COVID19 Update as the Flock Returns to St. Laurence
Watch this page as we place updates to what is happening as our Flock Returns to St. Laurence. We will post news and Pupdates from Boris here!
Current updates will be at the top of the page:
5-20-20 Message to Parishioners
Father addresses the reasons for mass times.
That there is a process to volunteer. Fill out the Volunteer Interest Form here.
That there will be a process to sign-up to attend mass. Watch for more details.
5-17-20 Message to Parishioners
You may be aware of recent communications from the Governor and our Bishop regarding the reopening of Catholic churches in Illinois. The Bishop sent some general guidelines to Pastors including the necessary steps each parish will be required to implement before it is authorized to reopen and to what degree. Each parish must be certified by the diocese before they can open for services. There are still some guidelines to be determined/approved. We will keep you informed. Our goal is to open as soon as possible and to the largest extent possible.
It is often the case that 20% of the members volunteer to do 80% of the work. I am very grateful that St. Laurence has had many dedicated volunteers who have, year-after-year, given their time to the Church. In fact many of them could easily say, “I have put in my time, let someone else do it now—but they don’t.” Many of our volunteers are in their 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s. They are at-risk for Covid19 and we cannot endanger their health by continuing to rely on their volunteer efforts. St. Laurence needs new and younger volunteers to help us transition from lockdown to restored use of the Church. If you are able, we need you to volunteer to perform a task or tasks for our reopening plan. Please be on the lookout for ways to volunteer and sign-up.
The need to mitigate health risks will also require us—and every other parish—to change the way we do things:
- gather in Church,
- sit in Church,
- interact in Church, and
- receive Communion in Church.
We are committed to keeping you fully informed. We will use every platform available to us to communicate with you. We urge you to completely read the information we publish to make yourselves aware of new policies and directives on how we will proceed.
The reopening of Churches will proceed in phases and thus Mass attendance will be limited, especially at first. You will need to sign-up (whether online or by phone) in order to secure a spot for weekend Masses. (We will provide training if needed). Every attempt will be made to do this fairly and equitably. More details will follow. The target opening date for weekend Mass is May 30th. It is likely that only 10 parishioners would be allowed in for each Mass at this time. Please be aware that Bishop Malloy’s dispensation from attending weekend Mass, per his letter dated 4/09/20, has been extended indefinitely until public Masses are once again allowed in the Rockford Diocese. The Bishop’s letter also indicates that there will be clear notification of any changes to the dispensation.
In our state, there is a wide spectrum of opinions about the effectiveness of mandated health precautions. We are governed by the guidelines set-forth by the Diocese of Rockford. Please know that the Bishop will demand everyone to follow the new guidelines, as this will be a condition for certification for St. Laurence to reopen and stay open. Undoubtedly, these new conditions will give ALL of us many opportunities to sacrifice and to show our St. Laurence charity and family spirit to one another.
As we prepare ourselves and our parish to be ready for this challenge, let us be aware that many people are donating their time and making great sacrifices so that our parish can open to as many parishioners as quickly as possible. Everyone’s patience, understanding, gratitude, and kind speech will go a long way to make St. Laurence Parish shine like a “beacon on the hill” that Christ wants it to be.
God bless you – and you will be hearing a lot from me and my team in the coming weeks! Fr. Andrew Mulcahey