St. John the Baptist Catholic Church serves the greater Ypsilanti and Eastern Michigan University communities. The parish church and Catholics on Campus Student Ministry provide spiritual care for thousands of families in eastern Washtenaw county, Catholic college students, as well as university faculty and staff. We are a local parish of the Diocese of Lansing committed to the faith and teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. We seek to share that same faith through an encounter with Jesus Christ in the sacraments, works of mercy and a vision for a place where all people are invited to accept the gift of God’s transformative love.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Glory to God! I hope and pray that you are not just surviving but thriving in the midst of the current situation. While the latest executive order is very restrictive, it does not prevent the Lord from coming to meet us. As we see in this Sunday's Gospel of the raising of Lazarus, Jesus comes to meet us in the broken place. Indeed, He even "weeps" with us in our grief. I know that many of you are deeply hungering for our Lord in the Eucharist, and desiring to adore him present in this Sacrament. While we may not be able to physically do so, the Lord does not hesitate to meet us in that deep ache in our hearts. As a parish, continue to entrust yourself to the Lord, crying out from the depths of your heart. Do not forget that He is the Resurrection and the Life!
Church Closed- This was a very difficult decision. Given the circumstances at our local parish, and closing the office, it was not feasible to maintain the Church being open. So, for the time being through April 13th, the office and Church will be closed. Although we cannot enter physically into the Lord's presence, we can still pray in our homes. As we have been pressing forward into becoming a community of "missionary disciples", part of this is actually a transition away from the Church as the center of all activity. In times past, the Church has always been the hub of any and all activities - fish fries, card clubs, faith formation, among other things. However, given where society is, this church central approach has to change. While we certainly don't want the restrictions to be in place, this season does provide an opportunity for households to more intentionally become a place of prayer and encounter with the Lord. For each household, I would recommend that you take time every single day to pray and worship the Lord. These can be simple things- praying a rosary, listening to some praise and worship music, praying the Angelus at 12 and 6, praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet, reading the Scripture readings for Mass, or just taking time for spontaneous vocal prayer.
Confessions- We are in the process of setting up a makeshift confessional which permits people to still come, while maintaining proper distancing. For the time being, we will only be offering confessions on requests sent to me via email ([email protected]). Part of this is wanting to limit the offer of confessions just to parishioners, as best as possible, while encouraging others to seek out their local pastor in this regard. So, if you are desiring confession, please send an email to me along with possible times that you are available. We will do our best to make it happen!
Live Stream Mass- Thanks to the many of you who tuned in to worship with us this past Sunday through our live stream. We intend to continue offering this over the following weeks. While we will not be live streaming daily Mass, we are hoping to put out some videos to keep you connected to us and to each other in the coming weeks. These will be available on the "videos" link on the home page. While the Sunday obligation is excused, the obligation to keep Holy the Lord's Day is not. This means Sunday should still be a day of rest, prayer, and communion with the Lord and with those in your household. This is also a good time to be reaching out to family and friends via digital platforms (Facetime, Zoom, WhatsApp, etc.)
Easter Celebrations- We will be working in the coming weeks on setting up a live stream for the Easter triduum. Please keep any eye out for updates and timing on those.
Online Giving- While we are not able to meet in person, there are ways to continue to make contributions to the parish. You can find the link to our Online Giving page on the home page of our website. Again, our tithing is a sign of our trust that the Lord is ultimately the one in control. Especially, in a time like this, we ought to continue to be generous, confident that our Lord is never outdone in generosity.
New Ideas- Obviously, this is a totally unique time in our life as a parish! We certainly appreciate hearing ideas of things we can be doing to foster greater connection and assist in lives of prayer here at the parish.
Fr. Dan Westermann
March 25, 2020
We are here for you as a parish! The office phone is still being answered - please call 734-489-9830 instead of our usual 483-3360 number during the day M-F. Also, we continue to receive and reply to emails so please do not hesitate to reach out that way as well! Here are a few other updates to let you know what we are up to:
Send us an email or call if you have a specific prayer request for you or your family.
God's peace be with you,
St. John the Baptist Office Staff
Please tune in for a live stream Mass this coming Sunday at 10:00 a.m.
To view, you will click on the "Videos" tab above or you can watch via our Facebook page!
Another week has brought new developments to our country and state with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As you are aware, Fr. Dan has made the decision to close the parish due to the recent shelter in place order by Governor Whitmer. This order is through midnight on Easter Monday, 4/13.
This past week, we have seen many parishioners, who normally pledged through envelopes, sign up for Online Giving. Thank you! Signing up is easy and available through the "Online Giving" tab above. Online Giving is a secure, electronic, giving program used by most parishes. I, along with Fr. Dan, want to thank you all for your ongoing commitment to St. John the Baptist. These are unprecedented and financially challenging times for our parish and all Catholic churches in the world. We ask that you prayerfully consider continuing your support as you are able. To put it bluntly, we're in a serious situation and need your support now more than ever! Mailing your contribution envelopes to our address is also an alternative. Please email me directly with any questions at [email protected]
As a people of faith, we live in hope that our God is with us, even during this time of challenges and illness. God's hand is upon us at all times and we live in Christian hope that our God hears us, helps us, strengthens us, and walks with us at all times and through every challenge. "Be not afraid!"
John Recznik, Business Manager
In a continuing effort to be able to reach all our registered parishioners through email, we ask that you please let us know if your email has changed in the last year or since you registered with St. John the Baptist.
We have realized the importance of an "all parish wide" email during this COVID-19 crisis and we are making this a priority for future communications.
We have many registered parishioners who did not supply an email address when they registered or whose original email addresses have now changed.
We would only email all parishioners if there were an important update to the parish or other vital information. We would never share parish member emails with a third party. If you are a regular attendant at our parish but have not registered, please consider doing so! This will allow us to have your email address for these notifications. Registration forms are available by clicking above on the Home then Register as a Member tab. These may be downloaded, filled out and mailed to us at our parish address. Please direct any questions to [email protected]