Diocese of Joliet

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COVID-19 News & Public Statements 
Click here for re-opening policies and notifications

Date/Subject Information
October 29, 2020

Holiday and Holy Day Guidelines for 2020

*Please note that these guidelines are subject to change based on any changes that occur regarding the coronavirus situation, including any changes to local or state mandates or recommendations.

**The above guidelines include a change to music ministry, allowing up to three (3) cantors based on following certain protocols.

September 21, 2020

Memo from Bishop Pates regarding the reception of Holy Communion on the Tongue, at the discretion of the pastor and under strict guidelines.

August 28, 2020

A letter from Bishop Pates regarding a change to gathering limitations in Will and Kankakee counties, and other notes regarding holding meetings and events.

  • Reminder: Bishop Pates' June 24 letter addresses what to do in the event that someone reports a positive test.
August 28, 2018

Letter from Bishop Pates to Priests and Youth Formation leaders regarding the reopening of Youth Formation programs this Fall.

Audio Messages from Bishop Pates:

Message to Parents Announcing the Reopening of Youth Formation Programs and Ministries



Message for Parishes to Use to Help Recruit Adult Catechists and Volunteers



August 27, 2020 Letter from Bishop Pates to parish music directors and choir directors regarding liturgical music during the re-opening process. 
August 14, 2020 Message from Bishop Pates - Catholic Schools Opening Next Week
August 12, 2020 Update letter to pastors and youth formation leaders on the re-opening of programs and ministries in youth formation. (Attachment: Youth Formation Reopening Plan Form)
July 30, 2020

Letter from Bishop Pates to school pastors and principals/presidents of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Joliet regarding the re-opening of our schools - a clarification on information provided by the Catholic Schools Office prior to July 1, 2020

July 22, 2020 Letter from Bishop Pates to school pastors and principals/presidents of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Joliet - an update on school re-opening process.

July 16, 2020

Letter from Bishop Pates to priests, deacons, lay ministers regarding the celebration of Confirmation

July 6, 2020

Coronavirus update letter regarding a confirmed case at a diocesan parish, and reaffirming procedures to minimize risk at our offices.

July 1, 2020 Coronavirus update letter addressing reopening plan conformance; event attendance records; sanitizing requirements
June 30, 2020

Coronavirus update letter addressing various issues with re-opening, including contact tracing, homebound care and guidance for gatherings.

June 29, 2020
Regarding Youth Formation Programs

E-mail to Priests, Deacons, Diocesan Staff and Youth Formation Leaders from Bishop Pates

June 24, 2020
Regarding Confirmation Scheduling
June 24, 2020

Coronavirus Update Letter from Bishop Pates, addressing:

  • Effects of Phase 4 of "Restore Illinois" Plan
  • Contact Tracing
  • Various and Sundry Issues for Ministers
June 16, 2020 Announcement - Schools to Reopen in Fall 2020

June 10, 2020 Letter from Bishop Pates regarding Sacraments of Initiation
June 9, 2020 Bishop Pates' Coronavirus Update to priests, deacons and volunteers, June 9, 2020
June 2, 2020 Young Adults: We Need You!

June 1, 2020 Bishop Pates' Coronavirus Update to priests, deacons and business managers, June 1, 2020
May 29, 2020 Memo from Bishop Pates regarding the new guidance issued by the State of Illinois.

May 27, 2020

Second follow-up memo regarding reopening to priests and deacons - May 27, 2020

May 20, 2020

Follow up memo regarding reopening, to priests and deacons - May 20, 2020

May 18, 2020

Phased Re-opening Detailed Plan

Diocese of Joliet detailed plan for parishes to re-open

May 13, 2020

Gradual Re-opening Plan

Initial plan for phased re-opening of Diocese of Joliet parishes

April 28, 2020

Renewal of Consecration of US to the Blessed Virgin

Memorandum from Bishop Pates to the Priests & Deacons of the Diocese of Joliet

April 27, 2020


Letter to priests/deacons regarding scheduling of Confirmations

April 20, 2020

Coronavirus Update Letter

April 20 update letter covers various topics related to administrative and ministerial matters.

Read the Letter (PDF)

April 11, 2020

Divine Mercy Sunday and COVID-19

Process and conditions for obtaining a plenary indulgence in the context of Divine Mercy Sunday

Read the Letter (PDF)

April 8, 2020

Regarding blessing of Easter baskets and weddings/funerals

Letter from Bishop Pates to priests and deacons 

Read the letter (PDF-English)

April 7, 2020

More updates from Bishop Pates

Letter from Bishop Pates to priests and deacons 

Read the letter (PDF-English)

April 6, 2020

More updates from Bishop Pates

Letter from Bishop Pates to priests and deacons 

Read the letter (PDF-English)

April 2, 2020

Updates regarding COVID-19 in light of the extended stay-at-home order, Holy Week and updated liturgical guidelines

Letter from Bishop Pates to priests, deacons and all people of the Diocese of Joliet

- Read the letter (PDF-English)

April 1, 2020

Extension of school and youth formation event closure due to pandemic

E-mail to school pastors and principals.

- Governor Pritzker has extended the Illinois stay-at-home order through April 30. Diocese of Joliet Catholic Schools, religious education and youth ministry programs shall be closed over this same period.

- During the extension of the closure period, Catholic school students will continue at-home learning and youth formation programs will continue remotely wherever possible.

March 30, 2020

Memo regarding ongoing COVID-19 practices
Read the Memo (PDF-English)

- Memorandum to priests & deacons with encouragement & support for their ministry efforts during the pandemic.

- Church facilities to remain closed until directives are lifted by the State of Illinois.

March 27, 2020

Holy Week 2020
Read the Letter (PDF-English)

Letter to priests & deacons with updated guidelines and information regarding Holy Week 2020, including Mass times, liturgical guidelines.

March 25, 2020

Postponement of certain celebrations

E-mail to priests and deacons:

- The Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has given permission to postpone the Chrism Mass to post Easter. The rescheduled event will include the activities that characterize this special day.

- The Adult Confirmation ceremony presently scheduled for April 19th will be postponed until we can confidently establish a date for full participation and attend to the organizational requirements.

- The ordination of Sam Conforti to the transitional diaconate is also being postponed until Saturday, May 2 at 11:00am.  In the meanwhile, we pray for Sam and all the seminarians.

March 24, 2020

Live-stream Mass at Cathedral

E-mail to priests and deacons:

- Daily Mass to be live-streamed from the Cathedral during the COVID-19 outbreak, at:

- 9:00am by Fr. Burke Masters and/or Fr. Ryan Adorjan (YouTube Link)

- 11:30am by Bishop Pates (YouTube Link)

March 22, 2020

Memo to Priests and Deacons Regarding Forgiveness of Sins

(Read the PDF)

- shares information from Apostolic Penitentiary and USCCB regarding forgiveness of sins under quarantine circumstances

- accommodation should be made to help healthcare workers

- compassion and sensitivity should characterize outreach to those who are sick under these highly difficult circumstances

March 21, 2020

Message Regarding "Stay in Place" Order by the Governor

Read the Message (PDF-English)

In addition to instuctions issued by the Diocese of Joliet, all parishes and diocesan offices and facilities are to follow instructions and guidelines suggested by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the CDC and orders issued by the State of Illinois.

- All churches and adoration chapels must be closed and locked.

- No public gatherings on church property, and no personnel may arrange for such gatherings on other sites.

- Weddings, baptisms, funerals and wakes must be postponed. (Priests may still say Mass privately.)

- Diocesan and parishes offices are all closed.

March 19, 2020

Updated Alert Regarding COVID-19 from Bishop Pates

Read the Letter (PDF-English)

In addition to instuctions issued by the Diocese of Joliet, all parishes and diocesan offices and facilities are to follow instructions and guidelines suggested by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the CDC and orders issued by the State of Illinois.

- Until further notice, all services in Diocese of Joliet facilities are to be cancelled or postponed, including weekend Mass, daily Mass, and Stations of the Cross.

- Chrism Mass will be celebrated at the Blanchette Catholic Center (BCC) on April 6 and will involve limited numbers of participants.

- The Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate will take place at the BCC on April 4 and will involve a limited number of participants. Arrangements are being made to livestream.

- In addition to the above, Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter services are cancelled.

- All diocesan, parish and institution offices are closed except under very limited circumstances.

March 18, 2020

Office for Human Diginty Message

View PDF

- Diocese of Joliet Missionary Cooperative Plan (MCP) is suspended until further notice.

March 16, 2020

Updates Regarding COVID-19 Situation

Read the Letter

- Weekend Mass is cancelled for the time being

- Other liturgical gatherings, provided they comply with the guidelines offered and recommended by the State of Illinois, and every precaution is taken to prevent the spread of the virus.

- Includes additional liturgical guidelines for services during the COVID-19 crisis 

- The faithful are called to private prayer, reflection, and asked to consider supporting our parishes and institutions during this time of isolation - especially Catholic Charities, which will make every effort to continue providing services to the needy in our diocese.

March 13, 2020

Letter to the Priests Regarding COVID-19

Read the Letter (PDF-English)

- Weekend liturgy is cancelled for March 14-15, 2020

- Certain temporary directives issued for liturgy

- Pastors are to exercise discretion in their parishes for gatherings and other services, such as daily Mass

March 13, 2020

Re: Closing of Schools

Link to Statement

- In a message from the superintendent on behalf of the bishop to all pastors and principals, all Diocese of Joliet Catholic school will be closed to class as of March 16, 2020. This will continue until further notice.

February 27, 2020

Message from Bishop Pates regarding COVID-19

Read the Letter (PDF-English)

- Initial liturgical restrictions, relating to reception of the Precious Blood and shaking of hands during Sign of Peace.