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WGLT's reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, which began in McLean County in March 2020.

Peoria Diocese Sets Mass Changes, E-Learning In Schools

Daniel Jenky giving blessings
South Bend Tribune, Robert Franklin, Pool
Bishop Daniel R. Jenky gives his blessings during the funeral service for Rev. Theodore Hesburgh on Wednesday, March 4, 2015,

The Catholic Diocese of Peoria will be closing its schools next week, including Central Catholic High School and Corpus Christi and St. Mary's grade schools in Bloomington and Epiphany school in Normal, due to concerns about COVID-19.
The diocese is telling schools to plan for an e-learning "trial day" for next Wednesday and to plan for e-learning Thursday and Friday. At that time, the diocese will update parents on what's next.

“If the health crisis continues, we will most likely suspend classes for the foreseeable future,” Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky wrote in a letter sent to the media.

The diocese is also suspending its obligation to attend Sunday Mass. It's urging anyone over 60 not to attend Mass.

For those who to attend, Jenky is urging parishioners to receive communion wafers by holding out their hands rather than receiving it on their tongue.

He is calling on churches to spray and disinfect all holy water fonts and is urging parishioners not to shake hands or hug and instead “use a wave or friendly smile.”

“I fully realize that this moment of great concern could pass rather quickly, but I also do not think that we can take any risks at this time of endangering lives,” Jenky said. “I believe it is more prudent to be proactive rather than reactive in the face of serious danger.”

Jenky said the diocesan website lists a schedule for when services will be available for viewing online and on EWTN.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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