EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The New Mexico State Police and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe urge the faithful to stay home during Holy Week.
During this time of the year, many take part in the annual pilgrimages to El Santuario de Chimayo and Tome Hill. But this year, these New Mexico traditions have been canceled by New Mexico State Police and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
The decision was made to cancel the events due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concern for the safety of pilgrims journeying to sacred sites.
“While the New Mexico State Police respect the religious rights of all New Mexico residents, as we recommend last year, we strongly discourage anyone from participating in these pilgrimages out of concern for their safety, as traditional safety measures, like traffic control, will not be provided again this year,” said New Mexico State Police Chief Robert Thornton.
According to a release, safety provisions provided by NMDOT along the highly traveled routes to the holy sites will not be available. This includes lighting structures, trash receptacles, traffic signs, electronic message boards, barrels and cones.
“The (New Mexico Department of Transportation) understands how disappointing this must be for many New Mexicans, but the COVID danger remains and without added safety provisions, the risk of injury or death by walking on poorly lit, high-traffic roadways is too great,” said Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval.