DETROIT — Due to several confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan, many events and institutions within the Archdiocese of Detroit have been canceled, closed or modified. The Centers for Disease Control has recommended events with 100 or more people be canceled in an effort to create social distancing.

The archdiocese has already asked its parishes and schools to implement certain steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  

Here is a brief rundown of archdiocese-affiliated closings and modifications: 

All Public Masses Suspended

As of March 13, Archbishop Vigneron has announced that all public Masses are to be suspended until April 6. As the cases of COVID-19 have grown in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer banned all gatherings of 250 people or more. 

Archbishop Vigneron’s order takes effect Saturday, March 14, lifting the obligation for the faithful to attend Sunday Mass, an authority given to him as ordinary of the Archdiocese of Detroit.

In a letter to the faithful, Archbishop Vigneron said the decision to suspend Mass until Monday, April 6, the day after Palm Sunday, was not taken lightly, but after consultation with health care professionals and government officials.

Archdiocesan Catholic Schools

In a move to comply with an executive order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and recommendations from the state of Michigan, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron announced the 87 Catholic schools in the archdiocese will be closed starting Monday, March 16, until Monday, April 6. 

In a letter to pastors, principal and parents, Kevin Kijewski, superintendent of schools, said schools will be asked to develop plans for distance learning, which will commence Monday, March 23.

Archdiocese of Detroit Chancery

In an email to Central Services employees of the Archdiocese of Detroit, Fr. Jeffrey Day, vicar general and moderator of the curia, advised Chancery employees to work from home Friday, March 13, if able to do so. 

Fr. Day also announced the Chancery would be closed Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17, “for deep cleaning and for a time of discernment about the next steps.” 

“We ask all coworkers to pray for the safety of those affected by the virus, those caring for the sick, and for an end to the coronavirus crisis,” Fr. Day said.

Catholic Youth Organization, Detroit

The CYO will cancel several upcoming events in light of the information concerning COVID-19: 

  • CYO Scout Recognition Mass, scheduled for Sunday, March 15, at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Detroit
  • CYO Bowling Finals set for Saturday, March 14, at Bowl One Lanes, Troy
  • CYO Winter Cheerleading Competition set for Saturday, March 14, at Divine Child High School, Dearborn

Young Adult and Campus Ministry, Detroit

In compliance with guidelines set by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as well as Archbishop Vigneron regarding large gatherings, the archdiocesan young adult and campus ministry will be canceling the following events: 

  • Theology on Tap, scheduled for early April, at the Royal Oak Taphouse

University of Detroit Mercy

According to its website, the University of Detroit Mercy has suspended all classes on its McNichols campus through Tuesday, March 17. All classes will be moved online starting Wednesday, March 18, and campus events with more than 100 people have been canceled. 

The university has also recommended students who are able to return to their permanent residences do so; however, campus housing and dining will remain open. 

More information can be found on the university website, including a letter from UDM’s president, Antoine Garibaldi, Ph.D.

Madonna University

Madonna University announced that in compliance with guidelines set by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the university will deliver all classes online starting March 16 through April 13. 

“Given the fluid nature of how COVID-19 is impacting Michigan and its communities, this time frame may be adjusted,” the statement said. “Any adjustments will be communicated as needed.”

Sacred Heart Major Seminary

In a statement published on Sacred Heart Major Seminary’s website, it was announced that from March 16 to April 13, all seated courses will be delivered through an alternative method. Staff is being asked to work from home.

All events for outside groups at Sacred Heart have been canceled through April 13.

Furthermore, the seminary has designated a quarantine area in the building. According to the announcement, “Any residents who manifest symptoms noted by the CDC will be asked to contact a doctor for evaluation.”

Solanus Casey Center

The Solanus Casey Center in Detroit will be closed indefinitely starting Friday, March 13. All Masses, blessing of the sick services and other events will remain closed to the public, but will be livestreamed via the Blessed Solanus Casey Facebook page and website. Confessions will still be available.

Hispanic Ministry of the Archdiocese of Detroit

The archdiocesan Hispanic ministry announced via Facebook that the 12th Hispanic Men's Conference, scheduled for March 22 at Western International High School in Detroit, is canceled.

Chaldean Diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle USA

The Chaldean Diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle, based in Southfield, announced on March 13 that all Masses and Stations of the Cross are suspended until further notice, as mandated by Bishop Francis Y. Kalabat. Further, Chaldean Catholics are dispensed from their Sunday obligation. 

The Chaldean Diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle is one of two Chaldean dioceses in the United States, with jurisdiction over more than 150,000 Chaldean Catholics in the eastern half of the country. It includes Michigan, Illinois and several mission churches. 

Some exceptions have been made, such as baptisms, marriages and private confessions. However, these events are not to exceed more than 100 people.

Lenten Fish Fries (various locations)

Due to health and safety concerns, all archdiocesan Lenten fish fries have been canceled until Monday of Holy Week, April 6.

This article will be updated as news breaks. For more updates from the Archdiocese of Detroit, visit aod.org/emergencyresponse.