Please check back here for the latest updates as our response continues to develop. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this page to read all posted update
Thursday, March 26, 1:00 p.m.: Letter from Father David Hankus
In this most challenging of times, I am ever so grateful for your ongoing personal support and prayers. It is moments such as these that give solid evidence of our Christian witness. While we are very sensitive to pastoral needs, we are also called to address charitable and practical concerns. Some suggestions are as follows:
-being attentive to your neighbor’s needs, especially the elderly or others who may be at risk; checking on them and helping them as best you can-calling me if I can be of some assistance to you
We have a wonderful St. Vincent de Paul Society in the parish and although not everyone can be helped as we would like, much good does indeed take place due to the generosity of those who support this worthy organization.
The Diocese of Joliet has established an emergency fund. In unusual circumstances, direct contact can be made to the Diocese through the Office of the Bishop at email@example.com.
Regarding the financial commitments of the parish, we will do everything possible to continue to retain and support our parish and school employees. To this end, I humbly ask you to keep current on your parish commitment. I know this is not possible for some. At the same time, there may be others who are in a position to contribute an additional sum to their ordinary gift. In the end, I am sure you will do the best you can.
Another way of giving is through the “on-line” method. It is easy and convenient, especially when the parish offices are closed. You may click the link below to give on a one-time basis or sign up for e-giving on a more regular basis.
If you prefer not to give online, contributions to the parish may be mailed to St. James the Apostle Parish, 480 S. Park Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL. 60137. You may also drop off your contribution in the lock box outside the Ministry Center door. Both the mail and lock box will be checked daily.
I also would like to mention that our Catholic school and religious education programs are being adapted in such a way that while the parish facilities are closed for the time being, on-line learning will continue to assist our children in meeting expectations to move on to the next grade level this coming fall. Understanding that family situations may be difficult, it is asked that you keep as current as possible with tuition and other payments.
Finally, I wish you all to know that you are remembered daily in the Masses I am celebrating privately and in my own prayers. I have a plaque on my desk that reads, “Father David, Trust me. I have everything under control. Love, Jesus.” I encourage you to insert your own name, and allow Jesus to speak those words of comfort to you. In the end goodness will triumph.
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. David J. Hankus, D.Min., Ph.D.
Thursday, March 26, 10:00 a.m.: Communications from Bishop Pates on Forgiveness of Sins during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Across the world, our people have raised questions regarding the forgiveness of sins. In order to address these inquiries and to bring peace to the victims of coronavirus and their caregivers, the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Vatican recently released two documents. They are:
- Note from the Apostolic Penitentiary on the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the current pandemic, 20-03-2020
- Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary and the granting of special indulgences to the faithful in the current pandemic, 20-03-2020
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has produced an aide for the Church in the United States to assist in implementing the guidelines of the documentation from the Apostolic Penitentiary. This complete aide can be downloaded at the bottom of this communication.
The essence as it applies to the faithful is as follows:
“…given public restrictions, the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation with either individual or general absolution may not be possible. This will make some of the faithful anxious, especially during this Lenten season of penance.
To help in this, the Holy See, through the Apostolic Penitentiary, has offered two recourses for the faithful:
a) “Where the individual faithful find themselves in the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness (that which the penitent is at present able to express) and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. CCC, no. 1452).”
Perfect contrition requires
• the love of God
• the sincere desire for forgiveness
• the ardent commitment to receive the sacrament of reconciliation when available
b) “The gift of special Indulgences is granted to the faithful suffering from COVID-19disease, commonly known as Coronavirus, as well as to health care workers, familymembers and all those who in any capacity, including through prayer, care for them.”
• this is a time of suffering, especially for those who have contracted COVID-19.As such, it may be a time for us to “rediscover ‘the same redemptive suffering ofChrist’ (Salvifici doloris, 30).” Trusting in Christ,
• a Plenary indulgence is “granted to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, whoare subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in theirown homes if, with a spirit detached from any sin, they unite spiritually throughthe media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, tothe pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion, or if at leastthey will recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and a pious invocation to the BlessedVirgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards theirbrothers and sisters, with the will to fulfill the usual conditions (sacramentalconfession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father’sintentions), as soon as possible.”
• “Health care workers, family members and all those who, following the exampleof the Good Samaritan, exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, care for thesick of Coronavirus according to the words of the divine Redeemer: ‘Greater lovehas no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’ (Jn 15: 13), willobtain the same gift of the Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions.”
o An indulgence is “the expression of the Church’s full confidence of beingheard by the Father when – in view of Christ’s merits and, by his gift, thoseof Our Lady and the saints – she asks him to mitigate or cancel the painfulaspect of punishment by fostering its medicinal aspect through otherchannels of grace” (John Paul II, General Audience, September 29, 1999).
o A plenary indulgence removes all the temporal punishment due to sin(CCC, 1471).
Read the entire aide by clicking on the download below:
Saturday, March 21, 1:00 p.m.: Letter from Bishop Pates: What Shelter in Place means for all the Parishes in the Diocese of Joliet
Dear Priests, Deacons, Religious and all members of the Joliet Diocesan Community,
Governor Pritzker has issued an order mandating a “stay in place” for all citizens of the State of Illinois.
The order is effective at 5:00 PM on Saturday, March 21st and has the following implications for the parishes/schools and institutions in the Diocese of Joliet. These restrictions remain in place until April 7th or otherwise notified by the Governor.
· All churches and adoration chapels must be closed and locked until the order is lifted by the governor. Private prayer in any parish building must be discontinued until the order is lifted.
· There can be no live Stations of the Cross or any other gatherings anywhere on parish/school property, nor can any parish personnel be involved in organizing them on any other site.
· All weddings and baptisms must be postponed and can be re-scheduled only once the order is lifted. There are no exceptions to this, regardless of the size of the group. However, in case of an extreme emergency for baptism, please seek the permission of your bishop.
· Funerals and wakes must be postponed until the order is lifted.
(Note: Priests can – and are encouraged – to continue celebrating Mass privately and to livestream their Masses for their parishioners, if possible. Moreover, anointing of the sick and confession/absolution guidelines will be forthcoming.)
· Parish offices must be closed until the governor’s order is lifted.
It is clear that the response to COVID-19 is fluid and we will keep you apprised of developments and provide additional information as it becomes available.
I am fully aware that these and previous measures are disconcerting and disrupting that which is central in our lives. It is painful for all of us. At the same time, we recognize them as essential in order to eliminate the scourge of the virus.
Let us join in prayer to the loving and caring God that He be with us in these trying moments and lead to the elimination of this virus. We pray also for those suffering from the virus and for those that lost loved ones to the illness and all those serving at this time, especially the health care workers.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Richard E. Pates
Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Joliet
Friday, March 20 at 9:00 p.m. Updated Communications from Fr. David Hankus
I am sure that each one of you is experiencing a variety of emotions as we deal with the effects of the corona virus on our world. One psychologist wrote in an article the other day that he felt it was not healthy, psychologically speaking, to listen to the news of the virus all day long. If you turn on the radio or television news that is about all you will hear. In this psychologist’s opinion this is not healthy as it will lead to despair and depression. It is true that if one only focuses on this pandemic and nothing else, attempting to muster some optimism becomes an overwhelming challenge.
At this difficult time, I wish you to know that you are in my prayers as I ask God to grant peace, comfort, reassurance, healing, strength and patience. As I celebrate Mass privately you are remembered and lifted up to the Lord. I encourage you to keep in touch with others as best you can via email or phone. Reach out to those who may have no one else to talk with them. Having family members all home together for long periods of time may cause stress occasionally, but it is also an opportunity to interact with each other that will in the end strengthen relationships.
Finally, I encourage you to be mindful of Jesus’ promise to “be with us always until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20.) We are never alone. May our Lord continue to guide us. We believe that He is ultimately in charge. May God bless us all.
New Changes to Our Schedule Based Upon the New Shelter-in-Place DirectiveAlthough we had hoped to have the church open for private prayer this weekend, with the new shelter-in-place directive for our state, we will no longer be able to do so. In addition, the decision has been made to close the parish offices until further notice so that all our staff may work from home. Please be assured they are eager to be of assistance to you should you need them and they can be reached via email.
For a list of the staff contact information, please visit https://stjamesge.org/contact-us/
Also, earlier in the week we had mentioned that donations for the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry could be made at the parish offices, however we will no longer be able to accept them since we are closed. All donations may be taken directly to the pantry. For their hours of operation, please visit https://www.glenellynfoodpantry.org/
Thursday, March 19, 3:00 p.m. Updated Alert Regarding COVID-19 from Bishop Pates
Please read in entirety today’s letter from Bishop Pates in which he has canceled all Masses, Communion Services and Public times for Confession effective immediately through Easter and until further notice.
Be assured that we will continue to look for ways to support and connect with you during these difficult times in which we find ourselves. Stay connected to us on Flocknotes, Facebook (St James the Apostle Parish in Glen Ellyn Illinois), Twitter (St James Glen Ellyn) and our parish Website (stjamesge.org) for updates and resources as they are made available to us. You may also call us at the Ministry Center where our Parish Secretary Rubi will maintain limited hours each week day. Once we have decided on those, we will notify you. The rest of the staff is working from home and may be reached via email. You will find their contact information on our website or on the cover of a parish bulletin. Fr. David and the members of the Parish Staff want to assure you of our prayers for all of you, our beloved parishioners, who we feel privileged to serve, especially in these times.
As Fr. David had posted earlier this week, the church will be open this weekend for private prayer on Saturday from 1-5 p.m. and on Sunday from 8 a.m. -12 noon. However, there will not be a public celebration of confession. Instead, confessions may be done on an appointment only basis to guarantee the health and safety of our parishioners, as well as Fr. David. You may schedule this by contacting him at the Ministry Center, (630) 469-7540, ext. 203. If you come to pray at church this weekend, we ask you to please practice good hygiene and keep a six foot distance from others.
Finally, Pope Francis has invited all to join in a rosary today for the protection of families. He will be praying at 9 p.m. in Italy, which is at 3 p.m. today. We invite you to join together with our universal Church family sometime today in collective prayer.
May God bless you and keep you close to His heart.
Tuesday, March 17, 1:00 p.m. New Message from Fr. David Hankus with Important Updates
All of us in one way or another have been affected by the outbreak of the corona virus. It is a most challenging and difficult situation as we see our everyday way of life undergoing serious changes. As Christians, we believe our Lord is with us every step of the way and that in the end, goodness will triumph. I call upon all of us to deepen our prayer, fasting and almsgiving during this season of Lent as we identify with the suffering of Jesus on the cross. It was through this suffering that forgiveness of sin and eternal life became a reality. Even though for the time being we may not assemble as a faith community physically, we can pray from our homes and be united spiritually with our brothers and sisters.
There will be no Masses celebrated this weekend (March 21-22.) However, the church doors will remain unlocked for those who wish to pray privately. The hours the church will be opened: Saturday, March 21: 1:00 PM-5:00 PM; Sunday, March 22: 8:30 AM-12:00 Noon. I ask that you respect the “social distancing” of six feet. Hand sanitizers will be at the entrances of the church. Stations of the Cross normally held on Fridays have been suspended until further notice. I will be available to hear Confessions in the church on Saturday, March 21, during the normal hours: 2:30 PM-3:30 PM.
Finally, I ask that you consider the financial needs of the parish. We are attempting to curtail any unnecessary expenses yet bills still need to be paid. Please give what you can and know that your gift is most appreciated. You may mail your contribution to the Ministry Center, 480 S. Park Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137, drop it off in person (if after office hours, you may put your offering in the lockbox outside the Ministry Center door.) If you would like to enroll in on-line giving, you may email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or call Daniel Sledz, our Business Manager at (630)-545-0847. I thank you in advance for your consideration and generosity. May God bless us all.
Fr. David Hankus, Pastor
Monday, March 16, 7:00 p.m.: Updated Directives from Bishop Pates
My dear Sisters and Brothers in the Joliet Diocese,
Thank you very much for your cooperation with actions that have been taken to minimize, to the degree possible, the spread of COVID – 19 (coronavirus). Your health, as well as the health of the public at large, have been my deepest concern. It is important that all of us cooperate with public leadership to make our efforts as effective as possible in containing this pandemic.
I fully realize and feel the painful loss along with you the cancellation of Masses on weekends. Because celebrating Mass is central to whom we are, I understand that its absence creates a palpable void. However, out of genuine concern for the welfare of everyone, I believe it is prudent to cancel weekend Masses for the time being.
Certain liturgical gatherings, namely daily Mass, funerals, and weddings are permitted provided that:
- The service may not have an attendance in excess of 50 persons. This number is the current directive of Governor Pritzker. Going forward, our point of reference regarding numbers will be those issued by the Governor of Illinois.
- Every precaution be taken to prevent the spread of the virus.
The attached liturgical accommodations are being implemented and parishes are called to curtail or cancel other non-essential gatherings. These two directives will be ended when it is prudently advisable.
I want to strongly encourage all of the faithful to continue our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Need experienced by those served by the Church continues, even especially so, at this time of crisis. Please consider reaching out to your local parish about the possibility of providing financial support or personal assistance.
Catholic Charities, which serves many of the poor and elderly in the Diocese of Joliet, has a special need for volunteers to serve those in vulnerable situations. Please visit http://www.cc.doj.org for more information.
During this extraordinary time, our efforts throughout the community are to the benefit of all and are very much in accord with our identity as Christians. Be assured your participation contributes significantly to the common good.
Once again, I am fully cognizant this is a time of severe uncertainty and fear. I promise my wholehearted prayer and support. Especially comforting is the realization that the Dear Lord accompanies us in our trials.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Richard E. Pates
Diocese of Joliet
Monday, March 16, 1:00 p.m.: Guidelines for Attending Weekday Mass
We have received many questions as to whether we are having weekday Masses Monday-Thursday at 8 a.m. and a Friday Communion Service at 8 a.m. The answer is at this very moment we are having them until we hear a directive to suspend them.
Please keep in mind today’s CDC guidelines that those who are 65 years of age and older, those who are immunocompromised and those who are sick in anyway should not go out and should stay home.
Those who go out in public should:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
At weekday Mass, Bishop Pates has given the following directives which are effective immediately. They will be ended as soon as it is prudently advisable:
1.Dispensation from the obligation of Sunday Mass is effective immediately.
2.The reception of Holy Communion should be by hand only…Reception on the tongue is temporarily suspended.
3.Reception of the Precious Blood is suspended.
4.The exchange of peace should be expressed verbally.
5.The Holy Water fonts should be emptied. Anyone wanting Holy Water should bring a container and ask Father to bless it before or after Mass.
May God bless each and every one of you as you strive to stay safe at this difficult time.
Saturday, March 14, 2:30 p.m.: Closures of School, RE and Youth Ministry
St. James the Apostle School, Religious Education and Youth Ministry Closed Temporarily
St. James the Apostle School, Religious Education and Youth Ministry are closed temporarily until further notice. Please click on the link below for the statement from Fr. John Belmonte, superintendent of schools, Diocese of Joliet.
Saturday, March 14, 1:00 p.m.: Message from Lisa Weesner, Coordinator of St. James Religious Education
A Message from Lisa Weesner, Coordinator of Religious Education
In the interest of the health and safety of all staff, students and catechists, and following the directives of the Diocese of Joliet and the recommendations of the DuPage Health Department, St. James Religious Education will be cancelling all classes (including our Sunday morning Early Childhood classes) beginning today, Friday, March 13th, until further notice.
At this time, 1st Communion remains scheduled for May 2nd; but we will update you if we receive additional directives from the Diocese.
Our online registration for the 2020-2021 school year will open as scheduled on April 1st. To complete your RE registration and payment plan, follow the FACTS link below:
On the welcome page click the appropriate option: (1) ‘Create a username & password’ if you are a new FACTS User, or (2) ‘Sign in’ if you already have an account. Select the appropriate school year and complete the steps as prompted. Please see the RE Registration information above or on the parish website (www.stjamesge.org/religious-education) for more information to complete your RE registration.
Looking for a way to share your faith? If you are interested in becoming a Catechist or Aide for Religious Education for the upcoming school year, please contact the Religious Education office. Catechists and Aides receive fee discounts of 50% and 25% and can ensure their first choice of class day/time for their child(ren).
The Religious Education office will be closed. Please email us if you have any registration related questions.
Let us continue to pray for one another, especially those affected by the corona virus throughout the world.
Lisa Weesner, Coordinator of Religious Education
Saturday, March 14, 9:00 a.m.: A Message from Fr. David Hankus, Pastor
A Message from Fr. David Hankus, Pastor
During this time of being physically absent from the place many of us call our “spiritual home” (St. James the Apostle Church), we may wonder how we can still worship and be spiritually nourished.
There are some wonderful resources available to you on line and on television. EWTN.com has daily Mass as well as recitation of the Rosary and other devotional programs. Mercy Home for Boys and Girls also televises Sunday Mass (you can go to mercyhome.org/Sunday-mass for more information. The televised Mass is normally on Sundays at 9:30 AM on WGN – channel 9.) Relevantradio.com is also a good source of Catholic devotional material. They also have Masses streamed from their website.
We must remember that even though we are excused from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass until further notice, the time that we would normally spend in church (about one hour) should be spent in prayer, participating in the Mass online/television and spiritual reading.
May God bless us all during this challenging time.
Friday, March 13, 1:45 p.m.: Cancellation of Weekend Masses
We have just received updated correspondence from Bishop Pates that all weekend Masses for March 14/15 are cancelled. For future weekends, we will consider whether additional action is necessary.
In addition, there will be no Stations of the Cross tonight at 7 p.m. and confessions have been cancelled on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
The Mass intentions for each of our weekend Masses will be offered by Fr. David at three private Masses which he will offer without anyone in attendance.
For remaining liturgies (funerals, weddings, Confirmations and weekday Masses), there are temporary directives effective immediately. They include that the guidelines issued by the State of Illinois are observed, limiting participation to no more than 250 people. In addition they include:
- Dispensation from the obligation of Sunday Mass is effective immediately.
- The reception of Holy Communion should be by hand only…reception on tongue is temporarily suspended.
- Reception of the Precious Blood is suspended.
- The exchange of peace should be expressed verbally.
- The Holy Water fonts should be emptied and not filled again.
Please click on this link for the full letter from Bishop Pates: http://dioceseofjoliet.org/communications/newsdetail.php?id=119
Let us continue to pray for one another as we seek to overcome this pandemic.
Friday, March 13 at 12:15 p.m.: Cancellations of St. James Events
In the interest of the health and safety of all parishioners, and with the recommendation of the Du Page Health Department criteria, please note the following events at St. James have been confirmed as cancelled:
Today’s Stations of the Cross at 2 p.m.
Saturday’s Altar Server Training at 12 p.m.
Sunday’s St. Joseph Celebration at 12 p.m.
Tuesday’s Young at Heart Senior Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.
Wednesday’s Knights of Columbus meeting at 7 p.m.
Thursday’s St. Vincent de Paul Meeting at 7 p.m.
At this time we have not received any additional directives from the Diocese in regards to cancelling Masses or Sacraments, but we will continually update you as we receive them.They will be posted on our parish website, www.stjamesge.org and will be communicated through Flocknote.
Please keep in mind the directive given by Bishop Pates in his letter dated February 28, 2020 that the faithful that if they are sick or are experiencing symptoms of sickness, they are not obliged to attend Mass, and even that, out of charity, they might not attend.
Those at the highest risk of contracting illness, including the elderly, those with pre-existing health issues and those who care for them should also know that it is not only permissible, but you are kindly asked to remain home and make some act of spiritual communion if leaving your home and traveling to a public crowd could cause you to become ill or worse. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181)
And in the meantime, all of us who gather for worship are encouraged to wash our hands regularly and refrain from touching our eyes, nose, mouth, and face.
Additionally, the church will continue to be regularly cleaned with antibacterial cleansing products.
Together, let us pray for those affected by the Corona virus throughout the world. May God grant them relief and a speedy return to health.
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.