March 13, 2020
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Peace and all good things!
With the worldwide outbreak of the Coronavirus, we are confronted once more with the fragility of our lives, and again we are reminded of our common humanity – that the peoples of this world are our brothers and sisters, that we are all one family under God.
God does not abandon us; he goes with us even now in this time of trial and testing. In this moment, it is important for us to anchor our hearts in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Now is the time to intensify our prayers and sacrifices for the love of God and the love of our neighbor. Let us draw closer to one another in our love for Him and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives.
United with our Holy Father Pope Francis, let us pray in solidarity for our brothers and sisters here and around the world who are sick. Let us pray for those who have lost loved ones to this virus. May God console them and grant them peace.
We pray also for the doctors, nurses and caregivers, for public health officials and all civic leaders. May God grant them courage and prudence as they seek to respond to this emergency with compassion and in service to the common good.
Please follow the directions and advice of your local public health officials, any announcements from the Pastoral Center in Savannah and from your pastor regarding the changes in the schedule of Masses or the closing of schools. If you are ill, do not come to Church. The obligation to attend Mass is waived during this national emergency.
In this time of need, I invite all the faithful to seek together the maternal intercession of Our Blessed Mother.
With prayerful best wishes, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Gregory Hartmayer, OFM Conv.
Bishop of Savannah