WASHINGTON, D.C. – As of Thursday, March 26, 2020, the Edwin Cardinal O’Brien Pastoral Center is closed to the public until further notice due to concern about spread of the novel coronavirus. The Pastoral Center on Michigan Avenue in northeast Washington is headquarters for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). It is normally open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio ordered the temporary shutdown in response to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s May 24 order temporarily ceasing onsite non-essential business activities in the District of Columbia and prohibiting gatherings of ten or more people. Mayor Bowser’s order is effective from last night at 10:00 p.m. through April 24, 2020, unless extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended. AMS staffers who are able will telework from home and be accessible by email or telephone. Any updates on the status of the Edwin Cardinal O’Brien Pastoral Center will be posted on the AMS website, www.milarch.org.
Meanwhile, Archbishop Broglio is encouraging the faithful to unite themselves with Pope Francis as he prays before the Blessed Sacrament on Friday, March 27, at 1:00 p.m. ET (6:00 p.m. in Rome). At the conclusion of that gathering the Holy Father will give his blessing urbi et orbi (“to the city and the world”) in supplication for an end to the current health crisis. All participants will receive a plenary indulgence, provided they pray for the intentions of the pope and receive Holy Communion and the sacrament of penance when they can. The papal prayer may be followed live through the Vatican News portal and App, www.vaticannews.va. A simultaneous translation in Spanish, Portuguese, English, French, German, Arabic and Chinese will accompany this broadcast.