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Archdiocese Corona-virus update March 24

This addresses the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Holy Communion to the Sick and Homebound, Anointing of the Sick, and Christian Burials

 

LATEST NORMS FROM THE
ARCHDIOCESE OF CHICAGO

As all residents of the state comply with the order to stay at home and refrain from non-essential activities, we are nonetheless painfully aware that being cut off from the sacramental life of the church, especially the Eucharist, creates a great hardship for our people, indeed for all of us.  However, we make this sacrifice for the common good, convinced that we, like all citizens, have a responsibility in preventing the spread of COVID-19. In fact, doing so will ensure that our people can return to the sacraments as soon as possible.

To offer our people as much pastoral care as possible during this time, please observe the following guidelines for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick, and ministering to the sick and homebound, which are in effect until further notice. A note about the Holy Father’s recent issuance of a plenary indulgence is included.

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.
  • Please recall that our Lord knows our hearts and desires to reconcile our lives to Him and He awaits our presence in the Sacrament once the stay-at-home order is lifted and our churches are re-opened. Reminder, also, the Church’s precept of making a good confession at least once per year.

 

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.

 

Anointing of the Sick

Under the State’s exemption for essential services, the Archdiocese of Chicago is including anointing of the sick as an essential service. However, out of an abundance of caution only a select number of priests will be allowed to administer this sacrament to any confirmed COVID-19 patients until further notice. Therefore:

  • When a request is made for a priest to administer this sacrament, the priest must inquire if the ill person is a confirmed COVID-19 patient.
    • If no, the priest may proceed.
    • If yes, the family must be notified that, due to guidelines set forth by the archdiocese to ensure everyone’s health, another priest must take the call and that the family will be contacted by that priest. Family members need to understand that out of an abundance of caution only a select number of our priests are allowed to administer this sacrament to any confirmed COVID-19 patients until further notice.

 

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.   1) A funeral service, not a Mass, may take place at the funeral home
    1.     a) The limit for attendees remains 10 people at this time 
               (inclusive of the funeral director, priest, mourners, etc.)
    2.     b) All attendees must practice social distancing
    3.  

  2) A funeral service may take place graveside at the cemetery
      before committal/burial.
     a) The limit for attendees remains 10 people at this time (inclusive
         of the funeral director, priest, mourners, etc.)
     b) All attendees must practice social distancing 

 

May our Lord grant us His peace during this time.