Thanksgiving Weekend Schedule

Wednesday, November 25

Exultate | Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel

Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, November 26

6:45am - 8:00am
Adoration (6:45) and Morning Prayer (7:30am) | Benet Chapel | All are welcome!

The Cystic Fibrosis Association of ND hosts their annual Virtual Turkey Trot 5K & 10K races in Bismarck. Register here. Join the UMary Running Club at the field house at 9:15 to run the 5K turkey trot on campus. Wear your best turkey costume or UMary gear!

UMary Thanksgiving Day Parade | Watch for more details! | Sponsored by Residence Life 

Write Thanksgiving cards for the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery | Outside OLA
Sponsored by Mission for Life

Mass of Thanksgiving in Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel with Monsignor Shea.
As always, Catholics and non-Catholics are welcome at Mass.

Thanksgiving Feast
| Please RSVP using the form on this page! | Lumen Vitae University Center

Turkey Bowling | Chick's Place |Sponsored by MAC

Evening Prayer | OLW

Thanksgiving Film Festival | Founders Hall

Friday, November 27

6:45am - 8:00am
Adoration (6:45) and Morning Prayer (7:30am) | Benet Chapel | All are welcome!

9:00- 9:30am
Morning Turkey Trudge | Join for a walk/jog around campus. All fitness levels are welcome! | Meet outside the fieldhouse! | Sponsored by Residence Life

Mass | OLA | All are welcome!

Coffee and Desserts available | Greg Butler Hall Lounge | Sponsored by Residence Life

Pie Making | Boniface West | Sponsored by Residence Life

Evening Prayer | OLW

8:00pm- 12:00am
Late night snacks available | Marauders Cove and Chesterton’s

Saturday, November 28

8:45 - 9:45am
Exposition and Morning Prayer | Benet Chapel | All are welcome!

9:00- 9:30am
Morning Turkey Trudge | Join for a walk/jog around campus. All fitness levels are welcome! | Meet outside the fieldhouse | Sponsored by Residence Life

Mass | OLA

Thanksgiving Charades and Scavenger Hunt | Chesterton’s | Sponsored by Residence Life

Cornhole Tournament | Hillside | Sponsored by Residence Life

Football Frenzy | North Hall | Sponsored by Residence Life

Throwback Thanksgiving Crafts | Roers Hall | Sponsored by Residence Life

8:00pm- 12:00am
Late night snacks available | Marauders Cove and Chesterton’s

Sunday, November 29

7:30- 8:45am
Exposition and Morning Prayer | Benet Chapel | All are welcome!

Mass | OLA

Mass | OLA

Main Campus Students of the University of Mary, 

I wanted to write to all of you, students of our main campus in Bismarck, with a note of encouragement and gratitude. We have made it together – in this most unusual academic year – through what I feared would be the most difficult “act” of a four-part drama.  In the marathon between Freshman Move-in and Commencement, we are ¼ of the way there, headed toward Thanksgiving and Christmas.

We have been blessed in many beautiful and unusual ways. As many of our peer institutions are reporting staggering losses in enrollment and pandemic-related outbreaks, life at the University of Mary (so far, thanks be to God) has been steady and uneventful. But it has not been effortless! I know that all of this has been hard on you, as you grapple with all the adaptations that we’ve had to make, different modes of learning, the loss of athletic competition, diminished human contact with your professors and other students … all of it takes its toll. May the Lord, in His mercy, give us an extra measure of energy and joy for our lives here together.

I also have several items of news to share with you.  We are upgrading the campus, asking you to consider not traveling for Thanksgiving, and we will be giving the option of early departure for Christmas.  Allow me to explain how these are all related.

(1)    UPGRADES:

Partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic and our good relationship with Governor Burgum and his staff at the State Capitol, the University has received very generous funding which will allow us seriously to refresh several key instructional sites throughout campus. This technology will help to get us through the pandemic and also provide more flexible teaching capacity in years to come. There is a catch, however. All of the projects have to be completed by December 30 to receive the funding.

In order to upgrade these spaces, we will need to vacate them with enough time to do some substantive work. 


At the moment, North Dakota has a very high rate of COVID-19 infection per capita, and student travel during the upcoming Thanksgiving break represents a serious risk for community spread on our campus.  This is something we have successfully avoided thus far, but a bad outbreak would have serious consequences for us.

And so I am asking you seriously to consider celebrating Thanksgiving on campus this year. Our annual Thanksgiving Meal is open this year to any University of Mary student with a valid M-Card, on-campus or off-campus, with no need to be on a meal plan. Please visit to RSVP and for more information. Here’s the schedule:

  • The Cystic Fibrosis Association of ND hosts their annual Turkey Trot 5K & 10K races in Bismarck, beginning at 9:15 a.m. Registration information in the link, above.
  • I will offer Mass at 11:30 a.m. in Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel. As always, Catholics and non-Catholics are welcome at Mass.
  • 12:30 p.m. is the starting time for the Thanksgiving Meal, served in the Lumen Vitae University Center. It will be fabulous, with turkey and pie and all the trimmings. We anticipate that a number of your professors and their families will also be joining us.
  • From 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., the Marauders Activities Committee will have some safe and entertaining fun planned on campus.
  • Starting at 5:30 p.m. and extending through the evening, I will host a socially-distanced Thanksgiving Film Festival on campus, with hot apple cider and popcorn. Location and film titles with starting times will be updated in the link, above.

The Crow’s Nest, normally closed during Thanksgiving Break, will be open to those with a meal plan throughout Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, during hours posted to the link, above. (We’ll be basing weekend food production loosely on the Thanksgiving RSVP numbers from residential students, so we can avoid a lot of food waste.)


To compensate for your willingness to stick around for Thanksgiving AND so that we can vacate some of our classrooms and auditoriums for upgrades, we have made the decision to finish all in-person instruction on campus for the semester by Friday, December 11. Final exams will continue through Friday, December 18, but they will be fully online.

Residential students retain the privilege to remain on campus through the afternoon of December 19th, as guaranteed by your housing agreements, and you are more than welcome to stay. You may enjoy the extra peace and quiet for study and rest.  Meal service in the Crow’s Nest will continue until 4:00 p.m. on the 18th, per our meal plan agreements. Of course, residents of the apartments can choose to remain on campus right through the break.

This plan gives you the option to be (safely) home for Christmas a bit sooner, if you choose, while also giving us time to do major renovations throughout campus.

If you have any questions about any of the items above, you can send them to [email protected], and we’ll do our best to get you some answers.

Students, I’m so proud of you and the many ways we have all come together in these tough times. You’re all very much in my prayers in the coming days, as you are always in the prayers of our Sisters. God bless you! Mary loves you! 

In Mary, 

Monsignor Shea