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Phoenix bishop tested after priest at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral tests positive for COVID-19

The cathedral is changing its mass and communion schedule as Bishop Olmsted and Fr. John Lankeit, rector of the church, wait for their test results.

PHOENIX — Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted is isolating himself as he awaits test results after a top cleric at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral tested positive for COVID-19. 

Fr. Rafael Umaña's condition has improved since testing positive for COVID-19, and he has been taking extra precautions in the rectory, the Diocese of Phoenix announced in a statement Saturday

Ss. Simon & Jude is the cathedral church housing the chair of the bishop.

Fr. John Lankeit, rector of the cathedral, is also self-isolating as he awaits his test results. Fr. John Nahrgang was away from the rectory on vacation, so he will preside over Saturday's wedding masses and the Sunday 9 a.m. mass. 

The judicial vicar for the Diocese of Phoenix, Fr. Chris Fraser, will celebrate Saturday's confirmation and first communion in place of Bishop Olmsted. 

If you attended the 6 p.m. mass the past two Sundays or had close contact with Fr. Rafael in the past two weeks, the Diocese of Phoenix advises that you monitor your health and consider getting tested for COVID-19. 

The church is changing its mass and confession schedule in the meantime:

  • Only the televised 9 a.m. mass will be celebrated Sunday, June 27. The remaining Sunday masses at 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. have been canceled.
  • Holy Communion distribution in Smith Hall is also canceled.
  • Daily masses and confessions are canceled from Monday through Wednesday of next week.
Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral Statement on Priest Testing Positive for COVID-19 June 27, 2020 As we continue to journey as a community through this pandemic, we are sharing the following letter from Fr. John Lankeit, rector of Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, regarding recent developments there: Dear Parishioners, Fr.


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