Frequently Asked Questions & Answers on the Path to Reopening

Posted on June 5, 2020 by Published by

The Archdiocese of Chicago has granted Our Lady of the Wayside Phase 1, 1A and 2 Certification to open and offer the following services: Private Prayer and Eucharistic Adoration, Reconciliation, Weekday Mass, Sunday Mass, Infant Baptisms, Funerals and Weddings. Following State of Illinois and Archdiocesan guidelines, and for the safety of our congregation, OLW reopening team volunteers will prepare the space for the congregation, usher the congregation before, during and after the service, and disinfect the Church between services.

We ask that you please be patient with the reopening team as they gain experience and balance your safety and the ability to bring the sacraments to our parish.  Congregation sizes below are necessary to best determine sufficient volunteer numbers for each of these services.

For the month of June, the following services will be offered:

  1. Private Prayer and Adoration is available each Wednesday from 2:00-3:00 pm. Two, 25-minute sessions are available, the first beginning at 2:00 pm and the second at 2:35 pm, allowing ten minutes for cleaning and disinfecting between the two. Each session is currently limited to 20 attendees. You must preregister for Prayer and Adoration here:
  2. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available each Saturday, beginning June 13, from 10:00-11:00 am. Ten slots are available.  You must preregister for Reconciliation here
  3. Weekday Mass will continue to remain a live-streaming-only Mass on Facebook, or available on-demand afterwards, for the time being.
  4. Sunday Mass will begin on June 14 and be celebrated at 9:30 and 11:30 am. The congregation will be limited to 50 persons.  Mass attendance will expand to 125 persons at both Masses on June 21 and June 28. In July, two additional live masses will be offered (Saturday 5:00 pm Vigil and Sunday 6:00 pm).  Those wishing to attend the celebration of Sunday Mass and Holy Communion at any Mass must preregister.  No walk-ins will be allowed at this time.

* In July, the Saturday 5 PM Vigil Mass will become both a live and a live-streaming-Mass on Facebook, or available on-demand afterwards.  Those unable or not quite ready to attend live Mass are encouraged to attend live-streaming or pre-recorded mass.  Dispensation continues to offered from the Archdiocese, until further notice.

  1. Infant Baptisms will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 and 3:00 pm and be limited to a single child at each. Invitees are limited to 25 people (not including the child receiving the sacrament). Baptisms should be booked through Kathy Freiburger in the parish office at (847) 253-5353.
  2. Funerals will be offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. Funerals should be booked through Kathy Freiburger in the parish office at (847) 253-5353.
  3. Weddings may be now scheduled through Kathy Freiburger in the parish office at (847) 253-5353.

What should I know before I attend any service in Church?

  • If you have a fever over 100, a persistent cough, or have come in contact with someone who has COVID-19 you must NOT attend Mass.
  • Wear a face mask and bring hand sanitizer.
  • Be aware that you will have specific doors for entrance and exit. There are specific directions regarding which doors to enter and exit from to assure required social distancing.
  • The Church doors will be unlocked and open so that you do not need to touch doorknobs etc.
  • Follow the instructions of the ushers and staff in Church.
  • Books, paper, and other items that could potentially carry a virus have been removed from the Church.
  • Until the Archdiocese instructs otherwise, singing is disallowed in the Church due to the increased risk of COVID-19 transmission.
  • The only restroom that will be open during services is the one under the choir loft steps in the narthex. Restrooms near the gathering space are closed for the time being.

How do I receive Holy Communion?

  1. Sanitize your hands before receiving Communion.  Hand sanitizer is provided as you approach the front of church.
  2. Receive Communion in your hand with your face mask on.
  3. Step to the side, remove your mask temporarily to consume Communion.
  4. Replace your face mask and return to your seat.

When can I attend Mass?

The Church will be open for Mass on Sunday for two Masses beginning on June 14. The Saturday vigil Mass and weekday Mass will continue to be live-streamed (only) until we are comfortable that we have sufficient volunteers to safely expand the number of services. We must limit Mass attendance based on Archdiocese and State of Illinois directives, social distancing rules and special concerns for those who are most vulnerable. The current capacity of the Church is 125, based on these guidelines. All mass attendees MUST preregister using the online registration (mentioned above). Cardinal Cupich has granted a dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass that extends through this period.

We will use a combination of methods to allow a rotation as to a number of parishioners to attend Mass. We are still developing the best methods.

What services can I attend right now?

The parish is currently offering Private Prayer and Eucharistic Adoration, Reconciliation, Sunday Mass, Infant Baptisms, Funerals and Weddings. Per Archdiocese directives, three teams must be present for each event: Greeters/Ushers, Set-up, and Clean-up.

There are specific rules on entering and exiting the Church, where to sit etc.  Please follow posted signs and greeter/usher instructions.

Books, paper, and other items that could potentially carry and transmit a virus have been removed from the Church for the protection of congregants.

We have not been able to participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation, First Communion or Confirmation, when will those sacraments be offered?

These sacraments will be offered when the Archdiocese determines it is safe to gather in the numbers necessary to hold those Rites.

How can I help?

  • Financial Contributions are welcomed and needed. Please continue to make your weekly offering by dropping your envelope off at the Parish Center (the old convent) or by making an online offering using the “Give Online” link in the upper right hand corner of our website:
  • Prayer – You know your favorite form of prayer.  This is a great time to reflect on the importance of Christ’s Church, His presence in the sacraments – especially the Eucharist – and in the priest and the community. Pray the rosary, read Scripture, involve your family in prayer and remember Jesus loves you, he really does. Be not afraid!  Click here for a Pandemic Prayer to the Blessed Virgin.

Archdiocese Resources available at this difficult time; including news, reopening plans, training opportunities and prayer resources at:  Also see: Parishioner Reopening Guide

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