Updates Regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Messages from Father Elliott to the Parish


Livestreamed Masses

During this difficult time, it is particularly important that the faithful have access to the grace and comfort of Holy Mass. While we observe restrictions on our in-person attendance at liturgies, we invite you to watch and participate in the celebration of Sunday, Saturday evening, and Daily Masses using the internet. Listed below are locations with livestreaming of Masses available.

  • The Archdiocese of Chicago broadcasts weekend Masses from Holy Name Cathedral in English, Spanish and Polish beginning at 4 PM on Saturdays, and will continue until in-person attendance at liturgies is reinstated. Additionally, daily Mass is celebrated and broadcast from Saint James Chapel on weekdays. Click here to access.
  • Saint Benedict Parish broadcasts Daily Mass live from their school chapel at 8:30 AM. Click here to access.
  • Word on Fire - Daily Mass from Bishop Barron's Chapel. Click here to access.

  • Resources for Personal Prayer

  • The Archdiocese website www.archchicago.org provides resources to enrich your personal prayer life and deepen our solidarity with one another as we experiene the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additions will be added as they become available.
  • The March 22 Saint Pascal bulletin offers several resources of personal prayer. Click here to access.

  • Chrism Mass, Palm Sunday and Holy Week Liturgies will not be celebrated publicly in our parishes.

    During the current health crisis sweeping the nation, new guidelines have been issued by the Archdiocese of Chicago regarding Lenten liturgical celebrations:

  • The Chrism Mass will NOT be celebrated publicly. Cardinal Cupich and the auxiliary bishops will celebrate the Mass in Holy Name Cathedral, which will be livestreamed for the benefit of the faithful to view in their homes. Holy oils will not be distributed until the current health crisis has abated.
  • Palm Sunday and Holy Week Liturgies will not be celebrated publicly in our parishes. There will NOT to be any distribution of blessed palms.
  • The Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, and the Easter Vigil will be celebrated by Cardinal Cupich and the auxiliary bishops in Holy Name Cathedral without a congregation and will be live-streamed.
  • For further information, please refer to the Archdiocese of Chicago website.



    Video message of support and hope from Cardinal Cupich.



    Suspension of Public Celebration of Mass; Temporary Closure of Archdiocesan Schools, Pastoral Center, Related Agencies

    Based on current guidelines from local public health departments, which recommend the cancellation of public gatherings involving 250 or more people, Cardinal Cupich mandated the suspension until further notice of all liturgical services effective Saturday evening with the regularly scheduled weekend services. In addition, he has mandated the closing of schools operated by the archdiocese, and to close the Pastoral Center and related agency offices until further notice.

    “This was not a decision I made lightly,” said Cardinal Cupich. “The Eucharist is the source and summit of our life as Catholics. And our schools and agencies provide essential services to many thousands across Cook and Lake Counties. But, in consultation with leaders from across the archdiocese, for the sake of the safety of our students, parishioners, and all the women and men who serve the people of the archdiocese, it is clear that we must take the better part of caution in order to slow the spread of this pandemic.”


    Parish and Sacramental Practice

    By exception, weddings and funerals scheduled for Saturday, March 14 may proceed observing the guidelines issued by the Governor of Illinois, limiting participation to no more than 250.

    While public Mass will be suspended beginning Saturday evening, March 14, archdiocesan churches should remain open for private prayer during a timeframe best determined by each pastor. To achieve this, the archdiocese has asked pastors to coordinate limited staff presence in parishes to answer calls and perform routine maintenance with a heightened focus on disinfecting all areas of common use.

    We encourage priests to celebrate Mass privately for the good of the People of God, the church and the intentions of the day.

    Televised and online Masses provide opportunities for the faithful to remain connected in some way to the Sacrifice of the Mass during this difficult time.

    Parishes with the potential to broadcast their own Masses should do so.

    Additional guidance will be forthcoming from the Office of the Vicar General on the administration and celebration of other sacraments.


    Schools

    The decision to temporarily close our schools, beginning Monday, March 16, applies to all Catholic schools that are operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago. Catholic schools not operated by the archdiocese, such as those sponsored by religious orders, will make decisions individually.

    During this closure period, Catholic school students will be asked to complete academic work through electronic learning (“e-learning”) or alternative learning.

    Knowing that many families and students of our Catholic schools depend on the daily services we provide, the Office of Catholic Schools and archdiocesan leadership are working to coordinate extended support to those families and students most in need during this time. More information will be shared in the coming days.


    Pastoral Center and Agencies

    Pastoral Center and school staff are expected to work from home, beginning Monday, March 16. With guidance that will be forthcoming, staffing at parishes will be determined at the discretion of the pastor. All employees will continue to be paid during this period. Effective immediately and until further notice, all work-related travel is prohibited.

    Our agencies that serve the poor and vulnerable will be making separate announcements about their continuing operation.

    “In this time of legitimate concern for the safety of ourselves, our loved ones and those at the margins of society, we must hold fast to the knowledge that the impulses that come from God bring courage, consolation, generosity and solidarity,” said Cardinal Cupich. “Instead of allowing this moment to trap us in fear, we must find unity in advancing all that is good in our common humanity. This means staying spiritually and emotionally close to one another, in our families, our friendships and our communities. It means helping where possible and safe. It means checking on the vulnerable. It means being responsible about hygiene. This is a time to be gentle with one another. For Christians, it is a time to reflect on how Jesus made those struggling with illness a priority. It is also a time to be surprised by the blessings that come from being part of the same family —the human family.”

    The archdiocese will provide detailed instructions to its pastors and school leaders and will share updates on an ongoing basis.

    Peace... Bishop Ron Hicks, Victor General



    A Temporary Change in Our Practice at Mass!

    There have been questions and concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus. As a matter of prudence, following guidelines based on guidance from the USCCB Committee on Divine worship, we have been directed to implement these changes in all parishes within the Archdiocese effective immediately.

    During all masses:

  • Exchange the sign of peace with out hand contact. (A nod, a wave, a smile or just say peace.)
  • Refrain from Holy Communion via the Chalice.
  • Given the frequency of direct contact with saliva in offering Holy Communion on the tongue, it is suggested to have all receive communion reverently in the open hand.
  • Refrain from holding hands during the Our Father.
  • Refrain from using holy water fonts.
  • Once again, if you are not feeling well or sick, you are not obliged to attend mass. The Catechism 2181 allows for serious reason like illness to miss Mass. That would apply under these circumstances.