Wright County Priest, Parishioners Test Positive for COVID-19

Wright County Priest, Parishioners Test Positive for COVID-19 Click to Enlarge Photo: Pixabay

(KNSI) - A priest in Annandale says he has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The announcement comes just a few days after the Minnesota Catholic Conference said they would be going against Governor Tim Walz's ban on gatherings of more than ten people and start opening up churches for in-person services.

Father Andrew Stueve serves at the St. Ignatius Parish.

Several parishioners there have also tested positive, and they say that another parishioner who was part of the flower delivery on Mother's Day has not been feeling well and may have exposed others.

In a letter to the parish, Father John Meyer says he and Monsignor Aloysius Callaghan have developed some COVID-like symptoms and are awaiting test results.

The letter warns those who have recently interacted with any of the clergy, served at one of the Masses that were live-streamed, or was present at Saint Ignatius for the flower distribution, to keep an eye on their health, as the virus can incubate for some time, and none of the church's leaders were showing symptoms that day.

St. Ignatius shares some staff with St. Timothy's in Maple Lake, and the letter says even though Archbishop Bernard Hebda says parishes can open their doors again and celebrate public masses, both churches are taking a wait and see approach. They add they understand that people are excited to get back to mass and receive the sacraments, but, "With all three clergy potentially affected, it would be difficult to do so in the near future."

You can read the letter by clicking here.