Daily Journal staff report
In an effort to avoid laying off diocesan or parish employees, the Diocese of Joliet will make a temporary reduction in compensation and hours.
The move comes at the recommendation of the Diocesan Finance Council and the Rev. Richard E. Pates, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Joliet and interim bishop.
As the diocese begins to feel the effects of the shutdown surrounding concerns of the coronavirus, it’s working to maintain benefits for the parish and diocesan employees, and to maintain liquidity at the diocesan level to continue to meet the needs of parishes and ministries throughout the seven counties of the Diocese of Joliet, which includes Kankakee and Iroquois counties. Precipitating this decision are the anticipated losses in revenue to parishes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the governmental restrictions undertaken to halt the spread of the disease, according to a press release.
Pates said the hope is that these sacrifices made by employees and priests will ensure the long-term viability of the Catholic institutions in the Diocese of Joliet.
“The Diocese of Joliet deeply regrets taking this step especially in view of the outstanding corps of priests and other ministers with whom we are blessed,” Pates said in a press release. “Our goal is to return to normal operations as soon as possible.”