February 24, 2022.
Dear Regional Ministers,
On behalf of your National Council, I am writing to provide an update on the national directives issued in September 2021 regarding life in fraternity and COVID-19 vaccinations. These directives were put in place for an initial period of six months; that is, from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. At the end of this period, the situation with the pandemic was to be re-evaluated to determine if these directives were still necessary.
At this point, it seems that the OFS national directives have served their purpose in keeping Secular Franciscans as safe as possible during this turbulent time. We recognize that following these directives has been challenging for some fraternities. I would personally like to thank all the sisters and brothers of the National Fraternity of Canada who took these directives seriously and acted prudently when holding fraternity meeting and events in person. I would also like to thank those fraternities who went above and beyond to remain connected to our unvaccinated sisters and brothers and ensuring that they remained engaged in the life of the fraternity.
As public health measures across the country begin to be lifted, so too will the measures in place within the OFS National Fraternity.
Effective, March 1, 2022, the current restrictions outlined in the National Directive associated with COVID-19 vaccinations, dated September 2, 2021, are being lifted.
The National Council continues to encourage all sisters and brothers to be vaccinated but leaves it to each fraternity, local and regional, to determine how best to move forward as the pandemic begins to wane.
May the Holy Spirit continue to guide us in living the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the footsteps of St. Francis.
Wishing you peace and all that is good.
Doug Clorey, ofs