COVID-19 coronavirus

Monday, Mar 30, 2020

As the coronavirus continues to spread across Illinois and other states, the six Catholic arch/dioceses have suspended public Mass, closed Catholic schools and shuttered pastoral centers in order to limit congregate groups and maintain the “social distancing” required to prohibit the spread of the virus.


Illinois residents not involved in “essential” services are under a “stay at home” order from the governor until April 7. If you have been careful during these times of #COVID-19, your life won’t change that much. Please read the executive order for more details.

In the afternoon of March 13, the governor announced he was ordering all public and private K-12 schools in Illinois to close through March 30, beginning on Tues., March 17. Cardinal Cupich of Chicago that morning had announced the closure of Archdiocesan schools, and the other dioceses followed suit throughout the day.

The status of operations at each diocese are as follows, in alphabetical order.


Bishop Braxton
Bishop Edward K. Braxton

Bishop Braxton suspended all public Masses effective March 18 with this letter, which also cancels all public celebrations of the Liturgy, as well as Liturgy of the Hours, Stations of the Cross, and all other group services, Bible studies, Parish School of Religion, Pre-Cana sessions, and all other parish activities attended by more than ten people. Eucharistic Adoration is also cancelled, as is individual confession. It is suggested that weddings, funerals and baptisms be rescheduled or limited to 10 people, according to CDC guidelines.

  • Diocesan COVID-19 announcements and prayer resources may be found here.
  • Bishop Braxton on March 24 cancelled public celebrations of the April 7 Chrisam Mass, as well as Palm Sunday, Holy Week liturgies and Easter Sunday. However, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper (without washing of the feet), the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, and the Easter Vigil will be celebrated by Bishop Braxton and the rector of the Cathedral of St. Peter and will be live-streamed. See below.

Online Masses:

  • The diocese offers several options for online Mass, which may be found here.
  • The following Holy Week events will be celebrated by Bishop Braxton and Msgr. John Myler and live-streamed from the Cathedral of St. Peter on its Facebook page: Mass of the Lord’s Supper (without washing of the feet) at 5 p.m. on Holy Thursday (April 9); Passion of the Lord, noon on Good Friday (April 10); Easter Vigil at 8 p.m. on Holy Saturday (April 11); and Mass at 9 a.m. on Easter Sunday (April 12).

Bishop Braxton has recorded a pastoral video, reminding us that as Christians, “We believe that Christ is with us in every circumstance: our great joys, as well as our sorrows, frustrations and our fears.”


Cardinal Blase Cupich

Cardinal Blase Cupich suspended all public Masses beginning March 14, closed Catholic schools and ordered all school and pastoral center employees to work from home beginning Mon., March 16.

  • Diocesan COVID-19 announcements and online resources may be found here.
  • Guidance on funerals, wakes, viewings and committals were issued March 18 and may be found here.
  • The Chrisam Mass, Day of Reflection, Palm Sunday and Holy Week Liturgies will not be celebrated publicly as announced on March 19, but online celebrations will be conducted. See below.
  • Cardinal Cupich on March 20 asked Catholic parishes to ring their church bells five times a day, as a means of calling all to unite in prayer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A universal, online donation site for parishes may be found here. A special Coronoavirus Emergency Fund has been set up to help those negatively affected by COVID-19 and my be found here.

Online Masses:

  • Daily Mass is being live-streamed at 10 a.m. on the Archdiocese’s YouTube channel from St. James Chapel.
  • Beginning Sat., March 21, weekend Masses will broadcast from Holy Name Cathedral in English, Spanish and Polish at 4 p.m. on the Archdiocese’s YouTube channel. The recordings of all Masses will remain on the YouTube channel.
  • The following Holy Week events will celebrated by Cardinal Cupich and the auxiliary bishops in Holy Name Cathedral without a congregation and will be livestreamed: Mass of the Lord’s Supper (without washing of the feet), 5 p.m. on Holy Thursday; the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, noon on Good Friday; Easter Vigil, 8 p.m. on Holy Saturday; and Mass at 6 a.m. on Easter Sunday. (All broadcasts will remain available after their original starting time.) Easter Sunday Masses in English, Polish and Spanish will also be broadcast on Chicago television stations.

Cardinal Cupich has recorded an inspiring video message on unity in these trying times, reminding us, “This is a time to be gentle with one another, and accompany each other emotionally. … And this is a moment to deepen our own spiritual lives as members of the body of Christ by making a commitment, as I do today for you, that we will pray for each other.”


Bishop Richard Pates
Apostolic Administrator

Bishop Richard Pates, serving as administrator during Bishop Conlon’s medical leave, has suspended all Church services, including weekend and daily public Masses, Stations of the Cross, etc., until further notice.

  • Diocesan COVID-19 announcements and online resources may be found here.
  • Public Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter services are cancelled as of March 19, yet live-streamed services from the Cathedral were announced on March 30. See below.
  • All diocesan, parish and institution offices are closed except under very limited circumstances.
  • Further guidance on weddings, baptisms, funerals and wakes was issued March 21.
  • Online donations to your parish may be made here.

Online Masses:

  • Bishop Pates beginning March 23 is celebrating daily Mass from the Cathedral of St. Raymond at 11:30 a.m. on the diocese’s YouTube channel. A 9 a.m. Mass has also been added, as well as an hour of Eucharistic Adoration following.
  • Fr. Burke Masters and/or Fr. Ryan Adorjan beginning March 24 are celebrating daily Mass at 9 a.m. here.
  • Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter will be live-streamed from the Cathedral on the diocesan YouTube channel as follows: Palm Sunday, 10 a.m.; Holy Thursday, 5 p.m.; Good Friday, 3 p.m.; Easter Vigil, 8 p.m.; Easter, 10 a.m.
  • Daily Mass at St. Mary Immaculate, Plainfield at 9 a.m. on its Facebook page
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Joliet (Spanish) on its Facebook page
  • A list of other online Masses in the diocese may be found here.

Bishop Pates has recorded a reassuring video message to parishioners, urging all to pray for each other and the health care professionals on the front lines in handling COVID-19.


Bishop Jenky
Bishop Daniel Jenky, C.S.C.

Bishop Daniel Jenky, C.S.C., on March 13 suspended all public Mass, beginning with vigil services on Sat., March 14.

  • Diocesan COVID-19 announcements and online resources may be found here.
  • Weddings, funerals, baptisms, the Sacrament of Confirmation and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion have been suspended as of March 21. However, the dead will be buried and Holy Communion will be brought to the dying.
  • Bishop Jenky on March 23 announced he was suspending public worship through Easter Sunday. However, beginning with Palm Sunday and continuing through Holy Week and Easter. Masses and services will be live-streamed on the diocese’s website of See below.
  • The Spalding Pastoral Center, which houses diocesan offices, is closed until further notice.
  • Online donations to your parish may be made here.

Online Masses:

  • The Catholic Post offers this long and varied list of live-streamed Masses being offered in the diocese.
  • The following Holy Week events will be live-streamed on the diocesan Facebook page or website: Mass of the Lord’s Supper: 7:15 p.m. on Holy Thursday and celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria by Msgr. Philip Halfacre, vicar general; Good Friday services: 3 p.m. and will be offered in Spanish at Sacred Heart in Peoria with Father Julio Faes and in English from St. John’s Catholic Newman Center in Champaign with Father Robert Lampitt; Easter Sunday Mass: 9 a.m. from St. Pius X in Rock Island with Msgr. Mark Merdian.

Bishop Jenky has recorded a pastoral video message for the faithful, noting, “Always remember that our God is a great God. Jesus is a healer. Our Blessed Lady prays with and for the church. So ultimately, no matter what happens, we have nothing to fear.”


Bishop-Elect Malloy
Bishop David J. Malloy

Bishop David J. Malloy has suspended all public Masses until at least April 4.

  • Diocesan COVID-19 announcements and online resources may be found here.
  • Weddings, baptisms and funerals may only be celebrated with no more than 10 individuals, according to CDC guidelines.
  • Bishop Malloy on Match 20 announced there would be no public worship for Chrisam Mass, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil. HOWEVER, the events will be celebrated by Bishop Malloy at St. Peter Cathedral Parish and will be live-streamed. See below.
  • The Diocesan Administration Center is closed until further notice.
  • Online donations to your parish may be made here.

Online Masses:

  • Bishop Malloy will celebrate Sunday Mass at 9 a.m. on March 22 and March 29 on the diocese’s Facebook page. He will also offer devotions and prayer on Wednesdays at noon on the same Facebook page.
  • Bishop Malloy will celebrate the following events at St. Peter Cathedral Parish, which will be live-streamed at Chrism Mass at 11 a.m. on Holy Thursday; Holy Thursday Mass at 7 p.m.; Good Friday liturgy at 2 p.m.; and Easter Vigil at 7:30 p.m. Easter Sunday Mass will be broadcast live on WREX Channel 13 in Rockford.
  • The diocese lists several options for online Mass at this link.

Bishop Malloy has also recorded an encouraging video, noting that, “This is a moment that’s different than anything we’ve gone through in our lifetime. But we’re reminded by St. Paul, hope never disappoints — and even in the midst of challenges and fears of the unknown.”


Bishop Pabrocki
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki has suspended all public Masses, cancelled Confirmations and First Communions through December 2020 and offered guidance on weddings, funerals and burials. He is also asking the entire diocesan community “to engage together in a fast from the Eucharistic for the sake of the physical and spiritual healing of all those in our diocese, nation, and world.”

Online Masses:

  • The diocese offers several options for online Mass, which may be found here.
  • Bishop Paprocki will celebrate the following Holy Week liturgies, which will be livestreamed from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception: Holy Thursday, 6:30 p.m.; Good Friday, 3 p.m.; Holy Saturday, 8 p.m.; Easter Sunday, 10 a.m.

Bishop Paprocki has issued a pastoral video, telling Catholics, “We are people of faith. We will continue to pray. … Remember the words of our Lord, ‘Be not afraid,’ because God is with you.”


A novel coronavirus called COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 during an outbreak in Wuhan, China. COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, including the United States, since it was detected and was declared a public health emergency for the U.S. on Jan. 31. The World Health Organization announced March 11 that the spread of coronavirus qualifies as a global pandemic.

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Preliminary data suggest older adults and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems seems to be at greater risk of developing serious illness from the virus.

The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported Jan. 21, and the first confirmed case in Illinois was announced Jan. 24 (a Chicago resident). The first cases outside Chicago and Cook County were reported March 11 in Kane and McHenry counties. The first cases in Central and Southern Illinois were announced on Sat., March 14.

Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation on March 9. President Donald Trump on March 13 declared a national emergency because of the coronavirus.

Daily press briefings held at 2:30 p.m. from Gov. J.B. Pritzker may be viewed/heard here. For general questions about COVID-19, call the Illinois hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email Guidance on the coronavirus from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be found here.