Category Archives: Parish News

Update Guidebook Member Information!

Does our Church database have YOUR family membership record correct?

Here is your chance to update YOUR record for our annual Guide Book & Directory (if you haven’t already done so).

It is time for us to update our database with any changes, additions, or deletions that may have occurred in YOUR family over the past year.

Have you changed your phone number? Have you moved? Are you preparing to move soon? Are all of your children still at home and are they all included in your membership record?

If you have not already informed the Church Office about changes to your record, please let us know now so that the information in the Guide Book & Directory is correct.

The Church Office number is #241-4477. Or email Janet at

Fall Gathering Donation Link

Funds raised support the IHM Parish
Maintenance Fund to aid in the ongoing
repair, restoration, and renewal of our campus.
The Fall Gathering Committee would
like to invite you to stay at home
and support our parish!
Donations can be made here
online at
We understand that this pandemic has burdened many of our
homes financially. Unfortunately, our parish home has been no
different. Although we will not be able to celebrate in person this
year, we can offer IHM the stability it needs to properly care for
its buildings and grounds. We humbly ask each parishioner to
donate as generously as they are able.
Please contact the Fall Gathering Committe with any questions.

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

October is Rosary Month

October is Rosary Month! 

The Rosary of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
Where does the word come  from? It comes from a Latin word Rosaria, which means a crown of roses or a  garden of roses. It grew up in the second millennium of Christianity, particularly in  Western Christianity around the 14th century. It’s attributed to Saint Dominic. 

The Rosary is a sequence of prayers. St John Paul II said, it’s a compendium of  the Gospel and it’s intended to help us grow in our faith as we come to  understand more and more about the life, the death, the resurrection and the  Ascension of Jesus Christ, and about the Church and who we are in the Lord. 

That’s why the way to view the Rosary is as a time of meditation. We meditate on  the great mysteries of the faith. 

Just how do you pray this Rosary? First, the Rosary of the Most Blessed Virgin  Mary, is not the first rosary. In fact, the rosary goes back into the first centuries of  the Church. The early disciples took Paul’s admonition to pray without  ceasing, and so they looked for ways to constantly keep the presence of God in  their lives. 

With the first rosary, the monks of the early church had a corded band. They  would simply say the name of Jesus over and over and over again. “Lord Jesus,  son of God have mercy on me.” 

But this Rosary asks Our Lady to pray for us, and it has deep historical roots in  Christianity, dating back to the early centuries of the Church. The Church has  always believed in the communion of saints. What that means is that those who  are marked with the sign of faith and go home to the Lord are still joined to us.  They pray for us; they pray with us. As the author of the Letter of the Hebrew  said, “They’re that great cloud of witnesses.” 

And so, the early Christians always asked for Our Lady’s intercession, and now  we’re going to talk about the form of prayer that does that so beautifully.

Here are some helpful hints to get you started praying this beautiful and powerful Prayer:

  1. You don’t always need to pray the entire rosary (although that is awesome if you do!) 

In our busy lives, the rosary can be an intimidating prayer because we immediately think things  like, “who has 20 minutes for a rosary!… maybe later,” and then we never get around to doing it.  You don’t need to pray the entire rosary to make the prayer work for your spirit. Pull out your  beads and spend 2 minutes and 30 seconds to pray a decade and think about a moment from  Jesus’s life. 

  1. Carry your rosary beads with you

This has been a game changer for me. Just having my rosary beads with me during my day has  become a kind of prayer reminder each day. It has also helped me in moments when I’m  struggling or feeling anxiety, knowing I have my beads with me and reaching for them makes me  aware of God’s presence and Mary’s mantle of love and protection with me in the tough times. 

  1. Quality over quantity, when praying. 

As with any prayer, this is an important note. The quality of the prayer is more important than  the quantity of prayer. One intentional Hail Mary that you sit with and truly consider what God  wants you to take away from this moment with Him can often be more fruitful than one quickly  prayed decade that you tried to get through just to check it off your list. So focus on the quality  of each prayer – even if that means you sit with one intentionally prayed Hail Mary for a while. 

  1. Pray with the Mysteries of the Rosary. 

Many churches have How to pray the rosary pamphlets or download the Laudate App where you  can find the rosary mysteries and more amazing Catholic prayerful goodness! Carry around the  mysteries and prayerfully read through them, and over time they become dedicated to memory.  This has done wonders for prayer life, especially to help focus my prayer when struggling to pray.  Sit and reflect on the mysteries of the rosary, which are the best Bible study you’ll ever get. There  is no easier way to focus on Jesus and get to know him than prayerfully reflecting on His life and  passion in the mysteries of the rosary. Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

Think of the rosary like David’s slingshot…his aim hit the mark and took down Goliath! Let us  fervently pray the rosary confident that our intentions will hit the mark knowing Our Lady is also interceding on our behalf. *


Men’s Ministry is going Virtual as well as in person meetings!

IHM Men’s Ministry will return Friday mornings starting September 18th.  Fridays will look a bit different with the reality of COVID-19 in our world, but men’s ministry is committed to ensuring that we continue to help grow the faith in the men at IHM. Along with meeting in the deMazenod room, we also offer zoom meetings from home.

This year promises to be as engaging and challenging as the last with several different speakers focusing on “The Fight of Faith”.

Join Zoom Meeting by clicking link below:

Meeting ID: 468 866 1751

Passcode: ihm

  • 6:15 – Login and Whole Group Prayer
  • 6:30 – Video
  • 7:00 – Small groups – Zoom breakouts
  • 7:25-7:30  – Whole Wrap Up

Faith Formation Registration is now open!

Dear Faith Formation Families,
Please register HERE online by September 20th.
Because of our limitations presented within the Diocesan guidelines, the safest solution is to forego gathered faith formation classes on Sunday mornings until further notice.  However, we will maintain the home study through Sophia Press which has been our curriculum program for the last 2 years and continue with year 3.  Once registered, you will receive an email with more information.
My goal is to make this as enjoyable and stress free as possible for your family. Please contact Stefanie Iwan at for any questions.

Diocese Guideline Refresher for Parish Gatherings

Our current directives and guidelines, issued on May 19, remain in effect:

For our region, Region 2, indoor gatherings remain capped at 10 people.

Diocesan guidelines cap outdoor parish programming at 25 people.

  • Churches are permitted to seat up to 25% capacity for Mass and for the celebration of sacraments (e.g. baptism, wedding, funeral)
  • Masks or appropriate equivalent facial coverings MUST be worn by all participants 2 years and older per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Social distancing MUST occur. Only people living in the same household may sit together. All others should remain 6 feet away in every direction from another individual who is not a member of their household.

Parish programming (non-Mass) may take place under the following guidelines:

  • Outdoor gatherings are to be limited to 25 people or fewer. Masks are encouraged outdoors but not required if social distancing can be maintained.
  • Indoor gatherings are to adhere to the limit set by the current executive order of 10 people or lessMasks are required.

Food may be provided if served and packaged individuallybuffet lines and   other sources of communal food are prohibited.

An adult should keep a sign-in sheet of all attendees to assist with contact tracing should the need arise.

*     Proper social distancing needs to be maintained at all times.

Should conditions necessitate a change to our directives and guidelines, those changes will be communicated to you via our website.

A Message from our new Youth Minister, John Maxwell!

Hello IHM Parishioners, 
My name is John Maxwell and I am the new Director of Youth Ministry. I am so blessed and excited to be here in Grand Rapids. I won’t share too much as I hope to share more in person, but I am from San Diego, California and have lived most of my life there. I have volunteered and worked in all forms of youth  ministry since I graduated 8th grade. Over the past 2 years, I have also spent time in both the San Diego Seminary and as a missionary in the Bronx, New York. Once again, I am so excited to be here and hopefully will get to know you all over what is hopefully years of service and ministry to the parish and its youth. If you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to contact me at either the email or phone. Please also check online this week for updates and events as we are all still in uncertain times and I am still getting acclimated and caught up to speed.
For all Youth:
If you are at daily morning mass over the next 2 weeks, I will be hosting a “Social-Distance Meet and Greet” in the parking lot after mass, BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair). If you plan on being there or want to your opinions, wants or concerns before our “Edge and Lifeteen Kickoff” (Date TBD) please click on this Sign-Up Genius  on the YM page or call the YM office.  Also, if you wish to serve on “Freedom Team” please fill out the application on the website before August 19th. 
For all Parishioners:
Do you have a heart for service? Do you have a love for the youth? Do you have a couple of extra hours a week to give up? If you answered yes to any of these, you may be a great person to help with “CORE Team”. We are looking for young adults who are on fire for their faith, who wish to serve or who wish to learn the inner workings of ministry. We are looking for both women and men, ESPECIALLY Young Adults to serve our youth in ministry. Please feel free to email or call the YM office so we can get in contact or with any questions you may have. Please feel free to share this opportunity with anyone you may think will be a good fit as well.
God Bless,