March 2022 Update

March 27, 2022

Dear Friends,

With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic more than two years ago, our goal in the Diocese of Joliet has been to ensure the safety and well-being of all clergy, religious, lay ministers, parishioners, employees and volunteers while providing access to worship and the Eucharist. We have adjusted our safety protocols as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increased and then decreased. I want to personally thank you for your diligence in safeguarding the health of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

When the state of Illinois lifted its mask mandate for indoor public places on February 28, we followed suit for all church and office activities. We also removed practically all other precautions, but left in place the dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.

The time has come to remove that final provision, and we will do so on Palm Sunday. What better time for us all to come together again than Palm Sunday, which marks the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the beginning of Holy Week.

Of course, if individuals are ill or contagious to others, Canon law allows them to decide for themselves if they should attend Mass.

I am excited the Diocese of Joliet will fully reunite as one body in Christ for the liturgies leading up to Easter and beyond.

I am reminded of the words Pope Francis wrote in Fratelli Tutti during the initial months of the pandemic: “Let us dream, then, as a single human family, as fellow travelers sharing the same flesh, as children of the same earth which is our common home, each of us bringing the richness of his or her beliefs and convictions, each of us with his or her own voice, brothers and sisters all.” (Paragraph 8)

Let us welcome home our family with joy and continue to pray for each other.

Paz y bien,

Most Reverend Ronald A. Hicks

Bishop of Joliet

February 2022 Update

Dear Parish Family,

With the state of Illinois lifting the mask mandate for indoor public spaces on February 28, the Diocese of Joliet will revise its protocols and lift restrictions.

The following guidelines will be implemented at St. James the Apostle for all church and office activities beginning on Monday, February 28th. Please note schools and religious education continue to follow their own requirements. 

1) Masks are recommended, but not required.

2) We will continue to offer seating in the church for those who wish to continue the practice of additional precautions such as social distancing or mask-wearing.

We kindly ask that all those who choose to sit in these special sections continue wearing masks to protect your brothers and sisters in Christ who are immunocompromised.

3) Communion shall still be provided only via the host and Communion will only be distributed in the hand at this time.

4) Restrictions are removed from musicians.

5) Congregation may make whatever Sign of Peace they are comfortable with. 

6) For now Dispensation still remains in place.

Above all we ask that you please be respectful of the decisions made in good conscience by our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Diocese will continue to monitor COVID-19 positivity rates.  Earlier restrictions may have to be reinstated in the future.  Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

Thank you for your continued prayers for the health and safety of all our brothers and sisters in our human family.

August 27, 2021 Update

Updated COVID-19 Guidance Per Governor’s Statewide Mask Mandate

Gov. J.B. Pritzker yesterday (Aug. 26, 2021) issued Executive Order 2021-20, which calls for all Illinois residents age two or older to wear a mask while in an indoor public space, effective Mon., Aug. 30.
Attendees at Mass and other indoor liturgical celebrations and events will be required to wear a mask, beginning Mon., Aug. 30. All parish and Blanchette Catholic Center employees also must wear a mask in the office when in contact with others. When employees are in their separate workspaces that allow for a distance of at least six feet from others, the mask may be removed.

We appreciate and thank you for your patience and cooperation during these challenging times.
If you wish to read the full document please visit the diocesan website, www.dioceseofjoliet.org


August 19th, 2021 Update

On August 19th, we received communications with revisions to our COVID-19 Protocols set forth for all parishes of the Joliet Diocese in response to the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus that has provided renewed upswing in the number of cases. The document is lengthy therefore we have compiled a summary of the most important items for your review as an attachment below.

Here are the top three takeaways:

  • Dispensation from the requirement to attend Mass in person is still in place.
  • Masks are strongly recommended for everyonevaccinated or not.
  • If people do not feel well, they SHOULD NOT ATTEND Mass or parish gatherings. 

For a summary of the most important items, please see the attached document

To read the entire document, please visit the diocesan website: http://www.dioceseofjoliet.org

NOT READY to RETURN YET?

We will continue to live stream weekend Mass either at 4 P.M. on Saturday or 9 A.M. on Sunday, depending upon the availability of our live stream team. The link to the live stream Mass will be sent via Flocknote each week, as well as posted on our website, stjamesge.org

To directly subscribe to our YouTube channel, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPGsN2-Ns582cA33cFFmnbQ

RECONCILIATIONS

We will continue to offer Reconciliations on Saturdays from 2:30 to 3:15 P.M. in the Cry Room. No registrations or check-ins are required. Simply line up along the wall at the back of the church near the cry room to wait your turn. 

Hope to see you soon!