For the second year in a row, the Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland will not open to the public due to COVID-19, and the resulting financial impact has been measured in the millions of dollars.
Canada’s National Shrine of the North American Martyrs announced on Wednesday it would not be reopening to the public again this year, due to public health restrictions in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. As a result, Martyrs’ Shrine was required to take action to mitigate the financial burden caused by its forced closure. This included a significant number of staff layoffs and a considerable reduction in operating expenses, including infrastructure work.
The shrine estimates the region will lose out on some $26 million that would have otherwise been generated from visitation to the site. Martyrs’ Shrine has welcomed pilgrims to congregate and worship at the site in years previous, often thousands at a time.
Martyrs’ Shrine says donations will be critical for its operation in the months ahead, as it works to resume regular operation in May of 2022. Donations can be made through the Martyrs’ Shrine website and are eligible for a receipt for income tax purposes.