Featured Ministry

UNC Chapel Hill Newman Catholic Student Center Parish

Over the October 14-16, 2022 weekend, UNC students participated in the UNC Chapel Hill Newman Catholic Student Center Parish – Carolina Awakening 14 Retreat, pictured here with Our Lady of the Angels Province friar ~ Fr. Tim Kulbicki, OFM Conv. (their Pastor and Campus Minister).

One of our province pastoral ministries is also a college campus ministry. Served by our friars since 2013, the UNC Chapel Hill Newman Catholic Student Center Parish is a parish of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh ministering to students, faculty, and staff of UNC and alumni, families, friends, and visitors to Chapel Hill, NC. Our Lady of the Angels Province friars, Fr. Tim Kulbicki, OFM Conv. (Pastor and Campus Minister) and Fr. Bill Robinson, OFM Conv. (Assisting Clergy) currently serve in ministry there.

A bit of history extracted from the ministry’s website:

“The Catholic presence in Chapel Hill dates from at least the 1920’s. In 1922 the newly created St. Thomas More Mission began celebrating Mass for a handful of students in a second-floor room in Gerrard Hall of the University of North Carolina campus. By 1934 the congregation had grown to nearly 200, including some non-students, and Mass moved to the second floor of Graham Memorial. These faithful few pioneers contributed to the conversion of novelist Walker Percy to Catholicism. In 1940 the mission became an independent parish. Its growing size led to Mass being celebrated in the Hill Hall auditorium until a new and proper church was built on Gimghoul Road in 1957. 
A separate campus ministry was made necessary by an influx of Catholic cadets to the U.S. Navy pre-flight school beginning in 1942. In 1945 the Diocese of Raleigh purchased the property and “White House” at 218 Pittsboro Street for the Catholic Student Center; a picture of this building can be found near the Pittsboro Street doors of the Church. The continuing growth of the Catholic student population at UNC led the Diocese of Raleigh to demolish the “White House” and replace it with a single-story multi-purpose Church building in 1968; this construction was financed by the first Bishop’s Annual Appeal (BAA). In 1971 Newman was canonically erected as an independent non-territorial parish serving the UNC Chapel Hill community. While it technically bears the title of Mary, Mother of the Church, it remains popularly known and loved as the Newman Catholic Community. Continued growth of the Catholic student population at UNC led in 1999 to an expansion and renovation of the Church building, and in 2013 the next-door Wesley Center was purchased as the Newman Activity Center.” [Read More]

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