Good afternoon to all--

Per Fr. Ryan's request, please see the attached information from the Archdiocese of Chicago regarding updated guidelines 
effective immediately  in response to the Coronavirus.

Thank you,
St Francis de Sales Parish
The health and well-being of all within our archdiocesan community is of utmost priority. We will stay connected to the CDC's evolving guidance and share new information as soon as possible.

Please pray that all those involved in identifying a vaccine are given wisdom, those caring for the sick are provided strength, and those suffering from this illness are granted relief.
Liturgical celebrations and public health concerns

From: Vicar General <vicargeneral@archchicago.org>
Sent: Monday, March 2, 2020 4:55 PM
Subject: Liturgical celebrations and public health concerns

This message is for all priests and deacons in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Dear Brothers,

We continue to monitor with concern the questions that are arising about the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19. As a matter of prudence, the following guidelines, based on guidance from the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship, are to be implemented in all parishes within the Archdiocese of Chicago effective immediately. 

All Priests, Deacons, Altar Servers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must wash their hands before Mass begins and use an alcohol based antibacterial solution before and after distributing Holy Communion.

Discern how to do this to best maintain the reverence of the Mass.
Ensure all vessels used at Mass, once purified, are thoroughly washed with soap and hot water after each use.

During all Masses and liturgies:

Refrain from physical contact during the Sign of Peace (note: the Sign of Peace can be exchanged without physical contact)
Refrain from distribution of Holy Communion to the faithful via the chalice (please consider options for any parishioners with celiac disease or sensitivity)
Given the frequency of direct contact with saliva in the distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue, every consideration should be given by each individual to receive Holy Communion reverently in open hands for the time being.
  • Refrain from holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Refrain from using Holy Water fonts.
  • Assure 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 ought not to attend.

Explain when the Church allows for you to miss Mass – Catechism 2181 allows for serious reasons like illness.

Make parish or bulletin announcements encouraging best health practices.

Finally, please join in praying for all those who are sick, and perhaps add a General Intercession at Mass for those affected by coronavirus and other communicable diseases.

Peace,
Bishop Ron Hicks
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Info & Resources
As of March 2, 2020

The Archdiocese of Chicago is closely monitoring the news regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 and actively planning for any potential circumstances. We are adhering to all guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Below are guidelines from the CDC for individual preventive measures and travel guidelines, as well as liturgical considerations, based on guidance from the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship, to be implemented in all parishes within the Archdiocese of Chicago until further notice. Included at the bottom of this message are links to the public health information sources - please follow the guidance of those sources for employers and schools and keep updated as conditions and best practices can change.

Individual Preventive Actions          
  • Stay home when you are sick and if you have a fever, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
  • If you or a member of your household have traveled to any of the Level 2+ countries (per the CDC China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan as of March 2, 2020) between February 10, 2020 and today, alert your direct supervisor or principal so your workplace or school may take appropriate precautions (note: supervisors will receive information on how best to follow up).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol -based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash immediately and not on any hard surface. If tissues are not available, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Eliminate open sources of shared snacks and food in the workplace.
  • Stop shaking hand.
  • We will distribute additional hand sanitizers at the entrances of and throughout the Pastoral Centers, and we will make anti-bacterial wipes available in all conference rooms and lunchrooms. We respectfully request that everyone use these regularly. We advise parishes, schools and agencies of the archdiocese take similar precautions for their workspaces.

Liturgical Celebrations
  • All Priests, Deacons, Altar Servers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must wash their hands before Mass begins and use an alcohol based anti-bacterial solution before and after distributing Holy Communion.
  • Discern how to do this to best maintain the reverence of the Mass.
  • Ensure all vessels used at Mass, once purified, are thoroughly washed with soap and hot water after each use.

During all Masses and liturgies:
  • Refrain from physical contact during the Sign of Peace (note: the Sign of Peace can be exchanged without physical contact)
  • Refrain from distribution of Holy Communion to the faithful via the chalice (please consider options for any parishioners with celiac disease or sensitivity)
  • Given the frequency of direct contact with saliva in the distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue, every consideration should be given by each individual to receive Holy Communion reverently in open hands for the time being.
  • Refrain from holding hands during the Lord's Prayer.
  • Refrain from using Holy Water fonts.
  • Assure 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 ought not to attend.
  • Explain when the Church allows for you to miss Mass - Catechism 2181 allows for serious reasons like illness.
  • Make parish or bulletin announcements encouraging best health practices.

Travel-Related Recommendations
  • Given the frequency of direct contact with saliva in the distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue, every consideration should be given by each individual to receive Holy Communion reverently in open hands for the time being.
  • Refrain from holding hands during the Lord's Prayer.
  • Refrain from using Holy Water fonts.
  • Per the CDC and actions being taken by other organizations, any travelers who enter the United States after being in a level 3+ country on the CDC's travel advisory list (China, I ran, Italy, South Korea, Japan as of March 2, 2020) during the past 14 days should restrict their movements. If you are a recently-returned traveler from one of those countries and have not already been quarantined by government agencies upon return to the U.S., you are asked to closely monitor your health and practice social distancing for 14 days (note: social distancing = 6 feet or more between you and anyone else).
  • All non-essential, work-related travel to level 2+ locations (per the CDC). is suspended. Please consult with your direct supervisor to best determine actions to cancel or adjust work-related travel plans.