Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It feels like ages since March happened. Now in November, the coronavirus pandemic continues to be a constant news item, especially as cases of infection continue to surge throughout the nation. There’s fatigue, frustration, and perhaps even fear as we try to navigate these strange times. On the one hand, it’s disheartening to see how many people are getting sick and the reality of more restrictions being put into place. On the other hand, there are signs of hope as potential vaccines show promise in their trial phases. Allow me to speak a
moment about both of these realities.

Limits, restrictions, and closures. We’re all tired of them. We want to get back to the normal things of life and having lived through an extended lockdown in the Spring, no one is eager to live the experience again. Many of us have enjoyed the ability to go out and do various activities, even if they came with mask-wearing, social distancing, and other precautions. To face losing some of that freedom is difficult for most of us to accept. But we must remain cautious and vigilant, especially as the case numbers are going up, the colder weather is upon us, and the risk of transmitting the virus remains high. Please, if you’re not feeling well, if you’ve had contact with someone who’s gotten sick, if you have underlying health conditions and are at high risk for a severe case of Covid-19, be prudent in what you do. In times of faith and Mass, the option of livestreaming remains in place so that you need not risk yourself or others getting sick. It’s in all of our best interest to heed the protocols and guidelines that are being put in place.

While it’s hard to predict when and how the vaccine will come to be available and how widely to the general population, it is important to be open to it. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of shots, but there’s no question in my mind that I should get the vaccine. In light of personal health and for the safety of those around us, getting
inoculated should be a priority for all who have the option. I will assume that some moral questions will be raised over the production of the vaccines, as is often the case. I won’t get too technical, but certain cell lines used in testing derive originally from aborted tissue from the 1970s or earlier. However, the Pontifical Academy of Life, both in 2005 and again 2017 affirmed that the recipients of such vaccines do not sin in getting them. In fact, they assert there is “moral obligation to guarantee the vaccination coverage necessary for the safety of others.” Simply put, it’s important to get the vaccine. It’s not an easy time. But let’s pull together in our common difficulties and support each in kindness and prayer and do all we can to ensure safety for ourselves and others.

Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan