Archbishop Vigneron tests positive for COVID-19, has 'very mild' symptoms

Archbishop Allen H. Vignron celebrates Mass with seminarians at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit on Dec. 15, 2021. On March 14, the archbishop said he had tested positive for COVID-19, but was only experiencing "very mild" symptoms. (Valaurian Waller | Detroit Catholic)

Chief shepherd says he's 'fully vaccinated and boosted,' uses diagnosis to offer prayers for those affected by pandemic, health care workers

DETROIT — Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said he is experiencing "very mild" symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19.

In a tweet and Facebook post March 14, the archbishop informed the public he had received the positive test that morning.

"I am fully vaccinated and boosted, and grateful to report that my symptoms are very mild," Archbishop Vigneron said in the posts.

The 73-year-old archbishop has made a point to pray often for those who have been ill with the coronavirus, and used the announcement of his own diagnosis to do so again.

"I would like to take this opportunity to offer my prayers for members of our community who have been affected by this virus — particularly those who have died, suffered serious illness, or lost loved ones," Archbishop Vigneron said. "I pray also for healthcare workers who continue to tirelessly offer their compassionate service and healing to those who need it. We entrust them and our entire Archdiocese into the loving care of Our Lady of Lourdes, patroness of the sick."

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, Archbishop Vigneron entrusted the archdiocese and its people to the protection of Our Lady of Lourdes, to whom he has a deep personal devotion, and pledged to build a shrine in her honor at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament as a "perpetual reminder" of her care.

Plans for the shrine are under way.

The archbishop had been scheduled to celebrate Mass at Most Holy Trinity Parish in Detroit's Corktown district on St. Patrick's Day, March 17.

A statement from the Archdiocese of Detroit later Monday confirmed the archbishop was "doing well" and joined him in praying for others.

"We are grateful that the Archbishop is doing well, and we join him in praying for the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes on behalf of all in our community who have been affected by COVID-19," the archdiocese's statement said.

On March 3, the Archdiocese of Detroit updated its COVID-19 protocols and guidelines for parishes and schools, following public recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and local health authorities. The archdiocese's guidelines encourage pastors and parish leaders to prayerfully discern the needs of their individual parishes.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on March 14 reported 1,365 new cases of COVID-19 and 24 deaths over a three-day period, a significant decline from the state's peak during the height of the omicron wave in January and February.


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