What great news! I cannot express my joy to see you all again soon back in our Shrine Sweet Home!
The Archdiocese of Chicago issued guidelines this week by which Masses can be publicly celebrated with the assistance of the faithful starting Sunday, June 7, the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. Thank you for praying the Regina Caeli for this intention throughout all of Paschaltide, which liturgically ends on Saturday afternoon, June 6. Our Lady has answered your prayers in timely manner!
In order to organize this reopening phase, it is important to share with you the following instructions which we have received:
1. Face covering is highly recommended.
2. Stay at home if you feel sick or have a cough of any sort. The dispensation from Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation continues for those in the Archdiocese of Chicago until further notice. Even if you remain at home, you still have the obligation to sanctify Our Lord’s Day by prayer and abstaining from servile work. The Shrine will continue to Live Stream Masses and Offices. Please check our streaming schedule.
3. At all times keep 6 feet distance from everyone who is not in your household. To help ensure this space, certain pews will be cordoned off.
4. Make use of hand sanitizer as you enter the vestibule.
5. Priests, servers, and sacristans are to wash/sanitize their hands before and after Mass.
6. For the reception of Holy Communion, the faithful are to come up in a single file line, maintaining a distance of six feet from those who are not in their household. While the person in front of you is receiving, stand back behind the tape on the floor until you can approach to receive. Household members may receive together as a family.
7. In the rare case where inadvertent contact happens while distributing Communion, the priest is to stop, sanitize his hands again, and continue with the distribution of Holy Communion.
8. The pews must be empty of all booklets and paper resources after every Mass so that trained volunteers can clean and sanitize the pews surfaces appropriately.
9. Mass at the Shrine will be limited to 40 persons per Mass until further notice. The Mass will continue to be projected on the screen in the social room adjacent to the Crypt Chapel for those who may wish to have even more space. Please notice that if you cannot select the time slot you would like, on the calendars below, it is because the slot is already full.
10. We kindly ask our Helpers of the Holy Family members to sign up (see second calendar below) in order to help with Shrine clean up/sanitizing as per training guidelines. 3 volunteers per Mass. These volunteers must be under 65 years of age and without any pre-existing health conditions. They agree to abide carefully by the training guidelines for the sanitizing process.
11. In order to allow all of you to attend Sunday Mass, we will begin this Sunday, June 7th, by offering 3 Masses in the morning (7:30am, 9:00am, 10:30am). (See calendar). For the sake of a good and smooth organization, I ask that you only attend the Mass you have signed up for online, and this without any exception.
12. The parking lot is currently undergoing repairs and improvements. Thus, it is closed for the time being and will reopen later in summer at a date which has yet to be precisely determined. Street parking is ample in front of our church, priory and parking lot. Pedestrian access remains possible.
13. We kindly ask you not to congregate (as much as possible) in between Masses in the social or crying room next to the St. Joseph Crypt Chapel (Usher on duty will help maintaining social distancing in this area). Please feel free to use the back door entrance if you wish to socialize outside on the parking lot.
Please note that we will be resuming our weekday masses schedule as early as Saturday, June 13th, since this next week, due to our Annual Priest Retreat in Saint Louis, there will be NO Masses offered at the Shrine. Daily Mass and Office will be streamed directly from Saint Louis. (see Live Stream Schedule here)
I am truly edified by your patience, perseverance and prayers, as we continue to go through these extremely challenging times.
In the meantime, please be assured of my prayers,
Rev. Canon J.B Commins, Vice-Rector