Updated: April 03, 2020 10:36 AM
Created: April 03, 2020 09:52 AM
SANTA FE, N.M. — The annual pilgrimages to Santuario de Chimayo and Tome Hill are canceled this year due to the statewide health order prohibiting gatherings of five or more people. The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe are asking that everyone stay home instead.
"In unity with all Christians, we call on the faithful to make home the holy place for the sake of all families during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is imperative we heed the advice of our global scientists, medical and public health experts," Archbishop John Wester said. "Stay home. By practicing social distancing, together we can save lives."
El Santuario de Chimayo will be closed Holy Thursday through Easter Monday — April 9 through April 13. NMDOT and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe are asking that no one visit the sacred site. Due to the closings, NMDOT will not be providing its usual assistance along the routes to the holy sites.
"I am pleased to provide these provisions for New Mexicans during Holy Week but this year, we all need to stay home," said Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval. "It's not the time to risk walking, not only to help stop the spread of COVID-19 but also to prevent any injuries or deaths on our roadway."
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has urged all New Mexicans to avoid large gatherings during Holy Week:
"We understand this is a terrible hardship for the faithful, but public health is the first and foremost consideration. Large groups are an enormous public health risk to our communities right now. I am immensely grateful to the Archbishop and to faith leaders from all across the state who have voluntarily canceled Holy Week congregations and encourage everyone to heed the guidance: This week, home is the holy place."
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