This page will be updated as new information is made available
(Latest version updated March 26, 2020)
March 26, 2020 Update
I begin this update with a word of gratitude for all the prayers offered by the students, faculty, staff, board members, and generous benefactors of the seminary. We are sustained during the Lenten season by God’s manifold blessings and encouraged by the prayers that you offer. Be assured of our prayers for you as well. Still in the light of the Solemnity of the Annunciation, we press ever deeper into the heart of Mary and Jesus with a confidence rooted in the knowledge that the Lord is with us, that the Lord desires our faith, and that despite anxieties, moments of discouragement or remoteness, we are bound spiritually in the Lord who gives us strength.
As we prayerfully and thoughtfully consider the best pathway forward for the seminary in the midst of the fluid and challenging crisis, we do so with the utmost confidence and hope that the Lord is guiding us. In that context, the seminary administration has made the decision to continue winter term courses offsite until the end of the semester, April 24th. The Dean of Studies will be ready to address any faculty questions regarding the continuance of the delivery, which will include final exams. I am deeply grateful to the faculty and the students who have worked so hard to make the adjustments necessary and I look forward to the many lessons we will learn through this experience. I see this as an unexpected grace and an opportunity for us to grow as a seminary.
The Spring Graduation scheduled for April 25th, as well as the Awards Banquet scheduled for April 24th, is cancelled. It saddens us to cancel such an important event for our students and faculty, as it gives us the opportunity to celebrate the immense amount of work accomplished and give thanks to God whose grace sustains us. The seminary administration will continue to explore options for a way to recognize the achievements of our students, especially in the context of our 100th year.
The seminary will continue to follow the recommendations from the CDC and the State of Michigan regarding business operations. We will be attentive and do our part to help flatten the curve in the State of Michigan.
To conclude, please continue to check the seminary website for the most updated information regarding our programs. We hope to have another announcement next week regarding the Spring Term. Be assured of our continued prayers for you, echoing the words of St. Paul that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rev. Msgr. Todd J. Lajiness
March 19, 2020 Update
A student in the course SS 525 Synoptic Gospels has informed us that someone in their household has tested positive for COVID-19. At this time the student has not tested positive and they have not been here at Sacred Heart since March 9th.
Upon review by the Health Department the household was informed that the seminary was not at risk of exposure. At the same time, it is with an abundance of caution that we share out this information so that we can all be vigilant. Please follow all guidelines from the CDC regarding ‘social distancing’ and if you are experiencing any symptoms connected with COVID-19, please seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Please keep the family member of our student, and all those who have contracted the virus in your prayers. If any new information is presented the seminary will be ready to communicate and share action plans. Please also check the website regularly for the most updated information.
Please remain vigilant in following recommendations from the CDC:
- Frequently wash hands with soap and water. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol base sanitizer.
- Avoid touching eyes nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick or appear to be sick.
- Stay home if you are sick, until you are fully recovered.
- Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.
March 17, 2020 Update
In addition to Sacred Heart Major Seminary's COVID-19 response on March 12, one note of clarification related to the building, the Szoka Library remains closed through at least April 13. The March 12 statement (provided below) continues to remain in effect.
This page and the SHMS social media channels will be updated regarding any new information and changes to events, postponements and cancelations.
March 12, 2020 Response
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sacred Heart Major Seminary will make the following adjustments to operations at least through April 13th.
Courses: starting Monday, March 16th through April 13th, all seated courses will be delivered through an alternative method. Courses scheduled for this evening and tomorrow morning will remain as scheduled. The Dean of Studies will coordinate with faculty to ensure class work continues according to his directives. Online courses will continue as normal. More details for faculty and students will be forthcoming from the Dean of Studies. I ask that we exercise patience as we move through this, recognizing there will be certain things we can and cannot do, but some accommodations will have to be made given the extraordinary nature of the situation.
Staff: Staff at the seminary will be asked to work from home and support/instruction will be given to optimize the daily flow communication.
Events: all events for outside groups (AOD, parish, and non-parish) are cancelled at the seminary through April 13th. Notification will be given in the coming days and the seminary will seek to coordinate as much as possible with them.
Since this is a rapidly evolving situation (hour by hour), the best means of communication will be the homepage of our website (shms.edu) and social media. I ask that you please check our website and social media regularly for the most updated information and also check your email regularly for any other communications.
Finally, since we are all in uncharted waters, I offer Matthew 8: 23-27 as perhaps an appropriate passage of Scripture for our reflection. Despite the challenges surrounding the disciples, the Lord is present to calm the waves and call forth from us great faith. He asks us to be hope-filled disciples who recognize his presence always and press into his Heart with great confidence.
Click here for more suggestions and information about the coronavirus from the CDC.
Sacred Heart Major Seminary has been, and will continue to, monitor news concerning the coronavirus. The seminary, along with the Archdiocese of Detroit are preparing for any potential impact, and will follow any recommendations for local, state and federal officials. This page will continue to be updated with new information and resources once they are available.