Holy Guardian Angels Parish, which serves Catholics in Brookfield and part of LaGrange Park, has closed its two churches and has canceled gatherings and other activities at parish buildings through at least Oct. 11 after “several” people who attended services and events last weekend tested positive for COVID-19.
Rev. David Pavlik, associate pastor at Holy Guardian Angels emailed parishioners Oct. 8 to announce the findings. The letter also has been published on the parish’s website.
The parish’s pastor, Rev. Denis Condon, is out of town but has been apprised of the situation, Pavlik told the Landmark. Condon and parish staff are being tested as a precaution, he added.
Another email sent to parishioners on Oct. 9 added more detail about the parish’s response. It confirmed that while no priests have tested positive, they are quarantining at the rectory for two weeks as a precaution. Condon will return to the rectory when the quarantine ends.
During the quarantine period, all parish staff will be working from home. The parish will reevaluate the situation this week and inform the congregation whether the parish will be able to celebrate in-person Masses with visiting priests on Oct. 17.
Pavlik’s Oct. 8 letter to parishioners stated that the parish has “received confirmation of several attendees” of services held between Oct. 2 and Oct. 4 who tested positive. Those services included a pair of confirmation Masses on Oct. 2 and 3, a reconciliation service on Oct. 3, the parish’s Feast Day procession from St. Barbara Church to St. Louise Church and the 5 p.m. Mass at St. Louise on Oct. 3 and the 12:30 p.m. Mass on Sunday, Oct. 4 at St. Barbara Church in Brookfield.
The parish has reported the cases to the Cook County Department of Public Health, said Pavlik. He said that nothing indicates close contacts between those testing positive for COVID-19 and other members of the congregation.
“However, we are alerting you to this development. If you attended any of these afore-mentioned services, please monitor yourself closely for symptoms of COVID-19,” Pavlik wrote to parishioners. “In the unfortunate circumstance that you test positive for COVID-19, please report the incidence directly to the parish, as soon as possible.”
While the church buildings are closed they will undergo deep cleaning and disinfecting, said Pavlik.
“If the parish does not receive notification of additional reported cases of COVID-19 over the next several days, liturgy may resume the following week,” Pavlik wrote.
Holy Guardian Angels Parish was created last year by the Cardinal Blase Cupich as part of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s ongoing effort to consolidate parishes, streamline operations and reduce expenses while reviving congregations.
St. Barbara Parish of Brookfield and St. Louise de Marillac Parish of LaGrange Park were merged to form the new entity, which was officially named Holy Guardian Angels last fall. Both churches remain parish worship sites under their original names.