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Serving Hyde Park’s Catholic Community since 1869


5472 South Kimbark Avenue,
Hyde Park, Chicago IL, 60615-5297
Phone: (773) 324-2626 Fax: (773) 891-0602

Sacramental Guidelines for Reopening our Parish

Dear parishioners & friends of St. Thomas the Apostle,

Now that our parish has been allowed to reopen its doors to phase one, the following guidelines will be required of all of us.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has given approval for our parish to open for the sacraments as of Monday, June 15. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be celebrated on Saturdays from 3 pm to 3:45 pm in the church building.

These guidelines for celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation in a church reflect the updated guidance by government officials, healthcare professionals, and church authorities.

  • A “greeter,” or some agent (volunteer) of the parish, will meet the penitents outside the church or in the vestibule, hand out masks (if they have not brought their own), and require use of hand sanitizer. The greeter will remind individuals that if they have a fever or are ill, they should not enter.
  • Masks should be worn for the entire time the penitents are in the church. Per IDPH and CDC guidelines, those with breathing difficulties can be exempted from this requirement, but those individuals must observe the strictest of social distancing from anyone not living in their domicile.
  • In giving the penance, the priest should request that the penance be fulfilled outside the church. That is, that no penitent remains in the church after confession to fulfill the penance.

These guidelines for celebrating Baptism in a church reflect the updated guidance by government officials, healthcare professionals and church authorities.

  • A “greeter,” or some agent of the parish, will meet the family and guests outside the church or in the vestibule, hand out masks (if they have not brought their own), and require use of hand sanitizer. The greeter will remind individuals that if they have a fever or are ill, they should not enter.
  • Masks must be worn by all participating in the baptism including godparents and other witnesses. Masks should be worn for the entire service by all participating with the exception of the baby if under two years old. Given the IDPH and CDC guidelines, those with breathing difficulties should be advised to stay at home, but if there is a need to attend, can be exempted from this requirement. However, those individuals must observe the strictest of social distancing from anyone not living in their domicile.
  • Those in a vulnerable population should be encouraged not to attend.
  • Photo opportunities inside the church will be limited to one photo.
  • Please respect the limit on the number of guests that may participate. The total number excluding the priest/deacon is 10 including the child.
  • The family and guests should take their temperatures and check themselves for symptoms the day of the baptism and alert the pastor if they have become symptomatic.

These guidelines for celebrating Funerals in a church reflect the updated guidance by government officials, healthcare professionals and church authorities.

  • A “greeter,” or some agent of the parish, will meet the bereaved outside the church or in the vestibule, hand out masks (if they have not brought their own), and require use of hand sanitizer. The greeter will remind individuals that if they have a fever or are ill, they should not enter.
  • Masks should be worn for the entire time the participants are in the church even when responding to prayers. The sole exception is for reception of Communion when the mask should be lowered but replaced immediately after consumption of the sacred Host. Per IDPH and CDC guidelines, those with breathing difficulties can be exempted from this requirement, but those individuals must observe the strictest of social distancing from anyone not living in their domicile.

These guidelines for the celebration of Matrimony in a church reflect the updated guidance by government officials, healthcare professionals and church authorities.

  • A “greeter,” or some agent of the parish, will meet the families and guests outside the church or in the vestibule, hand out masks (if they have not brought their own), and require use of hand sanitizer. The greeter will remind individuals that if they have a fever or are ill, they should not enter.
  • Masks should be worn for the entire time the faithful and guests are in the church. Per IDPH and CDC guidelines, those with breathing difficulties can be exempted from this requirement, but those individuals must observe the strictest of social distancing from anyone not living in their domicile.
  • Worship aids are not allowed

For the complete Sacramental Guidelines, visit https://www.archchicago.org/ documents/70111/2833001/Sacramental+Guidelines.pdf/6502d60a-1ab5-4f7a-b5b5- b33193857b57.

Let us continue to pray for the end of the spread of the corona virus.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Christopher Kituli


from May 24th 2020, St. Thomas the Apostle Sunday bulletin, page 7: https://stapostleparish.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/St-Thomas-the-Apostle-bulletin-05242020.pdf page 7.