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Bellarmine's Guidelines For Health & Safety

Here’s what we are doing to ensure the safety of all guests and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We ask that you read through the expectations of retreatants prior to registration to ensure you will be able to comply during your retreat. Please note that protocols may change given the availability of new information and/or requirements of local, state, or ecclesiastical authorities. A reminder email the week of your retreat will provide up to date guidelines you will be expected to follow during your retreat.

Central to our Catholic tradition is the Life and Dignity of the Human Person. In adhering to the following guidelines, all guests and staff are demonstrating their care and concern for their own health and safety as well as that of others. The intersection of faith and science is such that we follow data-driven government guidelines as well as Catholic Social Teaching principles of Solidarity, Option for the Poor and Vulnerable, and the Call to Family, Community and Participation in determining how to act during a global pandemic.

Your Safety is Our Top Priority

Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House adheres to protocols for training, sanitation, and maintenance that align with professional standards and best practices found within the restaurant and hotel industries. We continue to monitor the situation and follow guidance from the Illinois Department of Health and the Archdiocese of Chicago and adjust accordingly. Below, read in detail what we are doing to protect our staff and retreatants who attend in person.

Expectations of Retreatants

We respectfully ask that all prospective retreatants adhere to the following guidelines. If you are unable to adhere to these expectations, please do not attend retreat at Bellarmine at this time.

Before Your Retreat:

  • Guests who do not feel well should not attend at Bellarmine. A refund or credit to join us at a future retreat will be issued.
  • Guests who have knowingly been exposed to someone who has had COVID-19 during the 10 days prior to a retreat should not attend at Bellarmine. A refund or credit to join us at a future retreat will be issued.
  • If you are living in a high-incidence state or have visited a high-incidence state in the last 10 days, you should not attend at Bellarmine unless you have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours upon your arrival to Bellarmine. Please email us your test results prior to coming to Bellarmine and quarantine between taking the test and arriving at Bellarmine. The list of states that requires a test is updated every week on the Chicago Travel advisory and Cook County Health Department site.  Bellarmine is located inside of Cook County, which follows the same guidance as Chicago.
  • We kindly ask that every guest provide an emergency contact name and number for efficient communication about your well-being should an unforeseen need arise. An emergency after-hours phone number is provided to help relatives reach you during a retreat.
  • Provide accurate email and phone contact information so that we may reach you should we learn of any guest who may have increased your exposure.


During Your Retreat

Please do follow all of these guidelines even if you have received the COVID-19 vaccine or have had COVID-19 to ensure the disease is not spread.

  • Wear a mask over your mouth and nose while indoors at Bellarmine, with the exception of your own bedroom, while eating at social distanced place or while in the shower.
  • Wash hands frequently and maintain good hygiene.
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and others. Pause and let others pass in the hallway. Be mindful of new informational signs posted for traffic flow.
  • You will be asked to choose your seat in the Sacred Heart Chapel and one of our dining rooms upon arrival and sit in the same seat while in those spaces throughout your retreat. 
  • We encourage you to take advantage of our beautiful grounds for fresh air during the retreat.

After Your Retreat:

  • Should you be diagnosed with COVID-19 within 10 days of your Bellarmine retreat, please promptly inform us so that we may notify your fellow retreatants of their possible exposure.

If you are unable to adhere to these expectations, specifically wearing a mask over your mouth and nose for extended periods and complying with social distancing protocols outlined within, then please do not attend a retreat at Bellarmine during this time.

Protocols in Place for Your Protection

Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House adheres to protocols for training, sanitation, and maintenance that align with professional standards and best practices found within the restaurant and hotel industries. We continue to monitor the situation and follow guidance from the Illinois Department of Health and the Archdiocese of Chicago and adjust accordingly.

Prior to Your Retreat:

  • We buy commercially concentrated cleaning products which are dispensed at recommended levels.
  • Guest rooms are cleaned using a protocol that includes CDC-approved cleaning solutions.
  • Linens are cleaned on site using commercial-grade equipment and high heat.

During Your Retreat:

  • On-property overnight attendance will be capped at about 42 retreatants.
  • Upon arrival, every guest will be asked to sanitize hands and apply a face mask.
  • In lieu of our usual kick-off social, an orientation session will detail the expectations of all retreatants and staff to ensure everyone’s safety during the retreat.
  • We follow recommendations from the Archdiocese of Chicago regarding the sacraments. At this time, masks are required of all participants during Mass and a face shield is required of the priest.
  • Our staff will serve you at meals to limit the number of utensils and objects you touch. No more than two guests will sit at each 6-foot table. In order to achieve the proper distance between guests, two dining rooms will be utilized. 
  • Common areas are cleaned throughout the day.
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the retreat house.

After Your Retreat:

  • If any guest or employee contracts COVID-19, Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House will promptly inform all retreatants who were here with that individual.

Still Have Questions?

We understand you may have additional questions or concerns about attending retreat at this time. Please call us at 847-381-1261. We are happy to help allay your concerns and explain in additional detail our safety standards and protocols. Please know that the safety of all guests and staff is our top priority and the guiding force of all that we do during this unprecedented time.