The bishops of Illinois' six Catholic dioceses late yesterday released a uniform plan developed in conjunction with state and local civic and public health officials for reopening churches across the state. Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker last week released a detailed "Restore Illinois" plan for reopening regions of the state as the COVID-19 pandemic runs it course. Each bishop also released a personal letter to the faithful in his diocese, with some noting regional modifications to the overall plan.
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.
CCI Executive Director Bob Gilligan shares a recorded message from Cardinal Cupich about the COVID-19 pandemic; talks with Bishop Richard Pates, who's serving as the apostolic administrator of the Joliet diocese while Bishop Conlon is on medical leave; discusses the need for privilege in restorative justice practices with Judge Tom Donnelly; and briefly outlines tomorrow's primary election.
Cardinal Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago 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 Malloy has 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.”