COVID-19 Recommendations

Dear Parishioners,

I hope you’re all having a great summer! St. Mary of the Angels has so much to be grateful for as we celebrate our wonderful parish Feast Day this week: lots of weddings and baptisms, many are attending Mass, enrollment in our Family of Faith formation is going strong, as is our School’s—up over 10%, the largest in years—with a new Montessori program.

On Wednesday, I received further guidance from the Archdiocese of Chicago’s COVID-19 Task Force which now “strongly recommends” that all persons entering parish offices, schools, churches, and all public spaces wear masks. Although personally we may not like this step, we do so to be sensitive toward the vulnerable in our parish and to keep our Masses going and our schools open.

Below you will see the latest update. Taking these precautions now will help attenuate the latest surge, keep everyone feeling safe, and allow us to continue worshiping our Lord and evangelizing our nation.

Let’s continue to live our Catholic Faith to the fullest and always place our trust in Our Blessed Mother!

May Christ bless all of you with faith and peace,

We are grateful for the heroic work done these past months by our clergy, school staff and other employees to keep our places of worship, education and work safe for all we serve. As we continue to monitor guidance of public health authorities and respect the input of our employees and school families, we must remain flexible in our policies. Only by doing so can we maintain safety so all feel protected in our facilities.

The rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations attributable to the highly transmissible delta variant understandably has caused a shift in the guidance of public health authorities.

Cook and Lake Counties and the City of Chicago have reached the threshold for “Substantial Transmission” of the virus. Therefore, the Counties’ and Chicago’s Departments of Public Health, consistent with IDPH and the CDC have issued guidelines strongly recommending thatall persons, vaccinated or unvaccinated mask in all indoor public spaces.

We will follow this new guidance. Beginning now, it is strongly recommended that all persons entering Archdiocesan facilities be masked regardless of their vaccination status. This applies to parish offices, schools, churches and other public spaces. Observance of this policy aligns us with public health officials layered mitigation strategies. Further guidance on mask usage during liturgies will be forthcoming for clergy and lay ministers. We will release student and staff mask guidelines for the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year shortly.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will reevaluate our policy if conditions and public health guidance warrants it. It is our hope and our prayer that measures taken now and scrupulously applied will enable us to adopt a mask-optional policy for vaccinated persons in the future. Certainly we are disappointed and saddened that infection and serious illness rates have again surged. We must do our part to bring the pandemic under control and the suffering to an end. This is both our civic and Christian duty. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to keep each other and the people we serve safe and well.

Peace,
COVID-19 Task Force