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Eric DeGrechie, Managing Editor
12:25 pm CDT March 14, 2020

Following an announcement from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, The Catholic Community of Northbrook, which includes St. Norbert and our Lady of the Brook, is suspending all liturgical services effective Saturday evening, March 14. 

The decision is based on current guidelines from local public health departments regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus), which recommend the cancellation of public gatherings involving 250 or more people, according to a press release found on the Archdiocese of Chicago’s website. 

Cupich also announced the closing of schools operated by the archdiocese, the Pastoral Center and related agency offices until further notice.

“This was not a decision I made lightly,” Cupich said in the press release. “The Eucharist is the source and summit of our life as Catholics. And our schools and agencies provide essential services to many thousands across Cook and Lake Counties. But, in consultation with leaders from across the archdiocese, for the sake of the safety of our students, parishioners, and all the women and men who serve the people of the archdiocese, it is clear that we must take the better part of caution in order to slow the spread of this pandemic.”

According to the release, while public mass will be suspended beginning March 14, archdiocesan churches should remain open for private prayer during a time frame best determined by each pastor. To achieve this, the archdiocese has asked pastors to coordinate limited staff presence in parishes to answer calls and perform routine maintenance with a heightened focus on disinfecting all areas of common use.

Cupich said that some parishes may proceed with televised and online masses. 

According to the release, the decision to temporarily close schools, beginning Monday, March 16, applies to all Catholic schools that are operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago. 

During this closure period, Catholic school students will be asked to complete academic work through electronic learning (“e-learning”) or alternative learning.

Below is a detailed list of activities in Northbrook that are canceled or suspended: 

  • All Catholic schools are closed 

  • K-5 faith formation and edge: suspended until further notice

  • The parish office will be open for one hour each morning – 9 to 10 a.m., and one hour each afternoon – noon to 1 p.m.  There will be no evening or weekend hours for the office. Staff will be at a minimum, to protect those who serve you. If possible, contact them by phone (847) 272-7090.

  • Public Sunday Mass – suspended until further notice.  If you have a Mass Intention, there will be private masses said by our priests, so the intentions will be said. We anticipate that we will stream Sunday Mass on the internet. Please check the website or Facebook for this link.

  • Public daily mass – suspended until further notice. Again, they will be said privately, for the intentions of the day by Fr. Chris, Fr. Larry and Fr. Dan.

  • Soup and Stations Friday evenings/Stations of the Cross at noon:  Suspended until further notice

  • St. Joseph Potluck March 22 – cancelled

  • Lenten Reconciliation Service March 31 - TBA

  • Easter Egg Hunt April 4 – cancelled

  • Funerals planned for March - postponed

  • Other upcoming events to be announced.

For more information, please visit: https://www.archchicago.org/coronavirus

 

Congregation Beth Shalom 

Northbrook’s Congregation Beth Shalom will be providing live streaming video of its Shabbat services, daily morning and evening minyan, as well as other holiday services. 

Officials also said they may live stream speakers and other special programs and events. 

Any Shabbat or holiday service that is live streamed will now be available on demand for at least one week after its conclusion, according to Beth Shalom’s website. 

“Our clergy, Rabbi Aaron Melman, Cantor Steven Stoehr and Rabbi Warner Ferratier are thrilled that you have decided to join us for worship even though you can’t be with us in person,” a statement on the website reads. “Copies of our prayerbook, Siddur Lev Shalem, are available to borrow from the Beth Shalom Library.”

 

Lubavitch Chabad of Northbrook 

Chabad of Northbrook Herbrew School is going virtual to combat the spread of coronavirus, according to Rabbi Meir Moscowitz. 

Additionally, Lubavitch Chabad of Northbrook will be sending “do it yourself” kits for home study. 

Officials are also working on Passover “do it yourself” home Sedar kits to share with those that need them. 

“No matter where we may live in this ever-shrinking world, almost everyone seems to be thinking about the coronavirus (COVID-19),” a statement on its website reads. “As the days progress, the number of people impacted is increasing at an alarming rate with entire cities under quarantine.

“In addition to inspirational articles along with practical guidance, we are also offering a free quarantine kaddish service for those who cannot get to synagogue.

 

Temple Beth-El 

Temple Beth-El is instituting a series of actions to combat the spread of coronavirus. 

The actions are: 

  • Office hours will be limited with limited staff present — call (847) 205-9982 before coming in. 

  • Religious school closed until March 31

  • All meetings and classes are canceled. Virtual meetings are being scheduled through Zoom. 

To see the full list of cancelations of events, please visit https://templebeth-el.org/covid19/

 

Village Presbyterian Church

The Village Church is encouraging people to stay home and watch services that it will be offering via livestream. 

Sunday activities at the church including coffee hour, Adult Ed, Youth and Children programming, were canceled Sunday, March 15.
To connect with the worship services live from your home, please visit https://www.tvpchurch.org/

Additionally, the church’s annual Easter Egg Hunt has been canceled. 

 

Editor’s Note: The Tower included information from religious institutions that provided information. Those looking for additional information about services should call or visit the website of the religious institution they attend.