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Richmond’s Catholic Bishop talks about his COVID-19 test

The bishop addressed his own emotions during this time
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Posted at 12:35 PM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 12:39:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. - Diocese of Richmond Catholic Bishop Barry Knestout delivered the homily Sunday in an internet Mass, days after putting himself in quarantine.

Bishop Knestout gave his remarks from a side altar in Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. He was not the main celebrant of the Mass to maintain social distancing. Sunday’s interest Mass was given after services across the diocese were canceled in response to Governor Ralph Northam’s call to cancel any gatherings of 10 people or more.

In his homily, Bishop Knestout said after experiencing cold symptoms, but without a fever, his doctor advised him to get the test for COVID-19. He was tested in the outdoor triage at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond after tests for flu and strep were negative. Bishop Knestout is still waiting for the results of the COVID-19 test.

The Bishop addressed his own emotions during this time saying, “as the alarms in the media and from government leaders were being raised and growing stronger, I could feel worries and emotions of fear building up within me.”

He addressed the conflict many may be feeling about wanting to be close to friends and family in a time of social distancing, saying, “Isolation can be as dangerous to life as a virus, let’s not allow the anxiety of the virus to keep us from giving charity to those in need, wherever we find them.”

The Bishop also encouraged people to act as if they have the virus in an effort to protect others from harm. He encouraged the use of technology to protect those in need.

He stated that if “each of us can plan to contact 10 people each day to encourage them, to listen to them, find out if they have any needs, if they are struggling with any difficulties, once we know these difficulties with courage we should act.”

Bishop Knestout closed in homily reminding those watching, “in prayer, we are truly never alone.”

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