UGA Catholic Center Celebrates Black History Month

Maria Hayes Around the Province

ATHENS, Ga. — February has been a busy month for the Catholic Center at the University of Georgia.

This past weekend, students gathered to hear Luke Timothy Johnson, professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Emory University, speak at the student Mass about “Learning Jesus in the Life of the Church.” He answered questions at the student dinner following Mass.

The center’s sixth annual Black History Month event was held Feb. 17. Campus minister David Hyman, OFM, coordinated the afternoon program, which included “an incredibly rich and gifted diversity of talent, holding up music, poetry, and story from the black roots of America to the musical roots in the black community of Brazil,” according to David. Attendees were treated to presentations from nine professors, some retired, from the University of Georgia.

“The climax was with a guest speaker, Dr. Deryl Bailey, an associate professor in the department of counseling, who said he wasn’t much impressed with Black History Month celebrations, but if they were like this one, he was all for them,” said David, pictured above with some of the celebration’s participants.

“My own take is that Black History Month is a chance to discover a rich and still largely hidden heritage that is not hidden in another land but percolated over centuries right in our midst,” David continued. “Black people used to sometimes say ‘We are a nation within a nation.’ My intention is to, in some small way, at least once a year, mine that nation, that heritage, and celebrate it.”

More photos from the event are available on the center’s Facebook page.

After Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, Thomas Vigliotta, OFM, responded to questions from three local reporters. In The Red and Black, the university’s award-winning newspaper, Thomas stated that Benedict’s resignation was good for the life of the Church and highlighted the importance of local churches and their leaders.

“Most of the Church happens at the local level,” said Tom, who has served as UGA’s campus ministry director since 2005. “We certainly see the papacy as a sign of unity, but also, when you go into your individual parishes or faith communities, clergy working day in and day out with the people right in front of them. There’s something to be said for that, too.”

Prior to the start of Lent, the university’s Silver Angels group sponsored the second annual Mardi Gras luncheon. Several days later, the center held a Charis retreat, which attracted 18 young adults who spent time considering the retreat’s theme, “Transitions: What’s Next?”

On Feb. 8, Michael Adams, university president, gave the keynote address at UGA’s monthly meeting of the Campus Ministry Association. The meetings are being held at the Catholic Center this semester. A photo of David with Adams is included behind the image above.

 Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province. Linda DiPietro, administrative assistant at the University of Georgia’s Catholic Center, provided information for this story.