.ORG, or enjoy one of the other many resources in their Catholic library. Our parish has a membership, so you can sign up with our parish’s zip code (48895) to access them all. Enjoy!

Click here.

Click here.

Click here.

Pro-Life Events

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What is Walking with Moms in Need? Walking with Moms in Need” is a year of service where Catholic parishes and communities “walk in the shoes” of local pregnant and parenting women in need.

Everyone should know how to help moms in difficult circumstances. While not trying to turn Catholic parishes into pregnancy centers, we can support local pregnancy centers where they exist, and we can also find and share other resources with pregnant and parenting women. And where there are few local resources, we can create our own, based on the gifts of the parish community!

The Diocese of Lansing is hosting an informational meeting next Monday (1/25/21) via Zoom from 4pm to 6pm for anyone who is interested in learning more or volunteering. It will be recorded for those who cannot attend.

Questions? Contact Jenny Ingles at jingles@dioceseoflansing.org or 517.342.2587.

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Come to the March for Life next Wednesday, Jan. 27 at the Michigan State Capitol!

If you’d like to march with other St. Mary parishioners, we will be meeting between 12:30pm – 12:45pm at 300 W. Ottawa, Lansing, MI. We’ll go over to the March together. Look for the St. Mary Church & School banner!

Please note:

  • Dress warmly!
  • We will provide some pro-life signs, but feel free to get creative and bring your own!
  • Parking info is in the link below. We also have been allocated a limited number of nearby spots for those who are handicapped, have a huge van, or can’t pay the downtown fees. To request a spot, email Christy Whiting at stmary.christy@gmail.com.
  • More details, including where to park, are on the event website here: https://www.protectlifemi.org/mimarch
  • Invite friends and family!

Bishop Boyea issued a personal invitation by video to come to this March:

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The National Prayer Vigil for Life will be virtual this year.

Catholics across the country are instead being are encouraged to take part in a nationwide prayer vigil all night from Jan. 28 through Jan. 29, marking the 48th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion.

The vigil schedule includes the Opening Mass celebrated in the Great Upper Church. Prayer continues throughout the night with the National Rosary for Life, Night Prayer and Holy Hours for Life. The following morning, the prayer vigil concludes with Morning Prayer, Benediction and the Closing Mass the next morning at 8 a.m.

Watch the Vigil here on EWTN or livestream from the basilica.

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Watch the livestream of the national March for Life on Friday, Jan. 29 beginning at 11 a.m. The live broadcast will include inspiring speeches from pro-life leaders, information on how to stay involved in the pro-life movement all year long, and a performance by Christian singer and songwriter Matthew West.

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You are invited to join the Virtual Rose Dinner Gala, an annual pro-life gala on the evening of the 2021 March for Life, held virtually this year at 7:00 pm on Friday, January 29.

This inspirational event will feature as the keynote speaker and guest of honor Tim Tebow, a professional athlete, NYT bestselling author, and Heisman Trophy recipient. In addition to Tebow’s keynote address, Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, will be honored with the 2021 Pro-Life Legacy Award, an award recognizing a lifetime of exceptional work advocating for the inherent dignity of the unborn human person. Tickets: $25.

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Inclement Weather Policy

It’s that time of year again! If St. Mary School closes due to inclement weather, the parish office will also be closed. If the parish office closes, we will post the notice on our our website here and on Facebook.

Mass will not be cancelled. However, if it is unsafe to attend due to inclement weather you are not obligated to come. We will continue to live stream the Saturday 4:30pm Masses on our YouTube page

If Eucharistic Adoration or other parish events are cancelled, we will post it on our website here and on Facebook.

Flocknote sign up

We use “Flocknotes” (via Flocknote.com) to keep our parish and school family connected and informed with special announcements, weekly updates, and important updates (like weather-related closings).

There are two ways to sign up:

Text “STMARYW” to 84576

– or –

Contact Christy Whiting: stmary.christy@gmail.com; 517-655-2520

Christmas – New Year Masses & Schedule Changes

If you haven’t already read Fr. Fons’ letter about Christmas Masses, click the image above to do so.

Christmas Mass times:

  • There will be two simultaneous Masses at 4:30 pm on the 24th, celebrated by Fr. Zach Mabee (in the church) and Fr. Fons (in the gym).
    • The Mass in the gym will have a combination of normal seating and “family pods,” which are marked off areas for one household, similar to how seating worked at the outdoor Masses where you can use our chairs or bring your own chairs, blankets, etc. Please know that all children are welcome at our Masses.
  • We also have Masses at 7:00 pm and 11:00 pm (with Eucharistic adoration after the 11pm Mass) on Christmas Eve.
  • Then we have Masses at 9:00 am and 11:00 am on Christmas morning.

We will live stream the 9:00 am Mass on Christmas Day on our YouTube channel. You will also be able to watch it later in the day. Click here to watch.
Other schedule changes:

  • The parish office hours are 10-1pm until further notice.
  • The parish office is closed the following dates: 12/24, 12/25, 12/31, 1/1.
  • Fr. Fons will be on vacation for a week after Christmas. Fr. Zach Mabee will celebrate our Masses on the weekend of Dec. 26 & 27.
  • We have priests to cover some weekday Masses during that week, but not all. The following are cancelled: 
    • Saturday 12/26 – no 9am Mass
    • Tuesday 12/29 – no 8am Mass
    • Thursday 12/31 – no 8am Mass
  • We will not have confessions on Wednesday, Dec. 30.

New Year’s schedule for the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God:

  • Thursday, Dec. 31:
    • Vigil Mass at 7pm
    • Eucharistic Adoration immediately following until Midnight
    • Sacrament of Reconciliation available from 8pm – 8:30pm, and from 11pm – 11:30pm
  • Friday, Jan. 1:
    • Masses at 9am and 11am
    • The 9am Mass will be live streamed.

We will continue to live stream all of our Sunday 9am Masses in the new year. Click here to watch.

A letter from Fr. Fons about Christmas Masses

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Lord Jesus Christ has been preparing our hearts this Advent season to more fully receive Him as He comes to rescue and save us. As we approach the wonderful celebration of Christmas, I would like to offer an encouragement, a reminder, and a request in regards to the opportunities we have to worship God at Holy Mass.

First, I want to encourage everyone who feels comfortable to plan on attending Christmas Mass at one of our 6 Masses on the 24th and 25th; we have a lot of room!

  • There will be two simultaneous Masses at 4:30 pm on the 24th, celebrated by Fr. Zach Mabee (in the church) and myself (in the gym).
    • The Gym Mass will have a combination of normal seating and “family pods,” which are marked off areas for one household, similar to how seating worked at the outdoor Masses where you can use our chairs or bring your own chairs, blankets, etc. Please know that all children are welcome at our Masses.
  • We also have Masses at 7:00 pm and 11:00 pm (with Eucharistic adoration after the 11pm Mass) on Christmas Eve.
  • Then we have Masses at 9:00 am and 11:00 am on Christmas morning.
    • We will live stream the 9:00 am Mass on Christmas Day on our YouTube channel. You will also be able to watch it later in the day. Click here to watch.

In order to assist everyone who wants to attend Christmas Mass, I’d like to remind all of us to please remain committed to the health precautions we have been practicing. Thank you to all who have been following these guidelines for many months now! Please remember:

  • DO NOT attend if you are experiencing flu like symptoms or other known symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have had recent known exposure.
  • Please wear facial coverings while inside, unless medically unable. Even if this is not something you desire to do, please do so out of charity and consideration of the concerns of others and for their own protection.
  • Please maintain social distancing between households.

Finally, I have a request, related to the first two items. We don’t know who will be joining us for Mass this Christmas. Perhaps a number of people who have not attended Mass for a while (either because of the pandemic or many other reasons) will be coming through our doors. 

Along with the need to help them to feel safe from unnecessary exposure, I’d also like to ask that we all have an eye to welcoming everyone as Christ would. Our parish’s mission to help our whole community have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ starts with how people encounter us. So many are lonely and hurting, especially this year; may Christmas be a time for hope and joy for all who come to worship with us!

Thank you again for all that you do to make this parish a family of disciples.

In the hope of Christ’s Advent,

Fr. David Fons


Advent 2020

A blessed Advent to you!

This year we feel our need for a Savior acutely. The good news is that Jesus comes to us each day, to prepare our hearts to receive Him when He comes in glory. The season of Advent teaches us to wait with hope and expectation, because just as truly as Jesus came at the first Christmas, He will come again for us. 

There are many, many graces for us to receive this holy season, so we’ve compiled a list of events and resources to prepare your heart for Christ’s coming. Prayerfully consider what will help you grow closer to Him.

For those looking for family Advent activities and resources, Laura Hahnenberg will be sending them out to those in our Family Faith Formation program. If you’re not part of FFF and would like to receive those resources, contact Laura at 517-655-2620 or stmary.laura@gmail.com.

Download this list of Advent and Christmas Mass Times and Reconciliation Opportunities:

Bishop’s Year of the Bible

This Sunday, Nov. 29, is the first Sunday of Advent! It’s also the first day of our diocese’s “Bishop’s Year of the Bible”, which will go through Nov. 27, 2021.

This is a year to encounter Jesus in Scripture and to grow in the habit – or get in the habit – of listening to Him speak to you through Scripture each day.

Click below to receive a chapter of Scripture each day by email or text, as well as other announcements and resources. Bishop Boyea prayerfully selected the readings so that in the course of this year, you’ll get an overview of salvation history.

Join fellow Catholics from around the diocese as we pray through Scripture together!

 

The Giving Tree has a few gift suggestions to help St. Mary SchoolShared Pregnancy, and Williamston Food Bank this Christmas season. Please take a tag with a gift request from the tree in the narthex, and bring the gift back by Sunday, December 13.

Shared Pregnancy also has an Amazon Wish list. Click here.

Online Advent retreats, Bible studies, and more…

+ Advent Retreat with PrayMoreNovenas.org: This free, self-paced retreat features inspiring talks on finding rest in prayer, discernment, growing in joy, waiting on the Lord, and more to sustain your life of faith. Details here.

+ “Behold Thy Mother: Getting to Know the Blessed Virgin Mary” from Sacred Heart Major Seminary: In this free, self-paced, short online course, Sacred Heart faculty will explain the rich meaning of the four great Marian dogmas for our faith, and introduce us to Mary’s “apparitions” to people living in very different times and places, such as Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe, and Kibeho. Details here

+ “The Fulfillment of All Desire Advent Mission” led by Dr. Ralph Martin: This free, live, online Advent Mission will help you build a solid foundation for the spiritual journey. Each Sunday in Advent, from 8-9pm, Dr. Ralph Martin will teach and answer questions on the first stages of the spiritual journey, as found in his book The Fulfillment of All DesireDetails here.

+ “Pray with Scripture, Meet God” from the Catherine of Siena Institute: This is a free, downloadable prayer resource that leads you through a simple prayer method inspired by lectio divina, so that you can encounter God in Scripture. If you feel that God is distant, this is especially for you. Details here

+ “Unspeakable Joy: A Daily Advent Retreat with soon-to-be-Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa and Chris Stefanick”: This free digital retreat features daily videos and reflections to learn how to have joy, no matter the circumstances of life. Details here

+ “Rejoice! Advent Meditations with the Holy Family” from Ascension: This features a journal with daily meditations that will enrich your Advent by inviting you to experience the first Advent with Joseph and Mary, as they await the birth of their son, the Savior of the world. Together with the guided meditation videos, this journal will help you to see the marriage of Mary and Joseph in a new light. Details here.

+ “The Road to Bethlehem” on FORMED: It includes daily Advent reflections by Dr. Tim Gray, weekly videos, audio talks, and book excerpts, email reminders every morning, Brother Francis Advent reflections for kids, and a weekly action item to help you put the Advent message into practice. Details here.

+ “Best Advent Ever” from Dynamic Catholic: “Experience free, daily video reflections on the Advent Gospel readings and head into 2021 with the happiest, shiniest soul you’ve ever had!” Details here.

Special Announcements – from Nov. 22 onward

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021:

Lenten Series – Catholic Vision

Join us this Lent as we seek to form more of a true Catholic Vision. Our theme for Lent is Romans 12:2, “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Each week from Ash Wednesday through the first five Sundays of Lent, the homily will focus on a false tenet of our culture’s way of seeing and bring it to the light of the Gospel.

We’ve started a playlist with the first three homilies in this series. If you missed any of them or want to listen again, click here:

Time and Talent Survey

We are compiling a reference list of our parishioners’ and school parents’ talents and interests so that when volunteer needs arise, we know who may be able to help. We are not asking for any commitments in this survey.

Please take a few minutes to fill out this short survey by Sunday, Mar. 7.

Thank you ahead of time for your willingness to serve! We are very grateful for the time, talents and treasures that we have been blessed with in our St. Mary family. God bless you!

Our Lady may be covered in snow, but she’s still praying for an end to abortion! Come pray a Rosary for Life in our warm sanctuary every Thursday from 6pm – 7pm. Come whenever you can, or pray along from home.

And if you’re able, please sign up to pray with 40 Days for Life at the Planned Parenthood in Frandor: https://www.40daysforlife.com/lansing 

Friday, Feb. 19, 2021:

We’ve begun using the Latin “Mortem Tuam” Memorial Acclamation at Mass. You can learn the words and music here:

Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021:

ASH WEDNESDAY LIVE STREAM MASS UPDATE: We had planned to live stream the 12noon Mass, but the internet is out at the church. We will try to live stream the 7pm Mass tonightYou can also watch the diocesan Mass at the cathedral at 12:05pm or thereafter at this link

LENTEN EVENTS AND RESOURCES: We have posted a long list of Lenten events – in person and online – on our webpage here. Prayerfully consider how to grow closer to Jesus this Lent.

Monday, Feb. 15, 2021:

Our theme verse for Lent:

Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021:

Click here for more information and to register.

40 Days for Life starts on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, through Mar. 28. Pray and fast for an end to abortion.

Please consider signing up for an hour prayer vigil at Planned Parenthood in Lansing. Teresa Pratt will lead a Rosary there on Thursday evenings from 6pm – 7pm. Click for details & to sign up.

A Special Thank You from Haiti

We sent solar powered inflatable lanterns for each of the students in our sister parish & school, St. Michael in Haiti. Fr. Joseph and their students send their thanks:

Dear friends of the parish of St. Mary, Father David, Deacon Steven, dear students and teachers of the St. Mary, dear devotees.

Today you cannot imagine the great joy that you give to the pupils of the presbyteral school of St. Michael here at Poteneau by giving them each a solar lamp which would allow them to study well and to write their homework.

I want to tell you this confidence if you want to believe. Some of them will see for the first time a lighted lamp in their maternal house. With that, my dear friends, I would like to present to you on behalf of the school children, teachers and parishioners of St. Michael my warmest thanks for this gift of light bulbs. I take this opportunity to thank you also for your great generosity towards the parish of St. Michael. 

Receive my blessings and gratitude. May God bless and protect you always. Fr. Jean Marie Rosemond Joseph

This is National Marriage Week…

A blessed and happy St. Valentine’s day to you all!

Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021:

Note: Due to technical problems, we’re unable to live stream Mass this weekend. We apologize for the inconvenience. Click here for more Masses to live stream.

Bishop Boyea has extended the dispensation from the obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sundays and other holy days of obligation through Sunday, May 16th, the Ascension of the Lord. Our bishop has also expressed his hope that this will be the last extension of these dispensations, and that beginning on Sunday, May 23rd, the Solemnity of Pentecost, the obligation to attend Mass will resume for those who are not otherwise prevented from attending, or who seek an individual dispensation in the normal way. More information will be given as we get closer to that date.

Ash Wednesday is February 17th. We will celebrate Mass with the distribution of ashes that day at 8am, 12noon and 7pm. Ashes may be received on the forehead in the normal way or the prayer of exhortation can be given without receiving ashes. The 12noon Mass will be live streamed on our YouTube channel.

Discouraged by Current Events? Here Are 10 Ways to Lift up Your Heart

“I came to see that the heaviness upon me was an unnecessary yoke that could be lifted by reordering my thinking. Here are some thoughts that have helped me to regain a joy and peace anchored in Christ.”

1. Everything is happening under God’s watch, so we should be at peace: “Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand’” (John 13:7). “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). 

2. You can hate situations but not people. Pray for the players, regardless of their politics. It’s a way to love our enemies as ourselves as Jesus commanded.  …

10. Do more of the things that give you strength — prayer, adoration, fasting, reading the Bible, and performing acts of mercy — so that your soul will be well. Eat healthy, exercise and get fresh air so you feel good in mind and body. Clean, declutter and organize to be at peace in your surroundings.

“His eye is on the sparrow, and He watches over me.”

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021:

Due to tonight’s snowstorm, St. Mary School and the parish office will be closed on Friday, Feb. 5. There will still be a morning Mass at 8am.

Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021:

Click here for details!

Do you need some weekly encouragement and inspiration? 

We send out “Gracenote” emails/texts every week with encouragement and ways to stay grounded in Christ and grow in your faith, in the middle of everything else going on. 

To subscribe to Gracenote, email Christy Whiting at stmary.christy@gmail.com.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17. Closer to that time, we will send out a list of Lenten devotions and events (both in person and virtual) as we did for Advent.

There are several devotional books and an event that you may want to order or sign up for in advance: 

Friday, Jan. 16, 2021:

Sacristan Volunteers Needed! We need volunteers to set up for the Friday 8:00 a.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. Masses. The responsibilities are easy to learn and training will be provided. Please consider this opportunity to serve the Lord and His Church. Contact Celeste Sura at 517-655-1794 if you are interested in volunteering.

There is so much noise and chaos in the world right now that we are going to have an extended time for prayer and reflection, without a speaker this month. 

Bring whatever is on your mind to Jesus, listen to Him, and rest in His presence at Alive.

Pray this novena together with Catholics all across our nation for a renewed respect for the sanctity of human life, from conception until natural death. You can receive it by email or text.  Click here to join in.

St. Mary parishioner and seminarian Brett Ivey was featured by the Diocese of Lansing this week, as he shared his story of coming to know Jesus. Enjoy this short video, and let’s keep Brett in our prayers as he discerns God’s call for his life. 

Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021:

Special thanks to our volunteers who did such a beautiful job decorating the church for Christmas!

It takes a lot of work and time to prepare the church for the Christmas holiday and they did a tremendous job! 

If anyone would like to take a poinsettia home, you may take one after the 11am Mass this Sunday!
Thank you also to all of our volunteers who served at our Christmas Masses and Masses for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God! We appreciate all that you do!

For those who receive contribution envelopes:
Please pick up your 2021 envelopes from St. Joseph Hall. Thank you!

* There is currently a real need for volunteers to set up for the Friday 8:00am and Saturday 9:00am Masses. The responsibilities are easy to learn and include: 

  • Opening up the church
  • Setting up the sacred vessels for Mass
  • Closing up some areas of the church after Mass

Training will be provided. Please consider this opportunity to serve the Lord and His Church. Contact Celeste Sura at 517-655-1794 if you are interested in volunteering.

* If you like to have fun and are filled with the joy of Christ this job is for you! We have three spots open for anyone who is interested in volunteering in the parish office. Office volunteers answer telephones, do light administrative work and welcome anyone who may come into the office with a smile and a pleasant attitude. The shifts available are:

  • Mondays 12noon – 3pm
  • Wednesdays 12noon – 3pm
  • Thursdays 9am -12noon

Please contact Leslie at leslie.stmarys@gmail.com if you are interested in helping out for one or more of the shifts.

Inclement Weather Policy

It’s that time of year again! If St. Mary School closes due to inclement weather, the parish office will also be closed. If the parish office closes, we will post the notice on our our website here and on Facebook.

Mass will not be cancelled. However, if it is unsafe to attend due to inclement weather you are not obligated to come. We will continue to live stream Sunday Masses on our YouTube page

If Eucharistic Adoration or other parish events are cancelled, we will post it on our website here and on Facebook.

Watch: Realign Resources for Mission – A Virtual Parish Meeting hosted by Pete Burak

If you missed our parish Zoom meeting in December with Fr. Mathias Thelen and diocesan lawyer Will Bloomfield, representing the Realign Resources for Mission Committee, please take the time to watch the video below (41 min).

* Pete Burak explains why our diocese needs to realign resources (it’s not all about money or not having enough priests, although those are realities).

* Go through the four principles informing Bishop Boyea’s Realign Resources for Mission Vision.

* Take the opportunity to give written feedback to them and the RRM process in general via this online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/realignresourcesformission

Fr. Mathias assured us that the Committee is reading all of the survey responses, and truly wants our parishioners’ input as the diocese discerns how God is leading us forward. 

Please submit any feedback by Friday, January 15.

Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020:

Christmas Eve – Dec. 24, 2020:

St. Mary’s Staff sends Christmas greetings and blessings to all of our parish family!
Fr. Fons and some of our staff included messages in the video above.
We all pray that the joy and peace of Christ’s presence will be yours
as you celebrate His birth!

Saturday, Dec. 19:

If you haven’t read Fr. Fons’ letter, click the image above to do so.

Christmas Mass times:

  • There will be two simultaneous Masses at 4:30 pm on the 24th, celebrated by Fr. Zach Mabee (in the church) and Fr. Fons (in the gym).
    • The Mass in the gym will have a combination of normal seating and “family pods,” which are marked off areas for one household, similar to how seating worked at the outdoor Masses where you can use our chairs or bring your own chairs, blankets, etc. Please know that all children are welcome at our Masses.
  • We also have Masses at 7:00 pm and 11:00 pm (with Eucharistic adoration after the 11pm Mass) on Christmas Eve.
  • Then we have Masses at 9:00 am and 11:00 am on Christmas morning.

We will live stream the 9:00 am Mass on Christmas Day on our YouTube channel. You will also be able to watch it later in the day. Click here to watch.

Other schedule changes:

  • The parish office hours are 10-1pm until further notice.
  • The parish office is closed the following dates: 12/24, 12/25, 12/31, 1/1.
  • Fr. Fons will be on vacation for a week after Christmas. Fr. Zach Mabee will celebrate our Masses on the weekend of Dec. 26 & 27.
  • We have priests to cover some weekday Masses during that week, but not all. The following are cancelled: 
    • Saturday 12/26 – no 9am Mass
    • Tuesday 12/29 – no 8am Mass
    • Thursday 12/31 – no 8am Mass
  • We will not have confessions on Wednesday, Dec. 30.

New Year’s schedule for the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God:

  • Thursday, Dec. 31:
    • Vigil Mass at 7pm
    • Eucharistic Adoration immediately following until Midnight
    • Sacrament of Reconciliation available from 8pm – 8:30pm, and from 11pm – 11:30pm
  • Friday, Jan. 1:
    • Masses at 9am and 11am
    • The 9am Mass will be live streamed.

We will continue to live stream all of our Sunday 9am Masses in the new year. Click here to watch.

Realigning Resources for Mission Update: 

We had a very encouraging Zoom meeting with representatives of the diocesan Realign Resources for Mission Committee, Fr. Mathias Thelen and Will Bloomfield. They are excited about what the Holy Spirit has been doing here at St. Mary. 

They shared a sobering analysis of our 10-county diocese. We are already facing some significant challenges in terms of a priest shortage, burnout for priests and parish staff, and the ever-present challenge of raising up our parishioners to use more of the gifts the Holy Spirit has given them (which is important in itself, regardless of the well-being of our pastoral leaders). 

We know that God always provides a way forward, so the “Realignment of Resources for Mission” committee is doing just that: discerning how to realign our diocesan resources so that we are better focused on the mission God has given us – to make disciples.

Fr. Mathias and Will expressed several times that they really want to hear our parishioners’ responses to the situation we’re facing as a diocese, and to hear our hopes and fears. They are asking everyone to:
   1. Watch the Zoom call, or at least the 4-part presentation. The Q & A at the end is more optional, though it was valuable.   
2. Once you have watched it, send them your thoughts via an online survey. This is due by Christmas, Dec. 25.

In the new year, they’ll take our input and that of all the other parishes in the diocese and formulate proposals for realignment. Lest you worry, they assured us that our parish will not be closing. They are excited about what is happening here, and want to encourage our growth. 

For more info: 

Did you know that St. Mary School has an Amazon wish list? Actually there are seven! Pick an item off of the school list, or choose from one of the teachers’ wish lists.

We still have lots of room for anyone who would like to live stream the Encounter Ministries conference at St. Mary! 

Be empowered by the Holy Spirit for the new year!

It starts Monday evening, Dec. 28, and goes all day on Tues. Dec. 29 and Wed. Dec. 30. We’ll join via Zoom, and have worship and prayer ministry in St. Joe Hall. Masks and social distancing are required. Tickets: $59.

Register: Christy Whiting – stmary.christy@gmail.com; 517-655-2520
+
You can also Zoom the conference at home. Register at the Encounter Ministries website.

Tuesday, Dec. 15:

Fr. Fons’ letter includes our Christmas Mass times, locations, and live stream information. Please read it.

We have restocked our CDs! New topics include:

  • Our Lady of Success
  • “Why Be Catholic?”
  • “Why go to Mass?”
  • “Prayer: the Gateway to the Spiritual Life”
  • “Making Peace with Difficult People”
  • “Suffering and the Love of God”
  • “The Four Levels of Happiness”
  • “The Battle Within” (overcoming sin)
  • “Men and Women are from Eden”
  • “A Guide to Raising (Almost) Perfect Kids”
  • “Contagious Catholicism”
  • and more!

Sunday, Dec. 13:

Captured: What the Hell Happened?

Last Sunday, Fr. Fons continued with the second of a 4-part homily series on the kerygma – the gospel, or “good news” – of why God created us, how we have been “captured” by sin, Jesus’ rescue mission, and responding to Him.

These homilies are adapted from Fr. John Riccardo’s compelling book,
Rescued: The Unexpected and Extraordinary News of the Gospel.

If you missed the homily or would like to hear the expanded version given by Fr. Riccardo, watch the video below. Fr. Riccardo turns our attention to “the bad news,” the explanation for why it is that everything is so messed up, and how utterly hopeless our race would be if God had not acted in the Person of His Son, Jesus. 

Congratulations to Anne Subrizi,who won the first prize – a new Jeep or $30,000! 

Congratulations to Gary Childs, who won the second prize of $3,000!

THANK YOU to everyone who supported our school through this raffle. A record 771 tickets were sold. God bless you!

All-Parish Meeting with the Diocesan Committee for Realigning Resources for Mission

“This Committee for the Realign of Resources for Mission in our diocesewas really established in order to plan for the future.Where are we going? How are we going to evangelize in our area?”said Bishop Boyea.

Bishop Boyea’s decision to establish the committee has been informed by several key statistics. The number of priests currently in active ministry across the diocese is 81 compared to the number of parishes which is 74. [Some parishes need more than one priest, and over 20 could retire in the next 10 years.] There is also a continued decline in people attending Sunday Mass with a loss of over 17,000 people since 2009.

The membership of the committee includes priests, deacons, and lay men and women from across the diocese who were nominated by the presbyterate and diocesan staff. Overseeing the process is Fr. Mathias Thelen of St. Patrick’s in Brighton who has been asked by the bishop to chair the committee.

“Now…the committee would like to hear from parishioners across the 10-counties,” says Fr. Thelen, “and so…we will be offering presentations to every parish community across the Diocese of Lansing on the Realign Resources for Mission process.”

Each presentation will be hosted by a member of the committee plus, in most cases, a member of staff from the Diocesan Curia, who will explain the Realign Resources for Mission process.

“The key thing, though, is to hear from parishioners at these meetings,” adds Fr. Thelen, “What are your hopes and fears for the future of your parish and our diocese? What do you love about your parish? And what are your recommendations for its future? You tell us.

The end result of the Realign Resource for Committee process will be a final report delivered to Bishop Boyea with recommendations for the future of the Diocese of Lansing.
-The above is taken from the diocesan RRM website

From St. Mary Parish:The Realign Resources for Mission Committee will meet with our parish on Wednesday, December 16th at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will take place via Zoom, and will be approximately 90 minutes long.  

The meeting will consist of two components: 

  • A presentation by the Realign Resource for Mission Committee. 
  • Feedback from parishioners on your hopes and fears for the process, what you love or feel needs to be known about your parish, and any specific suggestions you may have for the future of your parish or the future of the diocese.

New Camera Update

We have installed our new live stream camera above the statue of St. Joseph in the back of the church! Due to an art installation behind the baptismal font that will (if all goes well) come with our new floor and pews next year, we had to mount the camera to the side. 

It can pan, tilt, and zoom, so we look forward to being able to offer a higher quality video of the Mass (once we get coordinated on the movement 😉 ).  

Additional Times for Reconciliation: The previously announced penance services on Dec. 13th at St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Gerard have been cancelled. We will have additional times of Reconciliation here at St. Mary on:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 16th – 5:30pm to at least 6:45pm in the school parking lot
  • Thursday, Dec. 17th – 5:30pm to at least 6:45pm in the confessional
  • Friday, Dec. 18th – 5:30pm to at least 6:45pm in the confessional

Sunday, Dec. 6:

Creation: Why is there something rather than nothing?

Last Sunday, Fr. Fons began a 4-part homily series on the kerygma – the gospel, or “good news” – of why God created us, how we have been “captured” by sin, Jesus’ rescue mission, and responding to Him. 

These homilies are adapted from Fr. John Riccardo’s compelling book, Rescued: The Unexpected and Extraordinary News of the Gospel.

If you missed the homily or would like to hear the expanded version given by Fr. Riccardo, watch the video below.

Did you know – We have a 7:30 am Mass on Sundays! 

We began offering this Mass to avert crowding at our other Masses, and to provide a smaller Mass without music to enable those with significant Covid concerns to have a better option.

Attendance at our 7:30am Mass has been lower, as has the attendance at the Saturday 4:30pm Vigil Masses. We encourage parishioners who can come to these Masses to do so. 

A note about our live streams: 

The camera we have been using, which was new last spring, has been malfunctioning. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. We have purchased a new camera that will be mounted on the wall. We hope to have it set up next week. 

In the meantime, we’ll keep trying to stream our 9am Masses and the 7pm Mass for the Immaculate Conception. If those don’t work, you can watch streams from other parishes around the diocese, or google other Masses. 

We will try to live stream the 7pm Mass on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. However, if the live stream doesn’t work, see the note above about other live streams.

Special opportunities to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation

The previously announced penance services on Dec. 13th at St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Gerard have been cancelled. We will be having additional times of confessions here the evenings of December 16th, 17th, and 18th, 5:30pm to at least 6:45pm those nights, along with our normal times of confessions throughout the week. All Wednesday confessions will remain outdoors in the school parking lot.

Thank you to everyone who supported our school through The BIG Raffle! 771 tickets were sold – a new record for our raffles.

Congratulations to Anne Subrizi for winning the grand prize – the choice of a Jeep or $30,000! And congratulations to Gary Childs, who won the second cash prize!

Saturday, Nov. 28:

Advent begins this weekend!

Jesus has many, many graces for us to receive this holy season, so that we will be ready to celebrate His coming. How will you prepare?

This past week you should have received a Flocknote email or text with a list of Advent events and resources. If you didn’t, please email Christy Whiting to be added to our contact list: stmary.christy@gmail.com.

Bishop Boyea’s Year of the Bible begins this weekend! Join Bishop Boyea in reading through a chapter a day of the Holy Bible for the next year. Each day, the Bishop will text or email you a chapter, so that by the end of the year, you will have a good overview of the Bible.

Over the weeks, Bishop Boyea will also send you invitations to events, share video reflections with you, and let you know about other Year of the Bible updates.

This is the last weekend to buy tickets for The BIG Raffle!

The winners of the new Jeep or $30,000, and of the second prize of $3000 will be drawn on Saturday, Dec. 5th!

Tickets will be available after this weekend’s Masses. The morning of Dec. 4th is your last chance to purchase tickets at the parish or school office, or from the school website. All proceeds from the raffle go to St. Mary School!

Our Family Faith Formation Adult Workshop is this Sunday evening, Nov. 29, at 7pm via Zoom. A link can be found in the previous Flocknote communications.

Knights of Columbus will be in the gathering space after mass distributing Keep Christ in Christmas yard signs. A $5 donation is requested.

This Thanksgiving weekend Fr. Fons and our staff want to offer a special thank you to everyone who has volunteered over the past year. Our parish and school are blessed with many people who share their time and talents to make our parish life possible. Thank you!

Tuesday, Nov. 24:

November 22, 2020:

Bishop Boyea has extended the dispensation from the obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation until Tuesday, February 16th, 2021, the day preceding the liturgical season of Lent.

The parish office hours have changed temporarily. The office will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Tuesday December 8th. If you need assistance outside of those hours please call the parish office and someone will return your call as soon as possible.

Bishop Boyea’s Year of the Bible

You are invited to join Bishop Boyea in reading through the Holy Bible starting this Advent and continuing through the next 12 months. Each day, the Bishop will text or email a chapter of Sacred Scripture.

Together with the Bishop – and all those taking part around the diocese – you will then read it and meditate upon it. Over the weeks, Bishop Boyea will also text you invitations to events; share video reflections with you; and let you know about other Year of the Bible updates.

To sign up for texts, simply text BYOB, which stands for Bishop’s Year of the Bible to 84576.

To sign up for emails, click the link below.

Tickets for the Big Raffle are available now, but ticket sales end soon!
Support our school and enjoy good odds of winning a new Jeep or $30,000, or winning the second prize of $3000! 

All proceeds from the raffle go to St. Mary School!

You can purchase tickets:

  • at the parish or school office
  • from a St. Mary School family
  • from the school website
  • after a weekend Mass

Please let family and friends know about this raffle. A personal request goes a lot farther than a general invitation, so consider asking them over Thanksgiving. 

This is a major source of funding for our school, so we appreciate your support!

The Magnificat Advent Companion is now available in the gathering area for a donation of $2.

We have our Giving Tree in the narthex, this year with tags and envelops to support Shared Pregnancy, Williamston Food Bank, and classroom gifts for St. Mary school. The envelopes can be sent to the given address and other gifts can be returned under the tree. Thank you for giving this Advent and Christmas season.

To view archived special announcements, click below.

Mass and Events Update – Nov. 17, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for all you have done to keep St. Mary church and school safe and capable of continuing in our mission of following the Lord in this difficult time.

It’s a blessing to be able to say that we have had no known cases of the spread of COVID-19 at our church or school to date, and I am very grateful to all who have refrained from attending when exhibiting even mild symptoms or after probable exposure elsewhere.

I want to assure everyone that we have no intention of closing our doors, and that all Mass times, confession times, and Adoration times will remain the same during the three week period of the November 15th MDHHS epidemic order. Like all recent Michigan health orders, this order directly provides exemptions for acts of religious worship like these. 

Practically, this means the following for our parish and school:

  • All Masses, confession times, and Adoration times will continue with the same protocols and precautions as before. Please continue to wear a facial covering indoors when medically able, and to maintain social distancing from other households. Remember that practicing these safety measures can allow others to feel comfortable in returning to the sacraments.
  • Our school is not affected by the November 15th order, and will continue to be open in-person and to follow our safety document and protocols. Please continue to exercise caution in sending your children to school if they show any of the symptoms listed in that document or if they have known exposure to a positive case.
  • Family Faith Formation can continue in your homes! The Adult Workshop for November 29th at 7pm will be over Zoom and recorded for future viewing. Your Advent kits can be picked up from the bookcases by St. Joseph Hall.
  • Our office will have limited hours of operation and some staff and volunteers may be working from home. The office will be open 10am-1pm on weekdays starting Wednesday, November 18th through Monday, December 7th.

    If you have any questions or need assistance of any kind outside of those hours please call the office and leave a message and someone will be in contact with you. (The office is scheduled to be closed Nov. 26th, Nov. 27th, and Dec. 8th.)

We know how crucial the Holy Mass as well as confession and Adoration are to our lives as disciples. For those who are comfortable attending, I encourage you to continue doing so.

Let us also recall that Sunday is meant to be a day set apart for the Lord, and as much as possible, whether we attend Mass or not, we are to have some time for personal or family prayer, which could include watching Mass on livestream or recording. It is only in the Lord and through His grace that we are given the ability to follow Him wherever He leads us.

Finally, Bishop Boyea has decreed that the faithful of the Diocese of Lansing will continue to be dispensed from the obligation to attend Holy Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation until Tuesday, February 16th, 2021, preceding Ash Wednesday and the liturgical season of Lent.

Let us continue to trust in the Lord and turn to Him in prayer for each other!

In Christ, 
Fr. David Fons

PS: As Alive is a worship event, it will go on as scheduled this Saturday, Nov. 21, with the same precautions as at Mass. 

All Souls Day Mass of Remembrance

On All Souls Day, Monday, November 2nd, we will have a 7:00 pm Mass praying for all the faithful departed, and in particular those of our parish who have died this last year.

At this Mass your loved one will be remembered in the recitation of the litany of intercession for those who have died. You are invited to bring a photo of your loved one which will be placed on a table in the narthex, as well as to light a candle in their honor near the altar before Mass begins.

Please contact the parish office by October 30th with the names of the loved ones that you would like included in the litany of intercession for those who have died. You may email Leslie at Leslie.stmarys@gmail.com or call the office at 517-655-2620.

ALIVE – Nov. 21, 2020

Alive – Nov. 21, 2020

Alive is back – in person and live stream – on Saturday, Nov. 21!

New time: 7pm – 8:30pm

All are invited to this peaceful evening of
Eucharistic Adoration,
a Testimony from parishioner Barb Monette,
Reconciliation, Prayer Ministry, and
Worship led by the Alive Band!

– In person with the same precautions as at Mass: wear a mask, social distance, and quiet singing

– Watch the live stream here or on our YouTube Channel.

Next Alive date: Dec. 19

Alive – Oct. 17, 2020
Reflection by Fr. David Fons

From Fr. Fons: New outdoor Masses and a new Mass time – Sept. 2020

From Fr. Fons: New outdoor Masses and a new Mass time – Sept. 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I continue to be grateful for your warm welcome to St. Mary. It has been wonderful to get to know many of you at small gatherings and after Masses. 

In a particular way, I remain grateful to God for the place the sacred liturgy holds at this parish and the desire I have encountered in so many of you to worship God as a parish family through the Mass: we know that God has not abandoned us; He is really here with us! In the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist, we are truly present at the offering of Jesus Christ on the cross, and through the ministry of the priest, we can offer ourselves to our Heavenly Father through Jesus, truly present on our altar. Then in a gift of overflowing love, God offers us back what we have offered Him: Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, in Holy Communion. 

When we are prepared to receive the Lord, there could be no greater gift. In fact, St. John Vianney once said, “There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us.” Indeed, we receive God Himself into our church and into our very selves. What could be more precious?

How tremendously difficult then, in this pandemic, to not know exactly what is prudent in regard to when and how we should return to the regular participation at Holy Mass. Our bishop’s dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation remains in place through Nov. 28, 2020. Many of us should continue to consider if our condition and risk level makes this dispensation necessary to utilize. We will continue to live stream the 9am Mass and to recommend making a special prayer time and an act of Spiritual Communion each Sunday. 

However, being dispensed from the obligation doesn’t mean that we are no longer in need of the grace and nourishment that we receive in attending Holy Mass. I have heard from many of you about the great yearning and discomfort caused by being away from this source of our Catholic life, especially to those with serious health conditions and to those with young children. There is not a perfect or one-size-fits-all answer here: we must ask for the virtues of prudence and fortitude to discern what is right for each of us and to have the power to do it.

We are doing our best, following State and Diocesan guidelines, to make our Masses as safe as possible, including wearing facial coverings and maintaining social distance between household groups. With all this in mind I’d like to encourage all of us to prayerfully consider the following:

  • For those regularly attending Mass, please remain committed to the safety guidelines in place, including properly wearing a facial covering and respecting at least six feet of distance between household groups. I implore you to see these actions as an act of charity that may allow others to feel comfortable and able to return to the great gift of the Mass.
  • I encourage those who have been away from Mass for a while, and still have some concerns about how safe Mass is, to consider coming back, even just once to stand in the back of church for the first few minutes of a Mass. If you feel comfortable, stay and worship, but if not, feel free to go: there’s nothing wrong with that.
  • If the necessity of the restrictions and safeguards now in place has kept you away out of dislike or discomfort, but not necessarily out of concern for safety, I encourage you to reconsider if enduring these things might be worthwhile for your spiritual benefit of returning to the regular worship of God in the Holy Mass.
  • I’d also like to remind all of us that the reception of Holy Communion is not a necessity when attending Mass. In fact, there are times, such as when we know ourselves to be in mortal sin or when we are not prayerfully recollected or prepared at Mass, when we should not receive the Eucharist. Added to this list could be the prudent discernment of the risks involved in this pandemic. Being prayerfully present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, even without receiving Communion, is an incomparable gift from God, and if not receiving is the unfortunate trade-off for participation in Mass, it is still worth it.

I’d like to briefly announce a couple of scheduling additions that we will be making to help facilitate a greater ability and capacity to attend Mass on Sundays:

  • Outdoor Masses have been very successful in their first two attempts this summer. We plan to have a few more, as long as the weather cooperates. The following are now scheduled:
    • Outdoor Mass Sunday, Sept. 20 at 11am
    • Outdoor Mass Sunday, Sept. 27 at 11am (possibly in McCormick Park)
      • This Mass will be followed by the first Family Faith Formation Community Gathering: a picnic in the park, open to all parishioners and not just to the families in FFF. More info to come.
    • In the event of poor weather, the Mass will be in the church, and we will announce the change our website here by 9am that day.
    • We will announce by late September how long we will attempt to have the 11am Masses outdoors, depending on what our fall weather looks like then.
  • When outdoor Masses are no longer possible in a consistent way, most likely in October, we are planning on the addition of a temporary 7:30am Sunday Mass without music. This Mass would not have any singing by the priest or cantor, and would obviously be the first event in the church building each Sunday. The Mass would be temporary, meaning that it exists in response to the needs of the pandemic, but it would be consistent each Sunday, as long as it appears to be the right way to address those ongoing needs.

Our prayer after Communion for this 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time is a good meditation for us about the transformative nature of the Holy Eucharist: 

May the working of this heavenly gift, O Lord, we pray,
take possession of our minds and bodies,
so that its effects, and not our own desires,
may always prevail in us,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us continue to pray for the end to this pandemic, as well as for each other that we might know God’s will and have the strength to follow it faithfully.

In Christ,
Rev. David Fons

We’ve moved Eucharistic Adoration into the main church so that there’s room for more people to come. Please keep social distance and wear your mask. Come visit Our Lord.

Sundays: 6pm – 9pm
Mondays: 6pm – 9pm
Wednesdays: 8:30am – 12noon, 6pm – 9pm
Thursdays: 6pm – 9pm
Fridays: 8:30am – 9pm

Outdoor Mass



We are moving TODAY’S 11AM MASS INDOORS. We had hoped it would be our last outdoor Mass, but it is too rainy.

STARTING NEXT SUNDAY, we are adding a 7:30am Mass every Sunday as an option for those who may want to attend a smaller Mass, and to prevent crowding at our other Masses. Please spread the word to anyone who may want to come.

Please note the following for outdoor Masses:

Parking for Masses in the School Parking Lot

We encourage you to sit outside your car to participate in the Mass. The center of the parking lot will be reserved for this purpose. More seating details are below. Therefore:

  • A limited number of parking spots will be available in the lot itself. Please park next to the park or in a side street if possible.
  • For those who need to stay in their cars during Mass, spots will be reserved around the perimeter of the lot. You’ll be able to back in so that you can watch the Mass. 
  • The Knights of Columbus will direct you where to park and to sit.

What to Bring

  • Something to sit on (a chair, blanket, or cushion, etc.). The parking lot surface may be hot, so be prepared.
  • Feel free to bring a hat and/or umbrella, and wear sunscreen.
  • Bring water. We will have water bottles available as well. (Water alone does not break the 1 hour Eucharistic Fast.)
  • No masks required, because it is outdoors. However, if you go into the church to use the restroom, please wear your mask. (The school restrooms will not be available.)
  • Song sheets: We can sing freely outside! We linked to a song sheet above to print and bring for each family member.

Seating – Please bring your own chairs. (The photo below is a partial set up as an example.)

Communion

  • The priest and Eucharistic Ministers will wear masks. As normal, they will sanitize their hands before distributing Communion and if there is contact with anyone’s mouth.
  • All hosts to be consecrated will be kept in closed containers throughout the Mass.
  • Instead of having everyone walk forward to receive, the priest and Eucharistic Ministers will come to the outside of each parking spot. The household in that spot may come up to them there to receive.

In case of poor weather, the Mass and Confessions will be moved back inside. Please join us in praying for the good weather to continue.

Venerate the True Cross

Venerate the True Cross

Our parish is blessed to be housing a relic of the True Cross for a short period of time.

Given this limited time, an opportunity to venerate this piece of the cross of Christ will be available following the 8am Mass on Friday, July 10.

Following Mass, Fr. Fons will set up the relic for veneration in the church.

There will be a short time of prayer kneeling before the relic,
a blessing given,
and then the opportunity for anyone present to
approach and venerate the Cross for a few moments each,
observing social distancing and without touching or kissing the reliquary.

Then the relic will be processed out of the church and
Eucharistic Adoration will begin as scheduled.

Important: Out of respect for fellow parishioners, please remember to wear a mask.

Meet & Greet with Fr. Fons

Meet & Greet with Fr. Fons

Come meet Fr. David Fons in the St. Joseph Hall after the weekend Masses on Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12!

  • Light refreshments will be served.
  • Please maintain social distance of 6 ft. as much as possible.
  • IMPORTANT: In keeping with diocesan guidelines, please wear a face mask when you are not eating if you are physically able to do so. Many of our parishioners are concerned about their health, and do not feel comfortable being indoors where others are not wearing masks.

For those unable to come, we’ll have Zoom Meet & Greets. Stay tuned for details.

We’ll also have a YouTube live stream on Tuesday, July 14 at 6:30pm so you can meet Fr. Fons and our seminarian intern Tyler Arens, and ask them questions via chat. It’ll be on our YouTube page here.

Fr. Fons’ Letter to Our Parish

Fr. Fons’ Letter to Our Parish

Hello and Happy 4th of July!

I am overjoyed to begin my time here at St. Mary and I am so grateful for the warm welcome and many prayers that I have already received. In particular I am very thankful to Fr. Mark for all of his help, encouragement and prayer for me. It is clear to me how much he loved all of you of this parish and how much he poured himself out for the Gospel here. Thanks be to God.

What a strange time to begin at a new parish! There are so many things that are uncertain or difficult to cope with right now, but I want to begin by recalling that in all our trials of suffering we are always called to go to Jesus. He is the answer and the source of all the grace that we need. In our Gospel this weekend He says so directly: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28) The Lord can use even the difficulty of this pandemic for the good of our souls. Let’s not forget that He is always with us!

A little bit about myself: I have been a priest for five years, and have loved every day of it. I am from Ann Arbor (yes, if and when sports resume, that’s where my allegiances lie) and I have one sister and one brother. As many of you know, I recently finished a degree in canon law in Rome, which I was undertaking over the last three years.

These last 4-5 months have been very hectic since I was not able to stay in my house of residence due to the coronavirus. However, the Lord provided and I was able to complete everything necessary for the degree online from Michigan. Being done and transitioning into parish life again is something that gives me a lot of peace and even though these times are very challenging to start at a new parish, I am trusting in the Lord for His plan and protection.

I am greatly looking forward to meeting all of you, and there will be time for longer introductions in the following weeks. After each Mass next weekend, July 11-12, there will be a small reception for getting to know each other.

We will also be having an online introduction and Q & A soon, so please watch our website or Facebook page for that information. My goal is to get to know you, and also to learn names, as quickly and safely as possible. I will do my best, but please remind me of your name for a couple encounters, especially if we meet on a video call or with masks on!

Thank you again for your prayers and welcome. Please feel free to express to me any concern or comment you may have, and know that you are all always in my prayers, especially at Holy Mass.

In Christ,
Fr. David Fons

Learn more about Fr. Fons here.


Saint Mary Catholic Church of Williamston, Michigan


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