August 20, 2021
Dear Rev. Fathers and Parish Council Presidents,
As you are probably aware, some local municipalities have again begun instituting mask mandates to varying degrees. In an effort to protect our faithful, the Metropolis of Chicago strongly recommends that each parish urge its parishioners to wear masks while indoors. Please note that if a local governing authority mandates masks in houses of worship, the parish must comply with its municipal, county or state mandate.
All clergy must wear a facemask when in close proximity with people in the sanctuary or other areas of the parish, and they must do so when concelebrating the services with multiple clergy.
Also, all parishes must resume (if they have stopped) providing adequate space for those who elect to socially distance in the sanctuary and other places on the parish campus. In addition, all parishes are asked to maintain the sanitation and ventilation protocols as have been established over the past 17 months.
It is the responsibility of each parish to record the names and contact information of people attending services or activities on our parish campuses for purposes of contact tracing. If a person is discovered to have tested positive for the virus after services or an event, it is your duty to inform those who were present, so that they may take such steps as they deem appropriate for their health. If clergy, staff, or volunteers elect testing, we ask that they isolate themselves until receipt of a negative test result, to avoid inadvertently putting others at risk.
Your cooperation and patience as we navigate the changing landscape of this virus is most appreciated.
Bishop Timothy of Hexamilion
Chancellor, Holy Metropolis of Chicago