My brothers and sisters in Christ:
As we approach Holy Week, I write to you in hope as a pathway for emerging from the Covid pandemic is now clear for our nation. The love of God has accompanied us throughout this painful year of sickness, death and isolation, and now God has brought us vaccines that can heal us and heal our world.
It is vitally important that all of us receive the Covid vaccine. The Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are safe and effective. They are fully approved for use at this moment by the teachings of our Church. And as Pope Francis has so clearly taught, receiving the vaccine is not only for ourselves as individuals. It is for everyone that we treasure, to keep them safe and healthy and bring back the joys of life to us all.
A number of parishioners have shared with me in personal conversations their fears of taking the vaccine. All of us must understand that these fears are heartfelt, even if so many of them are rooted in misinformation. The parish will be sending out to you further information that speaks to the rumors which have generated fears in our community, as well as instructions on how to receive the vaccine. In the coming months, the vaccine will be available for every member of our society, including those without documents, and no one who cannot afford it will have to pay.
Bishop Dolan, Bishop Bejarano and I have all received the vaccine and thanked God deeply for this grace of science bestowed upon us and our society. The sooner we are all vaccinated, the sooner we will be able to return to the many joys of our lives that we have missed during this past year of suffering. The vaccines, with our continued masking and social distancing during the coming months, will bring this hateful pandemic to an end.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert W. McElroy
Bishop of San Diego