Priest in Annandale tests positive for COVID-19; two others await test results

| Susan Klemond | May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

A priest at St. Ignatius in Annandale recently tested positive for COVID-19 and two other priests at the parish are experiencing symptoms that may be related to the virus, said the pastor, Father John Meyer, who is also pastor of St. Timothy in Maple Lake.

Father Andrew Stueve, St. Ignatius’ parochial vicar, tested positive after he and Father Meyer came in contact with parishioners who also tested positive for the coronavirus, Father Meyer wrote on the St. Ignatius website.

Father Meyer said he and former St. Paul Seminary rector Msgr. Aloysius Callaghan have developed symptoms possibly related to COVID-19 and are awaiting their own test results.

At least one parish volunteer at the parish’s Mother’s Day flower distribution also has not been feeling well and has been exposed to others who had contracted the virus, Father Meyer said.

While expressing hope that the outbreak poses minimal risk to most parishioners, Father Meyer said he wanted parishioners to be aware of the situation in the event they develop virus symptoms, especially if they had contact with the clergy, served at live-streamed Masses or were present for the flower distribution.

“This comes as a major surprise to us, as we have tried to respect the guidelines of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and social distancing and the Minnesota Department of Health to the best of our ability,” Father Meyer wrote.

Speaking at a May 21 news conference in St. Paul about the bishops of Minnesota planning a broader opening of public Masses as the state loosens restrictions brought by the coronavirus pandemic, Archbishop Bernard Hebda emphasized that this is a dangerous time when it’s possible that priests and faithful will develop COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

“That’s going to be part of life,” he said. “What’s important is how we handle that, certainly individually but also as a Church. I appreciated the speed with which St. Ignatius has informed their parishioners and I certainly am praying for the priest who has been found to be positive.”

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Category: Local News