Our welcoming Christian community of St. Irenaeus Parish inspired by the words of our patron - "Humankind fully alive is God truly glorified" - journeys together to bring the love of Christ to all in our parish family through worship, faith formation, social justice, and loving service while reaching out to the broader community.

Mass on Sunday, July 12, 2020  will be streamed online at 9:30am on the Parish Twitter  and on YouTube 


All Masses and Services will also be recorded. Links will be posted here on the Parish website.

Sunday June 21, 2020 - Black Lives Matter Homily

Click here to download Fr. Terry's June 21st Homily


Reopening Plans for St Irenaeus Church amid COVID-19


Click here to download Cardinal Cupich's letter abour reopening churches.

Click here to download PDF version of Fr Terry's letter.

Dear Parishioners,

I pray that you and your loved ones are healthy. As you may have seen, Cardinal Cupich recently shared ourmulti-phased plan for reopening churches in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Specifically,

  • Phase I allows for parishes to reopen for Baptism, Reconciliation, Weddings and Funerals with a limit of 10 attendees.
  • Phase IA allows for parishes to reopen for private prayer and adoration with a limit of 10 attendees.
  • Phase II allows for reopening for weekday and weekend Masses for larger groups depending on the guidelines from the state and the capacity of the church building.

Our St Irenaeus Reopening Plan

First and foremost, it is important for everyone to understand that our efforts will prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all while maintaining due respect and reverence for the sacraments and liturgical norms of our faith.

I will assemble a Parish Reopening Leadership Team with parishioner co-captains to lead our efforts. Together, we will attend required training from the Archdiocese to ensure that our parish reopening plan conforms to the guidelines developed by the Archdiocese in collaboration with civil and healthcare authorities. We will also receive a starter kit of protective gear and cleaning supplies, as well as guidance on purchasing/maintaining supplies ongoing. 

There is a lot of information to go through regarding the guidelines for the reopening plan to be implemented. This week some of the staff will attend webinars which layout the requirements for the plans and the protocols required in the plan. In the near future volunteers who will be assisting in the implementation and execution of the plan will also be attending a webinar for certification.

Volunteers Needed

We will need volunteers to assist with various aspects of our parish reopening plan. Importantly, leadership team members and volunteers must not be part of a “vulnerable population” (that is, not over the age of 65; no underlying medical condition such as diabetes; lung disease; undergoing cancer treatment, etc.). I ask all of you who are younger than 65 and healthy with no underlying health conditions to consider assisting with one of three reopening teams:

  • Set-up team. Sample duties include ensuring that all supplies needed for each sacramental celebration/gathering are ready for use, entrances and exits are marked and propped physically open prior to attendees’ arrival/departure, windows are opened, etc.
  • Greeting team. Sample duties include assisting in managing the flow of congregants as they enter the church, making sure attendees use hand sanitizer upon entering, are wearing a mask, and are reminded not to enter if ill; directing people to appropriate seating/waiting areas, etc.
  • Cleaning team. Sample duties include maintaining and cleaning essential and trafficked areas of the church before and after the church has been used. Masks and gloves will be provided, if you do not have your own, in addition to approved cleaning/disinfecting supplies.

The Reopening Leadership Team and I will make sure that all volunteers are properly trained. Please send us a message at stirenaeus@archchicago.org  or leave a voicemail at 708-748-6891 to indicate your willingness and ability to volunteer. From those that step forward, we will also request that some act as volunteer captains to help lead each of the three teams.

Timing for Our Reopening

As I mentioned, the Parish Reopening Leadership Team members and I will need to complete required training, which will take place the week of May 18. Once we complete the training, we will need to review and complete tasks assigned to all parishes as part of a reopening certification process to be approved by the Archdiocese. Therefore, the soonest that any parish in the Archdiocese will realistically open for sacramental celebrations, private prayer or Eucharistic Adoration is likely the weekend of May 23. However, our parish, like all others in the archdiocese, will move forward at a pace and timing appropriate for its own situation.  Therefore, at this time St Irenaeus will not be reopening the weekend of May 23.

Following our training and certification approval, at St Irenaeus, we will only open our church once the Reopening Leadership Team and I feel confident that we have the right volunteers in place to make it possible to reopen. Again, the need for parishioner assistance cannot be overstated.  Given the importance of this process St Irenaeus will move cautiously and carefully before we hold any public celebration of liturgy or the sacraments.  Every parishioners health and well-being is of utmost importance. 

The guidelines and measures required to reopen are designed to protect our wellbeing and that  of our broader community. As Cardinal Cupich has noted, from the first pages of Scripture we learn that we indeed are “our brother’s keeper.” Jesus prayed, “that they all may be one” (Jn 17:21) and commanded us “love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34). Our collective patience, willingness to help and the care we take to reopen is a demonstration of our unity and love for one another.

May God grant you His peace during this difficult time and may He manifest His love and presence to you in abundant ways. If you have any questions, please contact me at stirenaeus@archchicago.org.

In God’s Love,
Fr Terry Johnson

Click here to download PDF version of Fr Terry's letter.



  • Online at GiveCentral - https://www.givecentral.org/location/410
  • Checks may be mailed or dropped off at the Parish office at the following address: 
    St Irenaeus Church
    78 Cherry Street
    Park Forest, Illinois 60466



Shelter-in-place order for State of Illinios

Effective 4/24/2020

Governor Pritzker has just announced an extension to mandatory shelter-in-place order for the State of Illinois. What this means for our parishes is that effective 5 p.m. Saturday, March 21 through Saturday May 30, 2020:

  1. All churches and adoration chapels must be closed and locked until the order is lifted by the governor. Private prayer in any parish building must be discontinued until the order is lifted.
  2. There can be no other gatherings anywhere on parish/school property, nor can any parish personnel be involved in organizing them on any other site.
  3. All weddings and baptisms must be postponed and can be re-scheduled only once the order is lifted. There are no exceptions to this, regardless of the size of the group. However, in case of an extreme emergency for baptism, please seek the permission of your bishop.
  4. Funerals and wakes must be postponed until the order is lifted.
  5. Parish offices must be closed until the governor’s order is lifted. Voicemails may be left at 708-748-6891.

Note: Priests can – and are encouraged – to continue celebrating Mass privately and to livestream their Masses for their parishioners, if possible. Moreover, anointing of the sick and confession/absolution guidelines will be forthcoming.


Mass and Gathering Suspensions
due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)


In keeping with the guidelines established by the Archdiocese of Chicago policy St Irenaeus will suspend public liturgies, including daily Masses.

We will live stream Mass on Sundays, at 9:30am. Visit our Twitter page on Sunday to join us! https://twitter.com/st_irenaeus/ or tune in on our YouTube Channel.

For previous masses, find the links in the gray "Recorded Mass" box on the right side of the page. You can find the homilies on this page https://stirenaeuschurch.com/documents/collection/homilies

Visitors should be able to view the stream without needing a Twitter account. 

Other Changes

  1. St Irenaeus Church has suspended all Religious Education classes until further notice.
  2. All parish meetings and in person ministries are suspended until further notice.
  3. St Irenaeus/Catholic Charities Procedure Changes, effective March 21, 2020 can be found on the Food Pantry Page.

To read the full statement from the Archdiocese please go to this link: https://www.archchicago.org/en/statement/-/article/2020/03/13/statement-of-the-archdiocese-of-chicago-on-the-suspension-of-public-celebration-of-mass-the-temporary-closure-of-archdiocesan-schools-the-pastoral-cen

Protecting God's Children (VIRTUS) 

St. Irenaeus was scheduled to host a session of Protecting God’s Children (VIRTUS) Training on Sunday, March 22, 2020, from Noon until 3:00pm. Due to the Coronvavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, this live session has been canceled.

In lieu of this live meeting, participants may register for the online format of the training. Pre-registered participants were sent an email directly from Virtus with this updated information. 

For questions about the course or assistance in registering for the training, contact the session facilitator, Karen Hoogland, via email at irenaeus78@gmail.com. 


Why We Love St Irenaeus

Many of our parishioners shared why they love St Irenaeus. Click play to learn why!


Video is from the presentation, Climate Change: The Issues, the Consequences, the Challenges, sponsored by the Park Forest People of Faith, held at St. Irenaeus Church on Sunday, June 23, 2019. Keynote speaker: WGN-TV/Channel 9 Meteorologist, Tom Skilling






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We live stream Sunday Liturgies at 9:30am on Twitter and YouTube.

Click here to view on our Twitter Page

Click here to view on our YouTube Channel

Live stream links will be at the top of the Twitter page. Twitter user account is NOT required to view videos.


Daily Masses are available on our YouTube Channel at 8:00am each morning.

Act of Spiritual Communion



Saturday: 5:00pm
Sunday: 8:30am & 10:30am
Weekdays: 8:00am
Confession: Before Sat. Mass

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