News and Events


Statement on Behalf of the Archdiocese of Chicago Regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines

March 12, 2020

The following message was shared today with Archdiocese of Chicago pastors, parish administrators, principals and pastoral center supervisors regarding coronavirus/COVID-19 public health concerns and our liturgical practices:

As coronavirus/COVID-19 continues to spread, in consultation with appropriate government agencies and health professionals we are taking steps to bolster preventive measures.

Following the guidance from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), below are guidelines for determining if your agency, department, parish or school should proceed with holding a large event in the foreseeable future.  Please note the specific guidance relative to Holy Mass and liturgies.

General Events

  • Review the event and determine how critical it is to proceed as planned. If not mission critical to your ministry or operations or not urgent, consider postponing the event or cancelling the event.
  • To the best of your knowledge, determine if the event will attract a significant number of persons designated in "vulnerable populations," which, according to CDPH guidelines, include persons:
    • over the age of 60
    • of any age who are currently ill
    • of any age who have an underlying health condition such as chronic lung disease, COPD, asthma, etc.  Please see the CDPH guidelines attached for a more complete definition.
  • If a significant number of potential attendees are included in any of these groups, strongly consider postponing or cancelling the event.
  • If you determine to proceed with the event as planned, communicate to all registered attendees, sponsors, vendors, etc. how you will continue to monitor the situation and adhere to professional guidance.
  • Additionally, if you proceed with the event urge all those included in the "vulnerable populations" to stay home and not attend.
  • If your event is to be postponed or cancelled, immediately communicate to your attendees and note the refund policy, if applicable.
  • If a person in a “vulnerable population” communicates his or her decision to cancel a reservation, please apply a refund, if applicable.

Mass and Liturgies

Per canon law*, a dispensation from the obligation to attend Holy Mass is granted to:

  • those of any age who are currently ill and
  • those with an underlying health condition. See the CDPH guidelines attached for a more complete definition. 

*(cf. canons 85 and 87, code of canon law, 1983)


Moreover, any person over 60 years old may choose to use this dispensation.

We refer you as well to the directives issued earlier regarding liturgical practices, which can be found at

The Archdiocese of Chicago will continue to monitor this very serious and fluid pandemic and issue new or additional guidelines based on the best available information from public health agencies and from our Church authorities. The CDC, IDPH and CDPH are important sources to review regularly, as well.

Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our community. Your patience, understanding and cooperation in this challenging time is greatly appreciated. Please keep all those affected by this pandemic in your prayers.