Archbishop Aquila receives COVID-19 vaccine; urges faithful to prayerfully discern being vaccinated

Archdiocese of Denver

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila recently received the first of two doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood. Due to his age and health risks, his doctor recommended he receive it. Last month, the Colorado bishops said it was morally permissible to to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and Archbishop Aquila encourages the faithful to prayer fully consider being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Read Archbishop Aquila’s full statement below:

“When the COVID-19 vaccine was made available to people 70+ in Colorado, my doctor encouraged me because of my age and health risks to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and recently I was able to receive my first dose of the Moderna vaccine at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the employees of Centura Health and all health care professionals for their work caring for people during this pandemic, and now their efforts to facilitate the distribution of the vaccine.  

In December, the Bishops of Colorado affirmed that receiving certain COVID-19 vaccines is morally acceptable, and I am sharing a picture of my recent vaccination in hopes of encouraging Catholics to prayerfully consider receiving one once they are eligible.  

Today, I also want to once again strongly urge all scientists, researchers, and pharmaceutical companies to only use ethical means in the development, research, design, and testing of vaccines.

May we continue to rely on Christ for strength and ask him to guide our doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals during this pandemic.”  

Featured image: Archbishop Samuel Aquila receives the first dose of the Moderna vaccine, administered by Amy Lantzy, MS, RN, CHFN at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood.  

COMING UP: From rare books to online resources, archdiocesan library has long history of service to students

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National Library Week, observed this year from April 4 to April 10, is the perfect occasion to highlight the essential role of libraries and library staff in strengthening our communities – and our very own Cardinal Stafford Library at the Archdiocese of Denver is no exception.  

Since 1932, the library has served as a religious, intellectual, and cultural resource for seminarians and students at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver.

As the library of the seminary, we are always responsible for the four dimensions of the priestly formation of our seminarians. The library is charged with being responsible to all the divisions of the Seminary: the Lay Division (Catholic Biblical School and Catholic Catechetical School), the Permanent Deacon Formation Division, and the Priestly Formation Division, said Stephen Sweeney, Library Director. 

In addition to being one of the main resources to the seminary, the Cardinal Stafford Library serves the needs of other educational programs in the Archdiocese of Denver, including the St. Francis School for Deacons, the Biblical School, the Catechetical School and the Augustine Institute. While the library is currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was previously open to anyone, giving people access to more than 150,000 books, audios, and videos. 

The Cardinal Stafford Library was named after Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, Apostolic Penitentiary at the Vatican and former Archbishop of Denver from 1986 to 1996. He was a dedicated advocate of the library and of Catholic education.

In 1932, the library was established by two seminarians, Maurice Helmann and Barry Wogan. While they were not the first seminarians to conceive the idea of establishing a library, they are considered the founders for undertaking its organization.  

Since its founding, the library has grown and compiled a fine collection of resources on Catholic theology, Church history, biblical studies, liturgy, canon law, religious art, philosophy, and literature. Special collections include over 500 rare books dating back to the early 16th century and many periodicals dating back to the 1800s. The oldest publication in the library is a book on excommunication published in 1510. The Cardinal Stafford Library is also home to various relics and holds bills personally written by some of those saints.  

Over the past few years, the library has undergone a process of beautification through various renovations that include improvements in lighting, flooring, and even furniture restoration. During these difficult times, libraries are doing their best to adapt to our changing world by expanding their digital resources to reach those who don’t have access to them from home. 

The Cardinal Stafford Library provides a community space; we subscribe to about 200 print journals and have access to literally thousands more through online resources available on campus computers, Sweeney added. “I have been the Library Director for almost 11 years. I absolutely love my work, especially participating in the intellectual formation of the faithful from all of the dioceses we serve”.  

For more information on the Cardinal Stafford Library, visit: 

Featured photo by Andrew Wright