Governor Pritzker has exteneded the mandatory shelter-in-place order for the State of Illinois. What this means for our parishes is that through May 30: (My comments are in red.)
• All churches and adoration chapels must be closed and locked until the order is lifted by the governor. Private prayer in any parish building must be discontinued until the order is lifted.
• There can be no live or any other gatherings anywhere on parish/school property, nor can any parish personnel be involved in organizing them on any other site.
• All weddings and baptisms must be postponed and can be re-scheduled only once the order is lifted. There are no exceptions to this, regardless of the size of the group.
• Funerals and wakes must be postponed until the order is lifted.
• Priests can – and are encouraged – to continue celebrating Mass privately and to livestream their Masses for their parishioners, if possible. Fr. Marcin, Fr. Ray and I have been saying private Masses daily for your Mass intentions and for the intentions of all of our parishioners. There are a number of parishes and churches that are live-streaming or recording their private Masses. Click HERE for resources.
• Parish offices must be closed until the governor’s order is lifted. This directive shuts down the parish completely. No one will be at the Parish Office to answer the phone. The voicemail message on our phone system will give you instructions how to reach a priest in case of an emergency or how to access our voicemail system. We are monitoring these voicemails remotely and will be forwarded to the appropriate priest or staff member.
On a personal note, it saddens me greatly that Fr. Marcin, Fr. Ray and I cannot exercise all of our priestly duties such as celebrating Mass, offering you the sacraments you so urgently desire and provide for all the normal parish ministries and activities.
I fully support the mandated decisions by the Governor and Cardinal Cupich to restrict access to our Church and the order to stay home. Take this time to pray for all of those directly impacted by the virus, whether they are sickened or have died or those that are treating them. Pray for all of those who are still working in those essential areas such as first responders, pharmacists, grocery clerks, etc. And finally pray for all of your fellow parishioners.
ALL ARE WELCOME AT ST. THOMAS!
We are a vibrant Catholic Community that welcomes all who enter our doors. Come and see for yourself. Attend Mass, join a Scripture Study or pray in silence in our Adoration Chapel. With over 50 active Ministries, you can easily get involved and grow your spiritual life.
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