Chicago churches adapt amid COVID-19 outbreak

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many are leaning on their faith more than ever. But that comes with major challenges now that places of worship are closed.

Father Matt O’Donnell is constantly texting, calling and posting on social media. His phone is now crucial to preaching this message: “To stay hopeful and stay prayerful and to be reminded that God is truly with us in this time,” he said.

Saint Columbanus Catholic Church on Chicago's South Side, like other churches, has found new ways to keep the faith.

Father O’Donnell contacts the 600 families in his parish and church regularly.

The church posts daily messages for Lent on a brand new YouTube page, and streams Sunday mass from an empty church.

Downtown at Holy Name Cathedral, the bells ring out to remind people to pray and Luiz De Angeli still attends mass -- just online now.

“It is different, but I think it's a good way for us to continue keeping in touch and not lose our hope,” said Holy Name parishioner Luiz De Angeli.

Cardinal Blase Cupich led the Lord's Prayer online Wednesday standing at a safe distance with other Christian faith leaders, urging a day of prayer.

“Pray for every person touched by this pandemic,” Cupich said.

Father O'Donnell feels their ministry is more crucial than ever, and that includes a food pantry, which serves 350 families.

“Even with all this uncertainty, we're still going to be here. And we're still going to reach out to people who are in need,” Father O'Donnell said.