The City of Chicago announced yesterday afternoon that face coverings are required in all indoor public spaces for all people over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status. Therefore, masks are now required indoors for all clergy, staff, volunteers and parishioners inside archdiocesan facilities in the City of Chicago, including Masses, liturgies and all activities/events within our parishes.
Though not required at this time in Suburban Cook County or Lake County, it is possible that masks will be required soon unless there is a significant and swift change in the direction of infection rates in these regions. Masks remain strongly recommended for all clergy and parishioners attending Masses and liturgies throughout all archdiocesan churches. As such, we once again ask that all pastors, priests, deacons and lay ministers throughout the archdiocese wear masks for all liturgical services regardless of their vaccination status. As previously noted, this is a safe practice and models charitable behavior.
Please remember that masks are required of everyone inside all archdiocesan school buildings, regardless of the individual’s vaccination status and regardless of school location. And masks are to be worn, regardless of vaccination status, in all parish and agency offices, campus ministry facilities, and Pastoral Center offices (when in common hallways, kitchens/lunchrooms, restrooms, copy areas, offices or conference rooms).
Our priority remains the safety of all God’s People, which is why we align our guidelines with the current guidance of our public health authorities. As their guidance changes, so must ours.
Again, thank you for your continued patience and flexibility as we take the necessary measures to protect human life in every way possible – including the use of masks.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop Robert Casey