News and Events

Shelter-in-Place Order and Guidelines

Governor Pritzker’s mandatory shelter-in-place order for the State of Illinois means the following for our parishes effective 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21 through Tuesday, April 7:

  • 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 Stations of the Cross 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. However, in case of an extreme emergency for baptism, please seek the permission of your bishop.
  • Funerals and wakes must be postponed until the order is lifted.

Cardinal Cupich asks parishes to ring bells five times a day as a common call to prayer

Cardinal Cupich is asking Catholic parishes to ring their church bells five times a day, as a means of calling all to unite in prayer during the COVID-19 pandemic. The prayer times will begin at 9 a.m. on March 21, and continue every three hours each day, with the last bells rung at 9 p.m. Each of the five prayer times will be dedicated to a specific group particularly affected by the pandemic.

“Our hope is that people will have the experience of being united in prayer, especially at a time when we are isolated,” said Cardinal Cupich. “We invite our neighbors throughout the archdiocese to join in pausing and lifting up in prayer all affected, so they will know of our support. And if a parish does not have bells, we encourage parishioners to set their alarms to remind them to stop for a moment and unite in prayer,” the cardinal added.

The archdiocese will provide short prayer intentions on its website and social media pages in three languages — English, Spanish and Polish — with a special intention of the day announced at the daily Mass aired on the archdiocesan website and on its Twitter account.

Prayers and intentions can be found here.

Liturgy and Sacramental Guidelines

Updated in light of the governor’s stay-at-home order.

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Given that our churches are closed and a stay-at-home order is in effect:

  • individual confessions are currently not possible; this includes virtual or phone confessions, which are never permissible, nor drive-thru confessions. Despite the good intentions around such novelty, we must attend to our underlying theological tradition of the sacrament, as well as support the stay-at-home order and its intended purpose – to keep people safe in their homes at this time.
  •  in keeping with longstanding pastoral practice when penitents’ access to the sacrament is restricted, they can be assured that their sins are forgiven if they make an act of contrition with a firm resolve to approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation after the stay-at-home order is lifted.
  • the faithful should be encouraged to pray particular prayers or meditate on passages of the bible that you recommend to assist them in seeking the mercy and forgiveness of God and the grace of reconciliation.
  • the Holy See has made clear with a recent decree concerning the Sacrament of Reconciliation from the Apostolic Penitentiary that the conditions for general Absolution have not been met. The decree states that the primary place it would be permitted is in a hospital ward. However, our hospitals are not currently set up for this possibility. At the same time, any thought of using general absolution in a parish is moot given that gatherings of people in our churches are not permitted.

We can serve our people well with pastoral tenderness if we recall for them that our Lord knows their hearts and desires to reconcile their lives to Him and He awaits their presence in the Sacrament once the stay-at-home order is lifted and our churches are re-opened. 

Holy Communion to the Sick and Homebound

Communion to the sick and homebound is suspended to be consistent with the governor’s current stay-at-home order.

Christian Burials

Burials at Catholic Cemeteries may continue and are not suspended at this time; however, attendance limit and social distancing requirements apply per below.

Please note that our churches are still closed; therefore, funeral Masses are not possible.

However, if a family requests a funeral, there are two options:

  1. A funeral service, not a Mass, may take place at the funeral home
    1. the limit for attendees remains 10 people at this time (inclusive of the funeral director, priest, mourners, etc.)
    2. all attendees must practice social distancing
  2. A funeral service may take place graveside at the cemetery before committal/burial.
    1. the limit for attendees remains 10 people at this time (inclusive of the funeral director, priest, mourners, etc.)
    2. all attendees must practice social distancing

Plenary Indulgence

The Apostolic Penitentiary also issued a decree granting a Plenary Indulgence during this extraordinary time. In light of this, please consider sharing the following with your people:

  • As many people are unfamiliar with indulgences it is helpful to review in a simple way the Church’s true teaching on this grace:
    • Fundamentally, indulgences (plenary/full or partial) refer to a repairing and healing of the damage inflicted by sin.
    • In the English language, the word “indulgence” carries the connotation of “permission” or “license to do something.” In the Church and with regard to sin, this certainly is not the case.
    • In traditional language, this is the “remission of temporal punishment due to sin.” That we, through prayer and action recommended by the Church, can engage in this healing and repair is not because of our own efforts, merit, or power.
    • The Church, drawing on the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ and the Communion of Saints speaks of drawing grace from the “treasury of the Church.”
    • In this moment of isolation and disconnection, the proposal to seek an indulgence re-affirms our connection in the Body of Christ and with the saints.
  • The Plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes if, with a spirit detached from any sin, they:
    • unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion,
    • or if at least they will recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters,
    • with the will to fulfill the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father’s intentions), as soon as possible, when the suspensions are lifted.
  • In addition, health care workers, first responders, family members and all those who, following the example of the Good Samaritan, exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, care for the sick of Coronavirus according to the words of the divine Redeemer: ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’ (Jn 15: 13), will obtain the same gift of the Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions.

Especially in this challenging moment, seeking an indulgence is a way of doing something spiritually and a way of praying for ourselves and for others.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Spiritual Communion via Televised/Livestreamed Masses

Televised or live-streamed, online Mass viewing is an opportunity for the faithful to remain connected to the Sacrifice of the Mass during this difficult time.