UPDATE – February 10, 2022
The COVID Task Force and Archdiocese of Chicago leadership have continued to assess the evolving situation regarding mask requirements at the state and local levels, declining infection rates in many of our communities, and guidance from health departments. In light of this progress, we have been informed we can move to a mask-optional environment in our church.
- Mask wearing is optional. If you are more comfortable wearing a mask, you are welcome to do so. Also, if you are unvaccinated you are asked to continue to wear a mask. People will NOT be checked for vaccination status in this parish. Rather, we are asking you to be accountable for your vaccination status. Finally, families are always welcome. It will be a family decision for their younger children to wear masks in church.
- Social distancing is no longer required and the ropes which separate our pews have been removed. As a result, you will no longer need to be pre-registered prior to Mass and you will be free to seat yourself when you arrive in church. We are going to be reserving the section of seats adjacent to the St. Joseph Shrine for those people who would be more comfortable wearing masks and being socially distant from each other. I would ask that all people who sit in that section be respectful of that. Not everyone is comfortable yet returning to pre-pandemic norms. I want everyone to feel welcome to worship at St. Theresa.
- We will continue to ask you to sanitize your hands as you come into church but will not sanitize your hands prior to the reception of communion. If you carry your own hand sanitizer, you are welcome to self-clean before receiving the Eucharist. As a result, those who wish to receive communion on the tongue will no longer be asked to segregate themselves at the back of the line, unless they are seated in the section by the St. Joseph Shrine.
- There will no longer be any restrictions on singing in church and in fact you are greatly encouraged to sing, sing, sing!!! It has been way too long! Joyfully lift your voices in prayer to God! If this pandemic has reminded me of anything it is how much I have missed hearing our congregation sing. Our hymnals have already been returned to the pews to aid in your musical participation.
- The Benton Street doors will be opened for entrance and exit once again and the Benton Street lot will also be available for parking. Please do not park in designated “no parking” zones. The two side doors by the Adoration Chapel will remain locked during construction.
I have no idea when the Archdiocese will authorize parishes to return to offering the Eucharist via the reception of the Precious Blood. I wouldn’t be surprised if it may be several months before that will happen again.
With the opening-up of churches once again, I would imagine that Cardinal Cupich will re-instate the requirement that all Catholics must attend weekly Mass once again to avoid committing a mortal sin.
We continue to livestream our daily Masses at 6:30 am and our Sunday Mass at 10:00 am for those who cannot attend Mass in person.
Confessions have returned to the confessionals each Saturday from 12:00 – 1:30 pm and the portable confessional screens will no longer be required. However, for the time being, we will not be offering confession in the face-to-face option.
I would like to conclude by thanking the Parish Pastoral Staff, our COVID-19 Leadership Team and our volunteers who have done so much work during the pandemic to keep our parish open and safe for the people who have come. Words cannot express my gratitude!
May God bless you all.