Coronovirus Disease COVID-19

April 1, 2020

Dear Seminary Community,

I hope that you are all well, staying safe and staying healthy at this time.  As you may have heard in the news, Governor Wolf of PA has extended the “Stay and Home” order through April 30th.  In addition, he has announced that the closure of schools and educational institutions is extended indefinitely. 

With this announcement, it is clear that our original intention to reconvene the Seminary community on campus beginning on April 19, following the Easter break, is no longer feasible.  So, after the Easter break, we will be resuming operations as we have been since March 14; that is, classes and as much of our program as possible, on line – through ZOOM or other means of social media.  This will continue until further notice, perhaps through the end of the semester.  That said,  we would still like to hold out the possibility to reconvene as much or our community as possible to close out the year if it is safe and prudent to do so, and would be permitted by the civil authorities.  At a minimum, I realize that many of our seminarians would need to return to the campus to collect your personal belongings and to move out of their rooms for the summer.  At this time, I cannot say when that will be possible, but, such an opportunity will need to be arranged. 

I remain grateful to all who are working together to ensure that as much of our formation program as possible is able to continue during this time.  Thank you to our administration, faculty and staff – nearly all of whom are working from home, except when necessary to ensure continued operations.  Thank you also to our food service, facilities management and security staff who continue to provide service to us all.  The dedication of so many to the mission of the Seminary is an inspiration.

I encourage all to continue to keep one another in prayer.  Pray also for all those who have contracted the Coronavirus and their caregivers;  all health care providers and government officials in our communities who are working so hard to respond to this crisis.  As Pope Francis reminded us in his address from Rome on Friday of last week, we are all like the disciples in the boat with Jesus, “Why are you afraid?  Have you no faith?” As we pray for each other, we also ask God to strengthen our faith in these times of uncertainty, and to trust always in His love.

In Christ Jesus,

Bishop Timothy Senior
Rector, Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary