Coronavirus Update

Richard SontagLast Updated: March 19th, 2020News

UPDATE: March 19, 2020
Oberammergau Pilgrimages
This morning we received word that the Oberammergau Passion Play of 2020 will be postponed to 2022 due to the current coronavirus pandemic.

See the official announcement from the Passion Play organizers here: https://www.passionsspiele-oberammergau.de/en/home

We will be discussing these changes with all pilgrimage leaders and send out information to all affected pilgrims once we have more details.

Let us all pray to St. Joseph on this, his solemn feast day, for his continued protection during these trying times.
UPDATE: March 17, 2020
Tekton Ministries continues to monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in order to make informed decisions for the safety of our travelers. Over the last 24 years we have been committed to providing a safe, truly Catholic pilgrimage experience to all of our clients and that commitment remains as strong today in the midst of this crisis as it did at the time of our inception. All of our decisions are being based upon trustworthy information from the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. State Department and the various other local governmental organizations of the destinations we serve.

March/April Pilgrimages:
International travel has become exceedingly complicated in the last few weeks due to the current situation. It has become impossible to provide our parishes/priests with the experience that they deserve and expect from Tekton Ministries during these challenging times. Because of government and airline-imposed travel limitations and changes that are evolving daily, we have now postponed ALL of our pilgrimages in March and April to future dates decided upon by your group leaders. For these postponed March and April pilgrimages we are working tirelessly with our suppliers (airlines, hotels, motor coach companies, etc.) in order to obtain waivers of their normal cancellation/change policies in order to provide our pilgrims with the least inconvenience. This is a complicated process and there is not a one-fits-all approach to this situation, so please be patient as we work with our suppliers to negotiate the best possible outcome for you. Once we know more, we will update our pilgrimage leaders and pilgrims on a group-by-group basis. Travel expenses for our pilgrimages in March and April were for the most part already disbursed to the airlines and our partners overseas, so once refunds/credits/postponements are authorized by them we will still have to repatriate the funds back to our accounts in the United States and potential refunds to our clients may take 4-6 weeks (or longer in exceptional cases).

If you booked airfare for your pilgrimage in March or April on your own, please contact the airline you were scheduled to fly on directly to inform them that your pilgrimage has been postponed and determine what their refund and/or rebooking policy will be. In the event that your flights were booked through Tekton Ministries, we will communicate with the airline on your behalf.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience that a rescheduled pilgrimage may cause you, however your safety and well-being are our number one priority and are what has guided this decision. We pray that the situation will return to normal soon and invite you to join us in this prayer.

May 1, 2020 and Later Pilgrimages:
If you are booked on a pilgrimage starting May 1, 2020 or later, our standard cancellation policy will remain in effect. We will evaluate each pilgrimage on a case-by-case basis for those pilgrimages departing after May 1, 2020, however our hope is that the arrangements for these pilgrimages will be unaffected and will operate as planned. If it becomes apparent that a scheduled pilgrimage starting May 1, 2020 or later needs to be postponed, our office will contact each pilgrimage leader by phone and/or email to present the available options. After consultation with the pilgrimage leader, we will then reach out to all pilgrims via email.
UPDATE: March 12, 2020
Tekton Ministries is aware of the recent developments and decisions by the government to address the Coronavirus situation. At this time, we are in contact with group leaders to decide the status of upcoming pilgrimages. If it is determined that postponing your pilgrimage group will be in the best interest of the health and safety of our pilgrims, you will be notified via email.

As you can imagine, currently we are receiving an exceptionally high volume of calls and emails at this time, so please be patient as we work with your pilgrimage leaders and our partners overseas to gather the necessary information to best serve you in this time of uncertainty.

Last night, President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation affecting foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States after spending time in the Schengen region (much of Europe). This does not apply to US citizens and certain other exemptions.

The full text of this proclamation can be found here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-certain-additional-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/

In the Spirit of St. Joseph,

Richard Sontag
Founder and President
Update: March 5, 2020
Tekton Ministries is closely following the developments of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide outbreak and will notify you in the event that it affects your upcoming pilgrimage travel plans. Currently, we are receiving an exceptionally high volume of calls and emails at this time, so please be patient as we work with your pilgrimage leaders and our partners overseas to gather the necessary information on how the novel coronavirus may or may not affect your travel plans.

For further information please review the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Information website at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

Country-specific information is also available on the U.S. State Department’s Travel website at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html.

Future updates will be posted here as the situation develops. In the meantime, please rest assured that our number one commitment is to your health and safety and all of our actions will be guided accordingly.

In the Spirit of St. Joseph,

Richard Sontag
Founder and President