NEW YORK – A Message from Metropolitan Savas follows.
January 11, 2022
St. Theodosios the Cenobiarch
Reverend Fathers, esteemed Metropolis, Philoptochos, and Parish Council members, dedicated Parish Secretaries, and devout faithful of the Holy and God-Protected Metropolis of Pittsburgh,
A blessed continued celebration of the Great Feast of Theophany to all!
The recent surge in coronavirus cases in our general area, and in our parish communities in particular, has been cause for concern. This has affected clergy and laity, old and young, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike. While we maintain our ultimate trust and hope in God’s providence for our lives, we also recognize the fundamental scriptural call for each of us to safeguard one another, especially the most vulnerable among us, regardless of how we perceive the risks to ourselves; we are called to love one another self-sacrificially, to bear each other’s burdens, and to be our brother’s and sister’s keeper.
Therefore, I am implementing a masking mandate at all Church-related functions (whether on Church property or not) and for all non-Church functions taking place on Church property, effective immediately and until further notice. For those who are unable to mask, in-person participation in worship and meetings will not be possible, so each community should make reasonable accommodations; contact your parish priest for sacramental needs, and any essential meetings should have an option for participation via electronic means (telephone or videoconference).
I ask you to continue to make supplication to the Lord, to the Theotokos, and to the healing Saints (especially the recently canonized St. Nicephoros the Leper) for those affected by the pandemic: those who have been ill, the doctors and medical workers treating them, supporting family whose loved ones have died or been negatively impacted, those who are suffering job loss or financial instability, and those who suffer with anxiety or other psychological conditions; and may our God grant rest to all those who have departed this life in hope of the Resurrection.
With Archpastoral blessings and love in the Lord,
Metropolitan of Pittsburgh