by Mark Weyermuller -
For several weeks now, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has declared “non-essential” businesses cannot open in Illinois to help "mitigate" the spread of COVID-19. He is calling it a “stay-at-home” order.
What exactly is an "essential" business? Thousands of businesses in Illinois are open and thriving. Those businesses include Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Menards, Walgreens, CVS, Costco, 7-11, "to go" restaurants, grocery stores, bike shops, car washes, dry cleaners, liquor stores, and cannabis dispensaries.
For the past two weeks worshippers have met at Friday noon at Holy Name Cathedral on Chicago & State. They read the rosary, say the Lord’s Prayer, and sing hymns.
During the outside service, loud noise could heard from a highrise being constructed across the street — with hundreds of workers. Construction has been deemed “essential,” but not church.
The worshippers plan to meet in front of Holy Name again at noon on Friday, May 15, 2020. All people of all faiths are welcomed. Last week, many wore masks and socially separated by six feet. People who attended said they felt completely safe.
They feel churches can open today, while taking the same precautions as grocery stores with masks, distancing, and limiting attendance. Outdoor services are also an option.
One sign said, “Our churches are essential.”
As weather warms up this week there is a big push to reopen all of Illinois. Most other states have open businesses in a limited manner including churches.
More information at OpenOurChurches.org.