'A Lot Of Excitement,' New Rules As Catholic Mass Resumes In Metro Detroit

WWJ News
May 20, 2020 - 10:58 am

(WWJ) Congregations are congregating once again in metro Detroit, after a break due to COVID-19. 

By order of Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron, Catholic Mass has resumed this week  — with some new rules in place. 

"My understanding is that, whatever the capacity of your church is, you're allowed to have 25%," said Father Jim Bilot of St. Paul on the Lake in Grosse Pointe Farms. "So, we'll probably figure out, you know, like every other pew."

While Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-home order remains in place, an exception was made for attending religious services. 

Father Mario Amore of St. Aloysius Parish in downtown Detroit celebrated Mass on Tuesday, while following strict social distancing guidelines.

"There's a lot of excitement," Amore told WWJ's Charlie Langton. "You know, as priests were are ordained to serve the people of God, our parish families, our parish communities. So it's almost the same feeling we've experienced being separated from our own families, so there;s a lot of joy in being able to once again resume those gatherings in a safe way." 

Amore said St. Aloysius' unique 1800s design lends itself to spreading out. 

"Our church has three levels — it has a main level, a balcony and a lower church," he explained. "So we have plenty of space for that social distancing; even at 25% capacity there's plenty of space for everybody."

Along with sitting 6 feet apart, other changes include attendees wearing a mask at all times, except for during Holy Communion. Those age 65 and older, people with compromised health, who are ill or caring for the sick, are asked to continue to stay home and participate online. 

"We just gotta be careful," Father Bilot said. "You know, you don't want to be paranoid, right? But you just wanna be cautious, and that's what we're gonna do."  

The Archdiocese of Detroit says public masses will return to all churches on Friday, May 29.  Take a look at the full set of guidelines here