March 30, 2020 • For Immediate Release
The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests made the announcement in the March 29 e-bulletin: “In the interest of the safety of our members and friends, our planned physically-present 2020 Assembly in Maryland has been cancelled.” Registration fees will be returned.
Coronavirus travel restrictions have led the AUSCP leadership team in planning “to hold a virtual Assembly using today’s media during the same June 22-25 time-frame, addressing the same theme and with, we anticipate, our publicized keynoters,” according to the newsletter.
The 2020 assembly had been booked at the Maritime Conference Center in the Baltimore-Washington area, on the theme, Our Catholic Faith in the Political World, with keynoters, Sister Carol Keehan, Mr. John Carr and Archbishop John Wester. Sister Simone Campbell was to lead attendees in contemplative response to the presentations. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the U.S. papal nuncio, was to give a homily and preside at the Assembly Mass. Sister Carol Zinn was scheduled to lead a retreat on the opening day.
“We hope to have [the new] arrangements in place within the next few weeks,” said e-bulletin editor and executive secretary, Sister Jackie Doepker. “Please reserve those dates on your calendars and stand-by until we get this re-organization in place. It will be a national Assembly with all participants staying in place!”
Executive Director Father Bob Bonnot saw a bright side to the development, noting that attendees will not need to pay for travel and lodging. “We hope even to engage many more of our members than the 300 we had hoped to gather, so please stand-by for further information.
Contact: Father Bob Bonnot, email@example.com, (330) 397-1257
or Sister Jackie Doepker, firstname.lastname@example.org, (872) 205-5862