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Priest Who Volunteered for COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Passes Away

Fr. John M. Fields, a Pennsylvania priest who had participated within the third and last section of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trial, died November 27. Fr. Fields, a priest of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, was 70 and died at his dwelling in Philadelphia.

The reason for demise was an obvious coronary heart assault, in response to Fr. Michael Hutsko, pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania. Fr. Fields didn’t have COVID-19, Auxiliary Bishop Andriy Rabiy, vicar common of the archeparchy, confirmed Monday.

Metropolitan Archbishop Borys Gudziak of Philadelphia stated in an announcement that he and Fr. Fields, who served as communications director of the archeparchy, had simply spoken earlier than Thanksgiving and that Fr. Fields “was in good spirits and seemingly bettering in his well being.”

“Fr. John was an ardent American patriot and a proud service of the legacy of his Pennsylvania coal mining homeland,” Archbishop Gudziak stated. “There’s nothing that he liked greater than sharing tales of the individuals, parishes, and previous of our Anthracite area.

“He remained hopeful concerning the future, that of the Church, the nation, and his personal capacity

to make a contribution,” the archbishop continued. “As Father John professed and preached, our hope is within the Lord and His Resurrection.”

A November 23 Catholic Information Service article reported that when Fr. Fields obtained an e mail this summer time from the College of Pennsylvania asking if he want to take part within the vaccine trials, he answered “sure” instantly.

“I didn’t hesitate,” he informed the wire service. “It might be a fantastic alternative to combat this pesky virus that abruptly appeared and wreaked havoc all through the world, bringing demise and disrupting each side of our lives.”

Fr. Fields was the primary volunteer within the research on the College of Pennsylvania, and obtained his first injection August 31, stated CNS.

He stated that for the primary week after the injection, he needed to make a day by day report of his temperature and any signs — fatigue, nausea, injection web site ache, arm swelling, chills or fever, or complications, in response to CNS. He stated he didn’t have any. He obtained a second injection on October 1, after which he once more felt no signs.

On October 26, he returned for a follow-up analysis. He was to proceed to be evaluated for 25 months. He was gratified listening to information that the Moderna vaccine was displaying a really excessive effectiveness fee.

Fr. Fields stated he by no means had any concern concerning the dangers of taking part within the trials.

“I assumed it was a win-win scenario,” he informed CNS. By being within the research, he stated he “might be able to contribute in some small option to the event of an efficient vaccine that might assist cease this worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and the worry, struggling and demise that it has already prompted to tens of millions and finish the shutdowns and assist restore society as soon as once more to a traditional life-style. And hopefully, if I didn’t get a placebo and really obtained the vaccine that subsequently receives approval, I might be among the many first to profit from the medical breakthrough of the Moderna vaccine.”

The priest expressed the hope that together with the just about 30,000 different volunteers all through the USA within the Moderna research, “collectively we might have helped to

defeat this lethal virus and stop tens of millions of deaths all through the world. For this, I’m grateful to God, for this chance.”

Educated as a lawyer

John Michael Fields was born on February 19, 1950, in Butler Township, Pennsylvania. He obtained a bachelor’s diploma from Lehigh College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1972, with a twin main in Russian research and political science. In 1975, he earned a J.D. in legislation at Villanova College’s Charles Widger College of Legislation. He was a companion on the Thomas and Fields Legislation Workplace.

He entered St. Josaphat’s Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Washington, D.C., and studied on the College of Theology on the Catholic College of America. After receiving an M.A. in theology in 1986, he accomplished coursework in canon legislation at Catholic College.

Philadelphia Metropolitan Archbishop Stephen Sulyk ordained him to the diaconate on April 4, 1985, and to the priesthood on Could 11, 1986. Each ordinations have been on the Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Philadelphia. On Could 17, 1998, Archbishop Sulyk conferred upon Fr. Fields the title “Protopresbyter (Archpriest)” for his devoted work within the priesthood. 

Fr. Fields was a pastor at a number of parishes in Pennsylvania. Between 1988 and 2004, he oversaw the development and rededication of two new church buildings and took pleasure in serving to design each to emulate the standard picket church constructions present in Ukraine.

Amongst many different positions, Fr. Fields served as editor of “The Means,” the official newspaper of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia, and as a member of the board of administrators of the Pennsylvania Catholic Convention.

He’s survived by two sisters, Diane M. (Dennis) Berkheiser and MaryAnn Fields-Whyne, as

properly as nephews and nieces.

A funeral might be provided at St. Michael Church in Frackville, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, December 3, at 11 a.m.  Fr. Subject’s household requests that in lieu of flowers or different choices that donations be made in his identify to the St. Josaphat Seminary Endowment Fund, c/o Archbishop’s Chancery, 810 North Franklin Road, Philadelphia, PA 19123.

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