Guide for Participating in Personal Prayer and Devotion – St. Theresa Parish, Palatine, IL
Greetings from St. Theresa Parish! We rejoice that we are able to re-open our doors for in-person prayer and devotion at this time. To ensure the physical health and well-being of all who come to pray, the following guide presents how participation in personal prayer and adoration is to be done.
Each person wishing to participate in personal prayer and devotion is required to present themselves at the check-in entrance at the east entrance to the gathering space – see church diagram. At the time of check-in, a volunteer will greet you to verify the following:
- You are wearing a protective face covering
- Whether you are ill or have a temperature
- You sanitize your hands with the provided sanitizer prior to entering the main church
The greeter will then escort you to an usher for sign-in. Sign-in is necessary and includes your name, the seat to which you are assigned, and what time you are seated for prayer. The usher will provide a reminder that personal prayer and adoration is limited to 20 minutes if there are additional people waiting to be seated. The usher will then direct you to your assigned seat. At this time, we cannot accommodate group/family seating. Each person has their own chair. If there are individuals waiting to be seated, you will be alerted a few minutes ahead of time when your 20 minutes is coming to an end.
- You will also be reminded that once seated, you are asked not to leave your seat/move around the church until you are ready to leave. This assists your fellow volunteer parishioners in maintaining a clean and safe environment for all who enter.
- *If others are waiting to pray, at the end of 20 minutes, an usher will approach you to let you know that there is a line and that your 20 minutes are over.
- *Because there is no guarantee that you will have more than 20 minutes in prayer, please take into account that some of the forms of personal prayer and devotion require longer than 20 minutes when choosing how you wish to spend your time in prayer. If there is a line, you will be asked to complete your prayer and exit the church after 20 minutes.
- Once you have completed your time of personal prayer and devotion, please follow the blue arrows on the floor that mark the way to the appropriate church exit. NOTE: this is through a different door than the one through which you came in. On your way out, avoid touching any of the pews, statues, wall hangings as much as possible. Again, this assists your fellow volunteer parishioners in maintaining a clean and safe environment for others.
We hope this guide is helpful and assists you in having a graced and peaceful time with Our Lord. If you have any questions, please ask either the greeter or usher who assists you when you first arrive.
–The St. Theresa Parish Re-Opening Team
Welcome Back! Our Gradual Reopening Begins Tomorrow, May 23…
I am thrilled to announce that we are going to begin the process of slowly re-opening our parish home as guided by the Archdiocese of Chicago beginning this weekend! Please know that at this time, we are not able to offer Mass in the church with a congregation of any size… that will occur in the next phase of the Archdiocesan plan. We will continue to offer live-streamed Masses in the usual way for the foreseeable future. We have been given permission to offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and open the church for private prayer, as well as weddings, baptisms and funerals for ten or fewer people.
Here are a few details of what we will be doing at St. Theresa Parish for the immediate future:
Please remember that masks must be worn at all times when coming to St. Theresa. If you are not feeling well, please stay home. If you are concerned about coming to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation at St. Theresa at this time, we are exploring a possibility to address this in the future.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) will begin tomorrow and will be offered on Saturdays from 12:00 – 2:00 pm. We are going to try to celebrate it outdoors, to promote safety as well as minimize volunteer needs in this nicer weather.
There will be three stations set up for the sacrament tomorrow:
- One station will be at the new link entrance on Benton Street (# 1 on the map included with this communication).
- Another will be at the entrance to the Lower Dolan Center adjacent to the Dolan Center parking lot (# 2 on the map).
- The third station will be on the south east entrance to the school opposite the ball field (# 3 on the map).
The penitent can park their car and walk up to each station, or they can wait in their car (at # 2 and # 3 only).
The priest will be on one side of the door with a curtain separating them from the penitent. Each entrance is covered so that should shield from the possibility of rain. There will not be an opportunity to be seated and we ask that each penitent simply state their sins – because of anticipated numbers, the priests won’t be able to offer spiritual direction… at least during the first few weeks. Volunteers will be on hand to direct people and maintain social distancing.
Prayer and Adoration
The church will be open for prayer and adoration beginning Tuesday, May 26.
The schedule for the opening of church will be as follows:
- Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
- Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Please note that greeters will be on hand to direct you to your seat and no more than ten people will be allowed in church at any time. If there are more than ten people desiring to pray at any given moment, they will need to wait in line outside of the church and the people already in church will be limited to 20 minutes of prayer time. Again, volunteers will be on hand to assist with this process.
The tabernacle that has been set-up in the priest sacristy window will be maintained for those who may be still uncomfortable entering the church at this time.
Baptisms, Funerals, and Weddings
Baptisms, funerals and weddings will be scheduled as needed with a limit of ten people or less for each event.
I am asking all of our parishioners to PLEASE be patient with this process. It will be a learning experience for all of us and rudeness to our volunteers will not be tolerated. To date, we have had over 60 people offer to help – thank you so much for that! We are still in need of many more people to make the burden less on our volunteers. If you are healthy, and have younger members of your family over the age of 18 who wish to assist, please consider signing up to help at: email@example.com.
I hope this communication is clear enough for us to begin the process of opening up our church. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am certain I speak on behalf of the other priests, deacons, our seminarian Rob and the rest of the parish staff when I say we are very excited to welcome people back!
Please continue to pray for Pope Francis, Cardinal Cupich and our government leaders, as they continue to work on a way to bring our people home to church. Let’s also pray for all those who have been devastated by COVID-19, that the Lord’s love and his Mother’s protection will be with them in a special way during this difficult time.
Fr. Tim Fairman
Message from Cardinal Cupich: Reopening of our Churches – May 13, 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
These fifty days of Easter, leading to Pentecost, are marked by unprecedented suffering, as humanity has fallen victim to a perilous contagion. In addition to the threats to our physical well-being, we are suffering spiritually as the Covid-19 pandemic has required restrictions of our worship and active participation in the sacramental life of the Church. Surely, there have been moments in history when governments and rulers have persecuted Christians and banned their public worship. This is not one of them. Rather, the present restrictions come in response to an extreme medical emergency as local, state and federal authorities – specifically public health officials – legitimately fulfill their responsibilities to safeguard human life and the common good. They have based their reasonable guidance on careful consideration of empirical data and the best available disease-mitigation practices as they seek to contain the pandemic’s rampage through our communities.
While everyone must exercise good citizenship in observing these restrictions, I call on the Catholic faithful, as advocates for justice and charity, to comply with these regulations. From the first pages of Scripture we learn that we indeed are “our brother’s keeper,” a truth that must inspire us as we are called to sacrifice. We should also be motivated to cooperate with public safety norms, given our reverence for life and human dignity. This is, at its heart, a moment to proclaim the breadth and depth of what it means to be pro-life, particularly as this virus preys on the most vulnerable in our midst.
The good news is that a plan for a gradual reopening of our churches has now taken shape, as I note below. However, since our movements will be restricted as that plan unfolds in different phases, your pastors and bishops will continue for the present time to offer Mass in private each day and to live-stream and broadcast Masses from our parishes and the archdiocese. I am particularly grateful to ABC-TV, Univision and Polvision in Chicago for giving us airtime every Sunday. These celebrations surely are not the same as gathering in our churches for Mass, but I know from hearing from many parishioners that they provide a great deal of solace and support in this time of uncertainty.
We must be honest. We expect this situation to continue for some weeks, and any plan for reopening our Churches for public worship must include every precaution to ensure public gatherings do not create a second wave of contagion, thus squandering the gains made through our sacrifice in these days.
With those realities in mind, I am heartened to announce that the Catholic Bishops of Illinois have reached an agreement with the Office of the Governor on a multi-phase Plan for re-opening our churches for the celebration of the sacraments, private prayer, adoration and Mass. As I share the Plan with you, I want to assure you of my prayers for you and your family’s personal, material and spiritual well-being. I also express my appreciation to the many people on the archdiocesan staff and in the Office of the Governor for the many hours they have given to designing and fine tuning this agreement. Again, I call on all Catholics to seize this moment to exercise faith-filled citizenship in a way that reflects our deep regard for life, our calling as disciples of Jesus and our love of country.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich