King’s House Retreat and Renewal Center
Communication Regarding Reopening to Groups
May 28, 2021
Dear Friends of King’s House,
With joy and thanksgiving to God, I write you and give you an update on COVID-19 restrictions and retreats at King’s House. After carefully listening to the directives from the CDC, the State of Illinois, and St. Clair County, King’s House is ready to operate with fewer restrictions.
I assure you that our plan is to lessen the restrictions thoughtfully and progressively; it will not be immediate nor carelessly. We ask you for your patience as we return to a new normal. We have operated safely since June of 2020 without a single incident, and our goal is to keep it that way.
- Beginning on the 1st of June 2021, fully vaccinated retreatants and employees will not be required to wear a mask. However, they may do so if they prefer to be extra cautious. Retreatants and employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask while in the building.
- Meals will once again be buffet style, and retreatants will be asked to sanitize their hands before serving themselves.
- King’s House will continue to provide social distance space in the conference rooms, dining room, and chapel. Our groups scheduled for June and July 2021 will remain at 40 people (except where prior arrangements have been made) to guarantee social distance.
King’s House staff will continue the sanitizing schedules and procedures that have been in place since June of 2020 that have kept everyone safe. From the beginning of the pandemic, we strived to do what is suitable for all our retreatants and staff. We welcome the news of returning to some new form of normality, and in the words of Pope Francis: “ For now, what we need is the chance to change, to make space for the new thing we need. It’s like God says to Isaiah: Come, let us talk this over…we will have a great future.”
Feel free to call me or email me if you have further questions or concerns.
Fr. Salvador Gonzalez, OMI
King’s House Retreat and Renewal Center
Communication Regarding Reopening to Groups
July 3, 2020
Dear friends and retreatants of King’s House,
It has been over three months since we were able to welcome you into our house! Know that we have missed every one of you. Our house is not a home without you.
The staff at King’s House has reviewed our re-opening safety procedures, we have met various times as a team and are now happy to announce that we will be able to welcome you back effective July 6, 2020.
As we open our doors and welcome you back, it is important for your safety and peace of mind, and that of our staff, that we implement the following protocols. Some of these apply to each person in a group and others apply to the coordinators with whom we work to plan your retreat or meeting.
Please note: Retreatants will be required to wear masks to enter the building, during all public services, and while in all common areas of the house. If a retreatant has a condition that will not allow them to wear a mask, please do not come on retreat during this time. Wearing masks protects others and yourself.
If you have any questions, you may reach me at (618) 397-0584 or Mr. Richard Dahm
Business Manager (618 397-0584).
Please stay healthy, practice social distancing, wear a mask when in public and let’s look out for one another.
Fr. Salvador Gonzalez, OMI and Staff at King’s House Retreat Center
Check-In Procedures and Guidelines
- Retreatants will only be allowed to enter and exit through the main entrance.
- Retreatants are asked to respect the noted check in time so that a staff member can safely check you in. Early arrivals are discouraged.
- Retreatants are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing upon arrival. Name tags will contain sanitized keys to each room and each retreatant is asked to pick up their name tag and schedule so as to minimize surfaces touched.
- There are markers on the carpet to signal 6 feet of distance in case of waiting to check in.
- For overnight groups, guests will not be allowed to switch rooms unless approved by King’s House Retreat Center staff.
- Retreatants will choose a chair of their choice in the conference room, dining room and chapel and keep that chair as their assigned seating place for the duration of the program.
- Markers will be placed in the building to indicate a 6-foot distance between persons attempting to check in for the retreat. Please enter through the main front entrance.
- Retreatants will be required to keep their mask on when in the common areas of the house including hallways and Rocking Chair Row. No need to wear masks (if there is over 6 feet of distance,) if outdoors with distancing, or in the bedroom.
- Social distance will always be observed. Friends can meet one another while wearing a mask and finding some of the beautiful spaces outdoors to help minimize all risks.
- Chairs have been marked with colorful ribbons to mark social distancing in the conference room and chapel. Do not sit on the marked chairs to guarantee safe space for everyone.
- Retreatants are encouraged to bring their own writing utensils and art supplies. We will continue to supply a limited quantity.
- While our public restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized twice daily, we encourage retreatants to use the restroom in their bedroom when you can to avoid gatherings in the restroom.
- Social distancing and Masks are required while attending prayer services and Mass.
- Please do not sit on marked chairs for distancing.
- We will have a musician and cantor for all Masses. The congregation is asked not to sing and to wear a mask.
- Guidelines for receiving communion will be explained before Mass.
- Hymnals will not be available, but retreatants may bring their own liturgical book or aid. Daily readings can be found on the USCCB website using your own device in chapel.
- All chapel services will follow the guidelines provided by the Diocese of Belleville.
- There can be no more than two persons in the elevator at any time and both must wear masks. • Elevator will be sanitized twice daily by housekeeping staff.
- There can be no more than three persons in the gift shop at any time and all must wear masks.
Bedroom Accommodation Guidelines
- No retreatant may share a bedroom unless they currently live in the same household.
- All bed linens are laundered after any guest has used them. Room will be cleaned and sanitized and locked after being used.
- Retreatants will be allowed to remain in their bedrooms until they finish their retreat whenever the room does not need to be turned over that same day (applies to High School retreats)
- As much as practicable, overnight guests are asked to use the bathrooms in their bedroom so as to minimize traffic in the public restrooms.
- Retreatants will wear masks entering the dining room and will be seated at the tables before the meal service begins. Tables will be called by number to come up to the food service line.
- Meals will be plated and served by King’s House staff. Special needs diets will be accommodated.
- Real plates and silverware will be used. Our dishwasher sanitizes all items and staff follows proper food handling procedures.
- Condiments including salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, mayo will be served in single-use packets to reduce waste.
- Staff will wear gloves and face masks and will provide contactless transfer by setting items on serving table.
- All surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized after each meal
Personal Practices and Directives effective immediately, we will be requiring the following:
- If you are sick, please stay at home.
- While in the building, it will always be necessary for you to wear a mask (except in your private bedroom).
What King’s House staff will be doing (in addition to the individual guidelines above):
- Keeping track of our own health, staying home when sick.
- Wearing masks in common areas
- Maintaining social distancing (6 feet) and not congregating in groups
- Washing hands often throughout the day and using hand sanitizer
- Daily cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms, doorknobs to rooms, elevator buttons
- Multiple times during the day disinfecting the main entrance door, and all commonly used areas.
- Greeting you with a smile. ( Which you may not see because of the mask )