The Rt. Rev. Michael Hawkins, Bishop of the Diocese of Saskatchewan, has been admitted to an intensive care unit of a Saskatchewan hospital after being diagnosed with the COVID virus. The Saskatchewan synod office has been closed in recent weeks due to the second wave of COVID-19 spreading through the region, but an email released by the diocese of Ontario this week urged prayer for Bishop Hawkins and his family as he battles the disease.
On 4 November 2020 Bishop Hawkins wrote to his diocese warning of the dangers of the virus. He noted: “There has been a recent spike in cases in the north of Saskatchewan including a large outbreak associated with gatherings for public worship in a Church, of another denomination, in Prince Albert. Thank God, there have been no deaths but the fear, danger, and disruption caused by that outbreak are a warning to us.”
He asked the clergy to “keep all the provincial and diocesan guidelines with even more diligence and care. That includes physical distancing and frequent hand washing or sanitizing. It is a legal requirement that any member of the congregation singing in Church wear a mask. I am pleading with you to wear a mask whenever you are in Church (in the church building or associated hall for any purpose). I ask this of all of you as your brother in Christ, your bishop and father in God.”
“Please wear a mask in Church,” he wrote, shortly before he took ill.