Upcoming events canceled, postponed as COVID cases rise

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COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise throughout Tennessee, forcing the Diocese of Nashville  to respond in an attempt to protect the community. 

The annual Advancement of Catholic Education Awards and Holy Fire Nashville are among the upcoming events that will be rescheduled or have been cancelled.  

The ACE Awards, originally scheduled for Sept. 14, has been postponed “because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases,” said Ashley Linville, diocesan director of development.  

A new date has yet to be announced. “It is postponed while we evaluate the best way to move forward,” Linville said. 

Tickets that were already purchased will remain viable for the new event date, Linville said. Further information will be communicated with ticketholders once a new date and plan are in place.  

Although the event is postponed, donations can still be made at https://dioceseofnashville.com/ace/.  

“It’s important to give the resources and the access to families who desire a Catholic education and feel like that faith component, the community, and the level of education is important to them,” said Jessica Gravagna, diocesan special events coordinator. “It’s important to be able to provide to those who desire it but otherwise would not have access to it. That’s what ACE is all about.” 

Holy Fire Nashville, the retreat for middle school students featuring music, speakers and the Sacrament of the Eucharist, has been cancelled. It was originally scheduled for Oct. 29-30.   

“Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID right now, our concern was that some parishes, schools and individuals would not be able or willing to attend without certain restrictions in place, which we are not able to provide,” said Dr. Brad Peper, diocesan director for the Office of Faith Formation. “Although the situation could change by Oct. 29, the window for canceling the event was the beginning of September.  

“We, along with the producers of Holy Fire, felt that hosting the event in Nashville was potentially no longer a viable option,” he said. “We fully intend to host Holy Fire again next fall when circumstances may be more favorable since it is truly an amazing event that really ignites our youths’ passion and devotion for the faith.”  

A full refund for tickets already purchased will be given. For questions, e-mail the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry at holyfire@nfcym.org.  

On Wednesday, Sept. 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 5,422 new cases throughout the state of Tennessee adding to the 33,054 new cases reported in the last seven days.  

In Davidson County, home of the Catholic Pastoral Center for the Diocese of Nashville, 282 new cases were reported, adding to the already 5,502 active cases in the county, according to the Sept. 8 report from the Tennessee Department of Health.  

The rising number of cases prompted the diocese on Wednesday, Sept. 1, to issue a universal masking policy for diocesan schools. The policy will be evaluated every four weeks to determine if it will continue. 

For the most recent updates on the current state of new and active COVID cases, visit https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#datatracker-home or https://covid19.tn.gov/

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