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Letter from Fr. Darrio

June 24, 2020:

Sunday Masses begin again the weekend of July 4th-5th.  Because it is a holiday weekend, there will be four Masses, rather than five.  The Mass schedule that weekend will be:  Saturday, July 4th at 5 pm and Sunday, July 5th at 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.  Only 50 attendees will be allowed at each of these Masses this first weekend of re-opening.  Everyone MUST REGISTER to attend, either by going to our website: www.stedna.org or by calling the Office at 1.847.398.3362.  Arrive 30 minutes before Mass begins, since it will take some time to check each person in at the Main Portico entrance ONLY.  View the four-minute video on our website to understand what returning to St. Edna Church will be like for the duration of this pandemic.  On the weekend of July 11th-12th, we will resume our normal weekend Mass schedule of FIVE Masses and we will be allowing 100 people at each Mass.  Everyone MUST REGISTER to attend.

Why do you have to register to attend Mass or for Private Prayer?  Because records need to be kept of all attendees for possible virus contact tracing.

Weekday Masses resume this Monday, June 29th.  We will have a slightly modified weekday Mass schedule: Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 a.m.  Only 40 attendees will be allowed at each Mass and each person must register to attend by either going to our parish website at www.stedna.org or by calling the Office 1.847.398.3362.

PRIVATE PRAYER time in Church is available on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday for two hours each day (from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.) and on Monday, Tuesday and Friday for one hour each day (from 7 a.m to 8 a.m.).  Only 10 people are allowed inside the Church during any of the four time slots (7 a.m. to 7:20 a.m.; 7:30 a.m. to 7:50 a.m.; 8 a.m. to 8:20 a.m.; and 8:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m.)  Each worshipper is allowed to pray for 20 minutes only.  We need ten minutes between sessions to sanitize the pews and kneelers as they are vacated.  You must register to attend.  You can find a link on our website Home Page www.stedna.org to register electronically or you can call the Parish Office at 1.847.398.3362 and leave your name and phone number.  We will call you to confirm your Prayer Time request.

Confessions are available by appointment.  I am available six mornings a week (every morning except Thursday) from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and five evenings a week (every evening except Wednesday and Saturday) from 6:30 pm to 7 pm.  Call the Office (1 847 398-3362) and leave your first name and your phone number.  I will call you back (or one of our secretaries) to set up a definite day and time for you to come and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Be sure you are wearing a face mask.  Enter the Church Vestibule from the Main Church front doors (under the Portico).  That is the only entrance that will be unlocked.

Please know that when you return to Church you can enter ONLY from the Main Portico Entrance and will have to exit from the doors at the West end of the Narthex.  The West end washrooms will be the only washrooms available for use, the others at the east end of the Narthex will be locked and unavailable.  Every other Church pew has been roped off to assure social distancing and markers have been placed on the open pews so people stay at least 6 feet apart.  These measures are being taken to ensure that the building you are returning to is a safe, sanitary place for you to pray in. 

43 volunteers have already come forward and they have undergone Webinar Re-Opening Training.  More volunteers (age 18 and over) are still needed!  The Archdiocese is allowing those over the age of 65 (even those with health issues) to be part of re-opening Teams as long as they understand the health risks involved and go through the required Webinar training but I would prefer those over the age of 65 WITHOUT any medical issues to be part of our St. Edna team.  If you are interested in being on our Team, please read the link on our website titled: St. Edna Re-Opening Plan for more information and let me know if you’d like to help.  The webinar training is easy.

For those who would like to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, please know that our original St. Edna Tabernacle (with the Blessed Sacrament inside) is positioned in the NORTH window of the Holy Family Shrine niche.  Feel free, day or night, to stop for a while and pray.  Please know that this space is not meant for public gatherings, but for private prayer.  We must comply with physical distancing directives. 

Our Outreach Ministry has given us a request:  They are in need of ADDITIONAL groceries.  What people have been dropping off has been wonderful, but the shelves are quickly emptying.  So they ask all of us who drop off groceries, to please add a little extra to keep our Outreach Ministry going. Please keep placing groceries in the covered storage bins between the benches near OFFICE ENTRANCE (Door #6).  Our maintenance crew brings the food into the building each morning.  Outreach food DISTRIBUTION takes place SATURDAY MORNINGS, from 9 a.m. until noon. 

Our entire St. Edna Campus continues to remain LOCKED AND UNAVAILABLE FOR REGULAR CHURCH BUSINESS until we receive further directives from the Archdiocese.

Our First Communions scheduled for May 2nd will most likely be rescheduled to later this Summer or even early next year.   Summer Vacation Bible School (VBS) is VIRTUAL this year—see the article in our website Parish Bulletin www.stedna.org .  The dates for NEXT YEAR’S VBS on our St. Edna campus will be June 21-25, 2021.  Our “Taste of St. Edna” outdoor Fest on our parking lot (with a band, beer tent, games for the kids and plenty of food) has been re-scheduled to Saturday, June 12, 2021.  SNACK Theater has moved their wonderful performances to November 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st and 22nd of this year (2020).  No decision has been made yet, regarding our Fall Craft Fair.

Outside of Office Entrance Door #6 (mounted on the brick column) is a security/mail/drop box for you to place your weekly donation envelopes in.  Thank you everyone!  Your generosity has been wonderful and amazing.  You can still mail your envelopes in to us, if that is easier for you, or you might want to possibly consider electronic giving, if that is easier.  There is a Give Central link on our website (it is safe!) for those who are considering electronic giving.  Our Sunday collections are close to budget.  Thank you!  If you can help us get our Easter Collection close to the budgeted amount, that would be great.  I am very grateful for your extra sacrifices.

Sunday Mass from St. Edna continues to be available each weekend on our website and on Facebook.  We’ll continue to make these Masses available, even when we re-open, for a few weeks.  At each of these Sunday es, we pray a Spiritual Communion, for those at home unable to physically receive the Body and Blood of Christ.  Remember, Cardinal Cupich has extended, until further notice, the dispensation relieving us during this time of pandemic, of the Obligation to physically get ourselves to Church for Sunday Mass and receiving Holy Communion so keep viewing our video Sunday Mass on our website and Facebook.  Several other Mass options are available on TV and on-line for you to consider.  A whole list of them are mentioned on the home page of our website.  Various prayer options are also listed.  There is also an on-line ALPHA program that you can be part of as an added way of drawing closer to Jesus Christ. Take a look each day at the Archdiocese of Chicago website www.archchicago.org for the latest information regarding decisions that we must abide by.  On their website you can also click on the link to view daily Mass from Holy Name Cathedral.

Keep praying for a speedy end to this global pandemic and pray for a vaccine/cureKeep praying for those in the medical “front lines” who are really struggling right now.  Some of them are our parishioners. Follow all safety precautions to keep yourselves well.  Don’t lose hope!  Things are beginning to improve.

As we have gradually begun our re-opening it has been SO NICE to see so many of you coming for confession, or coming for Private Prayer or coming for a baptism, a wedding or a funeral or praying outside of Church before the tabernacle in the north window.  On Monday, June 29th, you can begin attending weekday Masses again.  On July 4th-5th, you can begin attending weekend Masses again.  I look forward to seeing you (even from behind a mask) and welcoming you back to St. Edna.

May Christ continue to bless us.

Fr. Darrio