Archbishop Smith issued the following statement regarding the Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage 2020:
In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, and following upon the counsel of the Chief Medical Officer of the Province of Alberta, the Board of Trustees of the Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage Site today unanimously made the decision to cancel the 2020 pilgrimage.
It is the first time in living memory such a decision is taken. This is a very sad and difficult one to make, but at the same time necessary. Over the course of a few days there can be as many as 30,000 people come on pilgrimage to the Lac Ste Anne site, many of whom are elderly or of poor health. We simply cannot hold this event when we know that doing so would risk the health and possibly the life of the people who participate.
Let’s turn at this moment to Good Ste. Anne. She has a special love for us, and we for her. Our tradition of going to her in prayer when we need healing dates back generations. Let’s ask now for her intercession that this pandemic come to an end, and that God’s blessings come upon all who are ill with the virus, their families and all who care for them.
Good Ste. Anne, pray for us!
Most Reverend Richard W. Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton
Chair, Lac Ste. Anne Board of Trustees
March 31, 2020