UPDATE ON PLAN FOR REOPENING IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH – May 28, 2020
Bishop Braxton and all the Bishops of the six Dioceses in the state of Illinois announced on May 13 a plan for gradually reopening our churches for the celebration of the Sacraments, private prayer, adoration, and eventually, Mass. After meeting with our parish reopening leadership team (Keith Huels, Lizanne Young, MaryBeth Babcock, Karen Lundy, Jim VonDerHaar & Dave Boser), and our Pastoral Council, we have arrived at this tentative plan that is in compliance with the guidelines issued by our Bishop and the Center for Disease Control. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of people, realizing that the current situation remains dangerous and fragile. Thus far we have had 9 members of our parish contract COVID-19.
June 1 – Immaculate Conception Church will be open for Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals, Reconciliation, Private Prayer and Eucharistic Adoration, with a limit of 10 attendees. All attendees will be required to keep six feet of social distance (those domiciled together may sit together), wear masks (except for children under two years of age and adults with severe breathing difficulties) and sanitize their hands upon entering and leaving the building according to the CDC guidelines. Anyone feeling ill or with a fever should not enter the church. A trained parish volunteer will be present at each event to insure all guidelines are being followed. Trained parish volunteers will also clean and sanitize the church after each event.
Private Prayer: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM; and on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM (only the middle doors of the main church entrance will be open). Eucharistic Adoration will be held each Tuesday from 5 PM – 8 PM in the main church, not the chapel. Again, no more than 10 people may be present in the church at one time, and if others are waiting, there will be a 20 minute time limit for each person. Per the CDC suggestions, there will be no song books or prayer books in the pews or gathering space. Again, all entering the church must wear face masks and keep social distance. A trained parish volunteer will be present to insure compliance with all guidelines.
Reconciliation: A priest will be available for this Sacrament each Thursday in church from 6:00 – 7:00 PM, or anytime by personal appointment. Both priest and penitent must wear face masks, and keep social distance.
Parish Office: Beginning Monday, June 1, the parish office will be open from 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM Monday thru Thursday, and closed on Fridays until further notice. All entering the parish office must wear face masks and keep social distance.
We are reopening our church gradually and carefully, per Diocesan guidelines, and these preliminary plans for reopening will be under ongoing review so that adjustments can be made in accord with new data and guidelines from the CDC. Only after we have successfully implemented this first step will we move to the next step of resuming our celebration of the weekend Masses, which we hope to do as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to do an online Mass each Saturday at 4 PM.
Please remember that all these protocols are put into place to safeguard human life. Each one of us must take personal responsibility for protecting one another, for this is what it means to be a Pro-Life Church. Our dream is to get back to “normal” Church life, but only teamwork will make the dream work. This Easter Season reminds us that nothing is impossible with God, so let us continue to work as if everything depends upon us and pray as if everything depends upon God.