Summer picnics have been cancelled at St. Joe’s park in Joliet. Father Tim Andres says it would a difficult decision to make.
Father Tim says he has spoke with diocesan leaders as well as medical and infectious disease experts who recommend not going forward due to coronaviurs. St. Joe’s is used by many different organizations for their fundraising efforts. In a Facebook post, Fr. Tim says, “the health of all those who attend and volunteer at these picnics is paramount, along with our moral responsibility to confront this pandemic together.”
Meanwhile, Father Tim says the picnics will be back next year, bigger and better. But says there needs to be a balance between the science and getting people back to work.
Father Tim tells WJOL that mass could begin at the end of this month. Bishop Richard Pates of the Joliet Diocese is in talks with other bishops in Illinois as well as Deans in Will and DuPage Counties. No word on the restrictions being considered or how many parishioners would be allowed in each church, but Father Tim says the number of people allowed should be based on square footage which would allow more people in a bigger church such as St. Joe’s than smaller parishes.
To hear the entire interview click HERE.
Facebook post below by Father Tim:
Summer Picnic Cancellations
It is with great disappointment and much sadness that I officially announce the cancellation of all activities at St. Joseph Park for this 2020 season. This decision was not arrived at easily. I have been following the news like all of you, hoping that this health crisis would have subsided by now, but that has not come to fruition. I have also spoken to city and diocesan leaders, our insurance carrier, and medical and infectious disease experts who recommend not going forward with our picnic season, especially since it would be almost impossible to enforce the requirements of social distancing and the need to wear a face covering in public. I know some of you might be thinking, why cancel the entire summer? I understand that, but you need to understand the time and planning that goes into each and every picnic, as well as up-front expenses for food, entertainment and other items, all while not knowing whether your picnic might be cancelled at any time due to present health circumstances. I understand full well the financial burden that the cancellations place on all the organizations that use our Park. This fundraiser is often one of their primary sources of revenue, just as it is here at St. Joe’s. However, I believe that most of you agree with me that the health of all those who attend and volunteer at these picnics is paramount, along with our moral responsibility to confront this pandemic together. I appreciate your support of this decision and ask for your continued prayers for all of our health care professionals, first responders and all others who have placed their own health at risk to serve us. May God grant us His protection and guidance and may our Blessed Mother wrap each of us in the mantle of her love. God love all of you.
Fr. Timothy P. Andres, O.Carm.
Pastor, St. Joseph Parish, Joliet