From the Archdiocese of Newark:
Please be advised that the ordination of 23 permanent deacons scheduled for Saturday, June 27, 2020, is POSTPONED. The unexpected rescheduling is in an abundance of caution due to a candidate who recently tested positive for COVID-19 after participating in a preparatory meeting for the forthcoming ordination at which other candidates were present.
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., and the Archdiocesan leadership have urged the other candidates for the permanent diaconate, who may have been in close proximity, to be tested for COVID-19 and to inform their workplace and others with whom they may have come in contact.
The ordination of five transitional deacons, who had no contact with the permanent deacon group, will be celebrated as scheduled on Saturday, June 27, 2020, at noon, with limited and pre-arranged attendance. The ordination Mass will be livestreamed to the public on the archdiocesan YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/NwkArchdiocese.
As the Archdiocese of Newark monitors the evolving situation, it will reschedule the ordination when it becomes safe to do so to ensure a meaningful liturgical event for all. An announcement will be made when a new date is set.
The safety of our faithful and surrounding communities remain our topmost priority. We thank you for your patience and understanding.
The announcement of the coronavirus exposure comes as the Archdiocese of Newark, the state’s largest Catholic diocese, is preparing to reopen its churches this weekend for indoor Sunday Masses for the first time in months. Services will have social distancing rules and be limited to 50 people or 25 percent of a church’s capacity, whichever is smaller.
Church officials did not name the deacon candidate who tested positive for the virus.
New Jersey has had multiple religious leaders test positive for COVID-19, including several rabbis, Episcopal priests, Catholic priests and at least one Muslim leader. The Rev. Jorge Ortiz-Garay, the first U.S. Catholic priest to die after testing positive for the virus, also had deep New Jersey ties and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Newark.
Please pray for all concerned.