Dear Family of Faith,
As coronavirus/COVID-19 continues to spread, we are taking the following steps to bolster preventive measures at Divine Mercy Parish in consultation with the Archdiocese of Chicago, and appropriate government agencies and health professionals, particularly the protocols set forth from the Centers for Disease Control.
Masses at Sacred Heart Church and St. Philip the Apostle Church
Cardinal Cupich issued a statement this morning mandating the suspension, until further notice, of all liturgical services eﬀective Saturday evening with the regularly scheduled weekend services. He shared that this was not a decision made lightly, as the Eucharist is the sources and summit of our life as Catholics. By exception, weddings and funerals scheduled for Saturday, March 14 may proceed observing the guidelines issued by the Governor of Illinois, limiting participation to no more than 250.
While Mass will be suspended, the Cardinal has requested that parishes designate times for private prayer in churches, and if able, oﬀer their Masses online. To that end, Divine Mercy Parish will oﬀer the opportunity for private prayer on Sunday mornings beginning March 15th between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. at both Sacred Heart Church and St. Philip the Apostle Church, after which the Churches will then be closed. We are working on livestreaming our own private Mass and will let you know when that will be available via a link on our new website. You will be able to watch the Mass live at that time from any electronic device at your disposal, or view it at a time that is convenient for you and your family.
We will launch our new website (www.divinemercynorthshore.org) within the next 24 hours.
Note: If you are a liturgical minister and have received an email regarding upcoming assignments at Mass, please disregard those communications sent to you via Ministry Scheduler Pro.
Ministry and Event Gatherings
In addition, we have cancelled all large gatherings at the parish and strongly urge any smaller groups comprised of
“vulnerable” populations to cancel or postpone their gatherings as well. These “vulnerable” populations are deﬁned as:
Sacred Heart School
The Archdiocese of Chicago has decided to close all Catholic Schools beginning Monday, March 16 until further notice. This action also applies to all extra-curricular activities, social events and other school-related gatherings. The Archdiocese will make an announcement when it has determined a date to reopen.
Sacred Heart students will be asked to complete academic work through electronic learning (“e-learning”) or alternative learning. Families will receive further communication directly from the school. Also during this closure period, the school facilities will be deep cleaned.
Given the Archdiocesan mandates, Divine Mercy Parish also has decided to cancel all scheduled Children’s Ministry sessions until further notice. We will be in contact with the student families who are to receive the Sacrament of Conﬁrmation once we receive further direction from the Oﬃce of the Bishop.
Finally, I oﬀer you this prayer of spiritual communion which you can pray in the coming days and weeks:
My Jesus, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you.
I encourage all of you to continue to pray for God’s grace throughout this time of uncertainty. Let us pray for the health and well being of our faith community and all our brothers and sisters aﬀected by the epidemic. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you apprised of any and all updates. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we move through this rapidly evolving situation. Please know of my personal prayers for all of you.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Steven Lanza
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The Divine Mercy Parish office is located at our Sacred Heart Church site, 1077 Tower Road in Winnetka, and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. It's always helpful to call first!
TELEPHONE NUMBER > 847-446-0856
ST. PHILIP THE APOSTLE CHURCH
1962 Old Willow Rd.
Northfield, Illinois 60093-2913
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1077 Tower Road
Winnetka, Illinois 60093-1852
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