FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shrine Season Impacted by COVID-19
Tay, On (16 April 2020) – Due to the limitations on public gatherings currently legislated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Martyrs’ Shrine will not proceed with opening on 2 May 2020 as planned.
The global pandemic has prompted Leadership at Martyrs’ Shrine to evaluate the impact on the 2020 operating season and take immediate action to adapt. As a result, Martyrs’ Shrine is no longer capable of sustaining its usual seasonal staffing and has made the difficult decision to postpone all major cultural pilgrimages until 2021. Martyrs’ Shrine is financially reliant on the gate fees and donations generated by the generosity of its visitors to fund its ministry and operation.
Martyrs’ Shrine is monitoring the advice of public health officials, and anticipates opening in a limited capacity once circumstances permit. A target date for opening day has been set to 4 July 2020, which may be adjusted as the situation evolves. Martyrs’ Shrine will be updating its website with information on the 2020 season, as well as posting virtual content for those who can no longer visit the national shrine.
The Jesuit Fathers who live at Martyrs’ Shrine are continuing to pray for healing, especially for the sick and the vulnerable, and are practicing “physical distancing” in the hope that together we can flatten the curve and the shrine can soon open to pilgrims and faithful who wish to pray alongside the relics of the Canadian Martyrs.
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Martyrs’ Shrine is the National Shrine to the Canadian Martyrs, celebrating its 94th season, and is a ministry of the Jesuits in English Canada. This Roman Catholic shrine honours the Jesuit missionaries and their companions who lived, worked, and died here over 350 years ago. It is located in Tay, Ontario, in the heart of the Huron Confederacy of the 17th century. More than 100,000 visitors from around the world and from all cultural backgrounds are welcomed to the Shrine’s 75-acre landscaped grounds each year.
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Allex Laurin, Manager of Marketing and Programmes
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