The Congregation of Marian Fathers has decided to cancel this year's celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday at the shrine in Stockbridge.

An announcement on their website says the decision not to hold the outdoor event on April 18-19 was made in collaboration with local health officials and emergency personnel. It said, "The Marian Fathers deeply apologize to all the dedicated organizers and faithful pilgrims who were planning to be with us. Out of our care and concern for the wellbeing of each person, we do not wish to increase the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 (coronavirus)."

The event is held annually on the weekend following Easter. It draws thousands of pilgrims from around the world to a weekend of special programming and two outdoor Masses at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge.

Although the Divine Mercy Weekend programs are cancelled the website notes that the Shrine remains open with its regular daily schedule of Masses, opportunities for confession, and devotions.