Dear St. Mary Parish Community,
Information and response to the spread of COVID-19 (the current coronavirus) continues to change rapidly. We are grateful that this virus has not had a significant impact in our community to date but realize we must act in a proactive way to protect our community and the communities beyond. As much as we cherish our Sunday worship and other gatherings, we are making the sacrifice to limit our time together for the sake of public health.
We are adhering closely to guidelines from The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois Governor’s Office, and the diocese of Springfield.
Therefore, we are implementing the following until further notice:
* The parish office is open. A staff member will answer the phones from 9:00AM-4:00PM weekdays. After that you can call 217-251-2657
* All parish facilities are closed to group gatherings, and meetings.
* The church is open for private prayer: 9:30AM-1PM Mon-Friday. & Sat.–Sun. 2:00- 5:00PM
* All Sunday and weekday Masses have been suspended until further notice. Everyone is dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
* Funerals and weddings will be held for groups under 10 (or latest CDC guideline).
* Baptisms are limited to private baptisms in extreme circumstances.
* Anointing of the Sick is available within certain restrictions.
* Ministers of Care continue to visit the homebound within certain restrictions.
* Reconciliation is available in church on Saturdays from 4-5PM.
Everything remains subject to change on short notice. We will post the weekly bulletin on the parish website each Thursday. We will send weekly updates on Fridays via Constant Contact, and via Facebook. Let us be light for each other.
*Current information, including this week’s bulletin, can be found on the parish website. We will do our best to keep you informed.
*Parish Support: Amid the many concerns currently facing us, please also remember that our parish depends on your generosity and support. With the cancellation of masses, our parishes have lost offertory collection that are essential to pay staff and bills for the maintenance of our churches. Please mail your offertory gift to the parish office.
Obviously, all Catholics in the diocese have been given a dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass. All are reminded of the following preventative measures that we all should be following.
* Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
* Avoid touching your face, especially the eyes, nose, ears, and mouth.
* Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
If you are ill or your health is in any way compromised, please remain home and avoid crowds as much as possible. This is for your own sake and out of compassion for others. We feel the sadness and anxiety of this moment. This was not a decision we or Bishop Paprocki J. Thomas make lightly. We believe that this is a moment when we must look beyond ourselves and act out of care for each other and the world.
We hold in our hearts all those who have been touched by this disease. And more than ever in this time, we lean on each other to be a church of courage, compassion, responsibility, and hope.
Fr. Valery Burusu and the Staff of St. Mary and St. Aloysius Church