I am writing to you following a conference call with our Metropolitan, Archbishop Anne Germond, and my colleagues in the Ontario House of Bishops to update and share information that has been provided as the continuing situation unfolds regarding the COVID-19 virus. We discussed the importance of mitigating the possibility of further outbreak and standing in solidarity with other religious and secular institutions who have instituted measures in this regard. We are also highly cognizant of the vulnerability of those who make up our congregations and the duty of care we have to heed the best advice we have in the current situation.
Attached to this letter is a communication from Archbishop Germond recommending that all public services of worship be suspended until further notice commencing this Sunday, March 15th. The bishops of the province concur with this recommendation and I am directing our parishes to suspend their services of worship as of Sunday. I would ask that the clergy of each parish discuss with their leadership the best means of informing their parishioners of this suspension. I would further ask that the clergy respond to this communication by email to me email@example.com so that I can be assured that all the parishes of the diocese have been made aware of this decision.
This situation continues to change rapidly and the bishops of the province will continue to meet regularly by conference call to assess the next steps that need to be taken. We will be communicating with you over these days and information will be made available on the diocesan website.
Please be assured of my continued prayers for you as we seek to continue to minister in the Name of Jesus Christ who draws us together in His body and strengthens us for the journey ahead. I join with Archbishop Germond and together with my colleagues in commending you to pray for all whom she mentions as standing in need of our prayers.
Letter from Archbishop Anne Germond on suspension of worship services