RESPONSE TO NOVEL CORONAVIRUS KNOWN AS “COVID-19”
As the details and response to COVID-19 continue to develop, Martyrs’ Shrine is prepared to respond accordingly.
Please note that our office is currently closed. Our staff continue to work remotely and can be reached by email or telephone.
Impact to our 2020 Season
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.
The Health and Safety of our pilgrims, visitors, and collaborators, and that of our lay and Jesuit staff, are at the forefront of our planning and operations. We take our responsibilities in these matters seriously and actively maintain Response Plans with the help of community agencies to ensure we are prepared to respond to occurrences regardless of their nature. We will continue to be diligent in the role we play in safeguarding the public health of our community – both physically and spiritually.
Protective Measures Currently In Effect
Based on information released from Public Health Officials, we have taken the following measures:
- We’re taking steps to help protect all of our team members. All administrative staff are working remotely from home.
- The Office, Church, and Grounds remain CLOSED to all visitors.
- We are introducing rigorous additional cleaning procedures to our facilities and offices. We have increased the number of wipes, hand sanitizers, and other cleaning materials available for all of our team members to use.
Our grounds, Church, and Office are currently closed to visitors. One of our team members will be happy to help reschedule any meeting.
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit
Latest on COVID-19 affecting businesses, and places of public gather within their catchment
Archdiocese of Toronto
Latest on COVID-19 affecting all Roman Catholic Churches within their catchment
Light a Candle with Us
Amidst the challenges we are all facing with the COVID – 19 epidemic, is there a particular person or intention that you would like to offer up to God in prayer? Whether on the front-line serving others, at work, in isolation, at home, or abroad, click below to have a candle lit for you by a Jesuit Father at Martyrs’ Shrine. Our prayers transform us, and the world around us!