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    Safety Precautions at Masses Encourage University Community Me...

    Mass on Aug. 23, 2020
    August 26, 2020
    "I know that every precaution is being taken in order to ensure my safety and the safety of my fellow students."- Joseph Fullam '22

    Encouraged by the safety precautions in place, hundreds of students, faculty and staff have turned out for campus Masses this semester. About 180 members of the University community attended the first Sunday Mass of the semester on Aug. 16, with more than 1,000 others watching via livestream.

    Joseph Fullam ‘22 serves as a cantor and is among the musicians, lectors, ushers and greeters who have been trained by the Campus Ministries staff in safety precautions and protocol. With Royal card swipe-only access, social distancing and required masks in a large, well-ventilated area, students report feeling safe at the gatherings.

    “I have felt safe going to Mass, because I know that every precaution is being taken in order to ensure my safety and the safety of my fellow students,” said Fullam. “I must wear a mask while I sing and must sterilize my hands every time I step on and off the cantor stand. While it is upsetting the congregation cannot sing with me, I am happy knowing they have put faith in me to sing and give glory to God on their behalf.”

    The first Mass in the Byron Recreation Complex included a blessing of the Class of 2024 banner. University Campus Ministries is abiding by the liturgical guidelines of the Diocese of Scranton. Students, faculty and staff receive communion before exiting. The entire space is then sanitized.

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    Above: Rev. Herbert Keller, S.J., blesses the Class of 2024 banner at the Aug. 16 Mass.

    "It is especially important that our school community can have the opportunity to be able to worship in a safe and comfortable environment."- Rev. Herbert Keller, S.J., Vice President for Mission and Ministry

    “Because so much in our world has been disturbed by the COVID crisis, people are understandably unsettled,” said Rev. Herbert Keller, S.J., vice president for Mission and Ministry. “So, it is especially important that our school community can have the opportunity to be able to worship in a safe and comfortable environment. The Mass is at the heart of our life at this Catholic and Jesuit institution, so it is truly a blessing to be able to come together as a school community on Sunday evenings at 7:00 p.m.”

    Coming together as a community is paramount, especially right now, agreed Fullam.

    “For me, Mass is the greatest display of community here at the University,” he said. “Being given the opportunity to gather as a family and share in something that represents who we are as students of The University of Scranton is an amazing gift!”

    More than 220 members of the University community attended the second Mass of the semester on Aug. 23.

    “At Campus Ministries, we are very grateful to all those who have come together to allow this to happen,” said Fr. Keller. “We thank Father Pilarz who made securing a proper space for Sunday Mass a top priority. We are grateful as well to all those in facilities, physical plant, and IT who have worked to put the space together for us."

    For more information about Masses this semester, click here.

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