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Dear St. Mother Teresa Family,
I pray that you and your loved ones are healthy. As you may have seen, Cardinal Cupich recently shared our multi-phased plan for reopening churches in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Specifically,
Our Mother Teresa Parish Reopening Plan
First and foremost, it is important for everyone to understand that our efforts will prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all while maintaining due respect and reverence for the sacraments and liturgical norms of our faith.
I will assemble a Parish Reopening Leadership Team with parishioner co-captains to lead our efforts. Together, we will attend required training from the Archdiocese to ensure that our parish reopening plan conforms to the guidelines developed by the Archdiocese in collaboration with civil and healthcare authorities. We will also receive a starter kit of protective and cleaning supplies, as well as guidance on purchasing/maintaining supplies ongoing.
We will need volunteers to assist with various aspects of our parish reopening plan. Importantly, leadership team members and volunteers must not be part of a “vulnerable population” (that is, not over the age of 65; no underlying medical condition such as diabetes; lung disease; undergoing cancer treatment, etc.). I ask all of you who are younger than 65 and healthy with no underlying health conditions to consider assisting with one of three reopening teams:
Timing for Our Reopening
As I mentioned, the Parish Reopening Leadership Team members and I will need to complete required training, which will take place the week of May 17. Once we complete the training, we will need to review and complete tasks assigned to all parishes as part of a reopening certification process to be approved by the Archdiocese. Our parish, like all others in the archdiocese, will move forward at a pace and timing appropriate for its own situation.
Following our training and certification approval, at St. Mother Teresa Parish,we will only open our churches once the Reopening Leadership Team and I feel confident that we have the right volunteers in place to make it possible to reopen. Again, the need for parishioner assistance cannot be overstated.
The guidelines and measures required to reopen are designed to protect our wellbeing and that of the of our broader community. As Cardinal Cupich has noted, from the first pages of Scripture we learn that we indeed are “our brother’s keeper.” Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed, “that they all may be one” (Jn 17:21) and commanded us “love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34). Our collective patience, willingness to help and the care we take to reopen is a demonstration of our unity and love for one another.
May God grant you His peace during this difficult time and may He manifest His love and presence to you in abundant ways. If you have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 312-842-6777.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Francis Li
READ THE ARCHDIOCESE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY HERE