Reopening Information - May 24th, 2020 UPDATE

Holy Family Friends,
 
We’re happy to announce that the time has come to begin the process of Reopening our Church. Again, we want to thank all of you who have continued to support and engage with the Holy Family community throughout this very challenging time.  Since my last update in which we outlined the guiding principles of Cardinal Cupich’s multi-phased re-opening plan, we received the detailed guidelines for the opening of Phase 1 and 1A. Phase I is limited to Sacramental events, (i.e. Baptism, Reconciliation, Weddings, and Funerals) and Phase 1A adds private prayer and Eucharistic Adoration.
 
The six members of the Pastor Leadership Team and 6 Sacramental Committee Chairpersons have completed training and are now in the process of reviewing the guidelines and identifying the resources necessary for Phase 1, the celebration of the Sacraments. The three key areas of responsibility they will focus on are: Set-Up, Cleaning and Greeting. Safety and minimizing risk are the top priorities of the plan.
 
The execution and implementation of each sacrament contains specific and detailed descriptions of resources required, methods of sanitizing, when and how often sanitizing must occur for pre and post events and required social distancing procedures for the Sacrament. The guidelines and protocols provided by the Archdiocese are consistent with current CDC guidelines for social distancing. Masks are mandatory for all volunteers, participants and attendees entering the facility. Hand sanitizers are required and must be available and used prior to entering the building and in some cases during the sacrament.  Masks will be available to anyone who arrives without one. 
 
Church seating will be arranged for appropriate social distancing for individuals and household members. For the foreseeable future all sacraments and prayer events will take place only in the church. The day chapel and Adoration chapel and the rest of the entire building will remain closed and secured until further instruction. 
 
Once we have prepared the church and secured the necessary resources required for the execution of the Sacraments we will complete the required compliance forms that must be submitted to the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese Reopening Team will review our plan for compliance and certification and once approved, enables us to re-open.  Rest assured, we have every confidence that our plan will be approved, and that we will re-open soon! We are preparing for a tentative re-opening date in late May. The Archdiocese is not insisting on a firm reopening date for all, but acknowledges the variety, size and scale of the parishes and the individual challenges for each facility. The ongoing safety and health of the community remains paramount as parishes begin to re-open.
 
To that point, we can assure you that the process we’re undertaking to ensure the safety of our parishioners is detailed and the implementation is intense. As we begin to prepare for reopening and maintain safe social distancing and a sanitized environment we understand and appreciate the need for consistent guidelines throughout the Archdiocese. We are thankful to have their leadership and guidance.  
 
We will continue to provide you with regular progress updates and welcome anyone who has questions, concerns or suggestions to contact Ro Geisler, rgeisler@holyfamilyparish.org. As we move forward with the re-opening, I know I can count on you to be fastidious, responsible and compassionate in complying with these guidelines. This is about exercising responsible citizenship for our common health and protecting the vulnerable among us. That’s a true act of pro-life.  It’s not about you or me – it’s about all of us. And, we are all in this together. 

Reopening Information - May 14th, 2020 UPDATE

Holy Family Parishioners,

We hope this finds you and your families doing well despite the challenging pandemic related circumstances.   We want to thank you for your continued support of HF during this time and encourage all who may be in need of help or guidance to reach out to us. As the pandemic situation is beginning to gradually improve throughout the country, we wanted to share the latest update on our plans to re-open, working in close partnership with both the Archdiocese and the State of Illinois. 
 
Cardinal Cupich has released a multi-phased plan with extensive protocols and procedures that must be met prior to the reopening of Churches. Four guiding principles define the multi-phased Plan:  
 
  1. Provide people the solace of the church’s sacramental life in a timely and reasonable way.
  2. Remain Conscious and respectful of all achieved in Illinois but also that the situation remains dangerous and fragile.  
  3. The top priority in any Plan is the safety and wellbeing of people.  We need to create and build renewed trust among our parish family by ensuring and demonstrating that public health safety policies will be consistently implemented and enforced. 
  4. Exercise faithful citizenship.  Each Catholic will need to take personal responsibility for the common good as well as their own safety.  “We’re All In This Together”
 
The Diocesan guidelines call for the creation of a parish Committee to assist the Pastor in implementation.  I have identified and recruited these individuals and they are prepared to complete training the week of May 18.  We are awaiting further guidelines and Webinar schedules to continue the preparation of the facility and necessary training required to obtain certification for reopening. 
 
Phase 1 allows for Baptism, Reconciliation, Weddings, and Funerals with a limit of 10 people which can be as early as May 23 if only all requirements for Archdiocesan Certification have been completed and approved.  
 
Following approval of Phase 1 we will begin fulfilling guidelines for Phase 1A which allows for private prayer and Eucharistic Adoration with a limit of 10 people.   
 
Regularly scheduled masses are not possible at this time but are anticipated to be part of the Phase 2 expanded re-opening.
 
Progress and clearly defined criteria will continue to be monitored, updated, and reviewed with the Archdiocese as we look to progress toward the next phases of a more expanded re-opening. 
 
Please understand that this is a fluid, ever changing situation for us, the Archdiocese, and the country.  We are committed to keeping you informed of our progress and all plans and will do so via email and social media.  The entire communication from Cardinal Cupich is available at www.archchicago.org.  Thank you, again, for your continued engagement with our parish.  It’s especially appreciated and needed during this challenging time.      

Fr. Terry Keehan