St. Anthony Church priest tests positive; as a precaution, 5 other churches also closed 

A member of the clergy of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Tamuning tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on Tuesday, Nov. 10. 

The Archdiocese of Agana has announced that a member of the clergy of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Tamuning has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, prompting the temporary closure of the church for deep cleaning and sanitization today through Wednesday, Nov. 10-11.

Department of Public Health and Social Services has been notified and protocol measures have been activated. The pastor and the rest of St. Anthony’s clergy will self-isolate for three to five days until they are able to be tested for the virus and the results are negative.

The clergyman notified his pastor that he had tested positive this morning at about 11:05 after experiencing symptoms the night before.

Out of an abundance of caution, the following churches will also be closed for deep cleaning and sanitization and their pastors will also self-isolate: Our Lady of Purification in Maina, Assumption of Our Lady in Piti, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Santa Rita, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Toto and Our Lady of Lourdes in Yigo.

These precautions are being taken because in most instances, their pastors concelebrated Mass last Sunday with the St. Anthony clergyman who tested positive and they were in close proximity or contact with him at the altar. The Masses were the 9 a.m. Mass in Piti and the 11 a.m. Mass in Tamuning. In the case of the Toto pastor, he had concelebrated a funeral Mass with the positive clergyman at Immaculate Heart of Mary on Monday, Nov. 8.

Most of the clergymen were present at the ordination of a new priest last Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica. The clergyman who has tested positive was present. However, he was not situated near the rest of the clergy at the main sanctuary area nor close to the altar. He was a good distance away, toward the base of the sanctuary. At the other Masses, the positive clergyman was alongside the other priest(s) at or near the altar.

The Chancery office also closed in the afternoon today and will be closed for Veteran’s Day holiday Nov. 11 as well as Nov. 12. for deep cleaning/sanitization. This is a precautionary measure because one of the pastors had prolonged contact with staffers today.

The Archdiocese’s Contact Tracing Team has met today and has begun its supplementary work in this area. Their work does not supplant or replace that of the Public Health contact tracers.

Archbishop Michael Byrnes asks for prayers for a full and speedy recovery for the clergyman who has tested positive as well as for the other members of our parishes and island community who also have the virus.

Adjusted hours and/or Masses for affected churches:

  1. Saint Anthony, Tamuning — Closed Tues.-Wed, Nov. 10-11. Reopens Thurs., Nov. 12.

  2. Our Lady of Purification, Maina — Closed Tuesday, Nov. 10. Reopens Wed. Nov. 11.

  3. Assumption of Our Lady, Piti — Closed Tues.-Wed, Nov. 10-11. Reopens Thurs., Nov. 12

  4. Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Rita — Closed Tuesday. No regular Masses Wednesday, Friday and Saturday morning. However, Wed. and Fri. funerals will proceed.

  5. Immaculate Heart of Mary, Toto — Closed Tues-Wed., Nov. 10-11. Reopens Thurs. Nov. 12.

(Note – Father Val will still celebrate private Mass by himself and livestream it 5:30 p.m. Tues., Wed)

  1. Our Lady of Lourdes, Yigo — Closed Tues. -Wed., Nov. 10-11. Reopens Thurs. Nov. 12.

(Archdiocese of Agana News Release)