REOPENING PLAN FOR
SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE CHURCH
Dear SPA Family,
I pray that you and your loved ones are healthy. As you may have seen, Cardinal Cupich recently shared our Multi-Phased Plan for Reopening Churches in the Archdiocese of Chicago (www.archchicago.org/coronavirus/reopening): Specifically,
Phase I allows for parishes to reopen for Baptism, Reconciliation, Weddings and Funerals with a limit of 10 attendees.
Phase IA allows for parishes to reopen for private prayer and adoration with a limit of 10 attendees.
Phase II allows for reopening for weekday and weekend Masses for larger groups depending on the guidelines from the state and the capacity of the church building.
OUR ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE REOPENING PLAN
First and foremost, it is important for everyone to understand that our efforts will prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all while maintaining due respect and reverence for the sacraments and liturgical norms of our faith.
I have already assembled the Parish Reopening Leadership Team with co-captains to lead our efforts. Together, we've attended required training from the Archdiocese to ensure that our parish reopening plan conforms to the guidelines developed by the Archdiocese in collaboration with civil and healthcare authorities. We've also received a starter kit of protective and cleaning supplies, as well as guidance on purchasing/maintaining supplies ongoing.
We are in need of volunteers to assist with various aspects of our parish reopening plan. Importantly, leadership team members and volunteers must not be part of a “vulnerable population”. However, the Archdiocese answered this question:
Q: Can someone 65 or older or with medical condition(s) volunteer?
A: It is recommended that parishes focus on finding and recruiting
volunteers that are not older than 65 and without underlying medical
conditions; however, if individuals in those groups choose to volunteer
understand the inherent risks, they may do so.
I ask all of you to consider assisting with one of three reopening teams:
Set-up team. Sample duties include ensuring that all supplies needed for each sacramental celebration/gathering are ready for use, entrances and exits are marked and propped physically open prior to attendees’ arrival/departure, windows are opened, etc.
Greeting team. Sample duties include assisting in managing the flow of congregants as they enter the church, making sure attendees use hand sanitizer upon entering, are wearing a mask, and are reminded not to enter if ill; directing people to appropriate seating/waiting areas, etc.
Cleaning team. Sample duties include maintaining and cleaning essential and trafficked areas of the church before and after the church has been used. Masks and gloves will be provided, if you do not have your own, in addition to approved cleaning/disinfecting supplies.
The Reopening Leadership Team and I will make sure that all volunteers are properly trained. Please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate your willingness and ability to volunteer.
TIMING FOR OUR REOPENING
The Pastor's Reopening Leadership Team members have already done an enormous amount of work required for the reopening of our church, yes for a limited number of attendees and worshipers, however, I'm extremely happy that our state and archdiocesan official have allowed parishes to open slowly and cautiously their churches. The team and I have completed the required training, we reviewed reopening guidelines, and completed tasks assigned to all parishes as part of a reopening certification process to be approved by the Archdiocese. I would like to announce to all of you that SPA is allowed to reopen for all 3 Phases. Here's the schedule of our services:
The guidelines and measures required to reopen are designed to protect our wellbeing and that of our broader community. As Cardinal Cupich has noted, from the first pages of Scripture we learn that we indeed are “our brother’s keeper.” Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed, “that they all may be one” (Jn 17:21) and commanded us “love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34). Our collective patience, willingness to help, and the care we take to reopen is a demonstration of our unity and love for one another.
May God grant you His peace during this difficult time and may He manifest His love and presence to you in abundant ways.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Chris D. Ciastoń