New Orleans archbishop tests positive, asks prayers for all amid pandemic

This article appears in the Coronavirus feature series. View the full series.

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Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans celebrates Mass March 19, 2020, in an empty St. Louis Cathedral. He announced March 23 that he has tested positive for coronavirus. (CNS/Peter Finney Jr., Clarion Herald)

New Orleans — New Orleans Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond announced midday March 23 he has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

"Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, I have been feeling fine. Recently, I had very mild symptoms, which included fever only. Out of an abundance of caution, I took the coronavirus test which came back positive," the archbishop said in a statement.

"I have notified those with whom I have been in close proximity. Needless to say, I have self-quarantined in order to be responsible and not affect others," he said.

Aymond said he will use "this quiet time for additional prayer and sacrifice for all those seriously affected by the virus."

"I pray to get well soon and continue ministry. In the meantime, I will be present through Facebook and the archdiocesan website with reflection on this crisis and God’s healing power," said Aymond, who has headed the archdiocese since 2009. The archdiocesan website is https://arch-no.org.

He ended his statement with this: "Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us! Blessed Francis Seelos, pray for us!"

Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, a Redemptorist priest from Germany, worked as a missionary in the United States frontier. Toward the end of his life, he went to New Orleans to minister to victims of yellow fever. He then died after contracting the disease.

Due to the coronavirus, all archdiocesan offices will be closed for 10 days, from March 17-27. This is to be reevaluated after 10 days. This includes the office of the Clarion Herald, the archdiocesan newspaper.


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