UNC Chapel Hill Newman Catholic Student Center Parish (pastoral and university campus ministry of our province, in Chapel Hill, NC) came out on Mother’s Day 2020 weekend, to celebrate Liturgy publicly for the first time in two months. In his latest executive order the Governor of North Carolina allowed outdoor religious gatherings, as long as social distancing was maintained and the wearing of masks was encouraged. The Bishop of Raleigh permitted the celebration of the Eucharist under the same rules. Since Newman had been prepared for this eventuality, our pastoal ministry there was able to organize and publicize celebrations within two days.
Fr. Timothy Kulbicki, OFM Conv. (Pastor & Campus Minister – pictued at left) and Fr. William Robinson, OFM Conv. (Parochial Vicar & Associate Campus Minister) were able to hear confessions on the afternoon of Saturday, May 9, 2020, in the well-ventilated narthex. Access to the nave or Eucharistic Chapel were not allowed. A 9:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday, May 10, 2020, found 85 people gathered in the parking lots, with another 65 at the 11:00 a.m., which was also livestreamed. Those cathered enjoyed full liturgical music, with one-use liturgical aids at each Mass. Many (including our friars) were deeply moved, with tears in their eyes.