Dear brothers and sisters,
A greeting to all parishioners of St Joseph.
Members of the Catholic parishes nationwide and here in Illinois have expressed their desire to reopen churches for Sunday Masses, liturgical services, private prayer and adoration.
The position of the Catholic Church has been “to follow faithfully the best available disease-mitigation practices to contain the pandemic’s rampage through our communities.” as stated by Bishop Braxton in last week’s letter from the Office of the Apostolic Administrator.
On Monday an Executive Summary with plans for safely re-opening parishes was emailed to all of St. Joseph’s parishioners and posted on our website and Facebook page, as well as more detailed guidelines for liturgical services and gatherings. We hope that everyone has had an opportunity to read this important document.
May 23 and May 30 have tentatively been set as reopening dates in Phase I and IA of the current plan. In order to be approved for re-opening each parish is asked to create a leadership team consisting of the pastor and five others to co-manage operations, supervise cleaning and take charge of set up and greeting for services.
The Archdiocese will be conducting training sessions for these teams. Each parish will have to submit an implementation plan to our diocese to receive approval and certification to reopen. At this time I am asking for a group of non-vulnerable volunteers from our parish to assist with reopening.
If you want to be part of this committee, please let me know.
We continue praying so our Lord Jesus Christ guide us to strength our faith as individuals and as community. I really appreciate all your patience and love to understand this situation we are living. We are anxious to come back to our church and praise our Lord as a living community and we know that under God's grace this will be possible.
God bless you always.
The annual Memorial Day Service at St. Joseph's Cemetery will take place on Monday, May 25 at 9:00 AM with the VFW in attendance. If you plan to attend, please maintain the current 6 foot social distancing guideline for gatherings which are in effect at this time.
The Mass of the Ascension of the Lord will be online on St. Marys facebook page at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, May 21.
From Fr. Uriel:
Dear brothers and sisters,
The peace of God be with you. During this time of Easter, when we are living the resurrection of the Lord, I want to say hello to you and let you know that I am praying for each one of you, my parishioners. All of us are living in a different time, according to our own circumstances, under this pandemic, and at the same time we are living our faith in the best way we can. Thank you for following the Eucharist on Facebook (streamed live): it is a way to pray and to be in touch as a community.
We can remember the history of the church and, especially in times of troubles and persecution, the Christian community has always shown faith and hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, and we know how the Lord has supported them. Today, all of us are praying for the end of the pandemic. Our faith is the best weapon we have to overcome these difficult moments. As your pastor, I want to say that you are in my daily prayers and I know you are doing the same; we keep firm in our faith as we hope and continue to pray that God has mercy on us as we meet the challenge of this difficult time. God bless you always.
See you Sunday at 9 a.m., when we once again celebrate the Mass on Facebook.