PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Catholic Diocese of Peoria is looking to reopen, though there is not a clear timeline for when public Mass can continue.
On Thursday, Bishop Daniel Jenky shared a plan for reopening churches throughout Illinois and resuming public worship. He said bishops have reached an agreement with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office on the phased reopening plan.
The basics of the plan are as follows, per a Facebook post from Jenky:
- A robust communications effort to inform parishes and parishioners of the Plan and any updates to it.
- Each parish needs to recruit non-vulnerable volunteers at the parish level to assist the pastor in implementing the Plan.
- The selected volunteers are to complete training by way of a webinar. The training will begin the week of May 18.
- A required certification of readiness to reopen will be required of each parish at each phase. Each parish is to complete an implementation template confirming completion of all action steps and demonstrating that there are a sufficient number of trained volunteers to execute it.
- Phase I allows for parishes to reopen for Baptism, Reconciliation, Weddings and Funerals with a limit of 10 attendees.
- Phase IA allows for parishes to reopen for private prayer and adoration with a limit of 10 attendees. Given the training schedule noted above, it is anticipated that all parishes, if they choose to do so, could be opened by May 23 for Phase I and by May 30 for Phase IA.
- Phase II allows for reopening for weekday and weekend Masses for larger groups depending on the guidelines from the state and the capacity of the church building.
- Through ongoing discussions with pastors, health care professionals and civil authorities, there will be a review of the Plan at each stage with an eye to making adjustments in accord with new data.
The first phase allows parishes to open May 23 if they choose so. It is noted that public Mass would be allowed in the second phase, but it is currently unclear when that would be.
For the full plan, click here.