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KAFB Chapel holds first "drive-in" service

Priest giving communion

KAFB church members line up in their cars to receive communion during a chapel service at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, July 12, 2020. The chapel held a “drive-in” service in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to abide by all recommended base protocols. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Enrique Barcelo)

Chaplain greets parishioners

Capt. Bedemoore Udechukwu, 377th ABW chaplain, greets parishioners during a chapel service at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, July 12, 2020. The chapel held a “drive-in” service in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to abide by all recommended base protocols. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Enrique Barcelo)

Service members listen to outdoor service

Members of the congregation sit with windows rolled down to listen to a sermon during a chapel service at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, July 12, 2020. The chapel held a “drive-in” service in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to abide by all recommended base protocols. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Enrique Barcelo)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

The Kirtland Air Force Base Chapel staff coordinated the first “drive-in” Catholic service in the chapel parking lot at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, July 12, 2020. The service allowed for parishioners to come together, while following social distancing protocols for large gatherings.

The service is typically held in the chapel, but in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to abide by all recommended base protocols, the congregation set up cones and volunteers to direct traffic in the parking lot outside.

“We are currently only allowing active duty members and their families to attend,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Bedemoore Udechukwu, 377th Air Base Wing chaplain. “Eventually we would like to see everyone return, but we are grateful for this in the meantime.”

Members who attended were directed to park allowing for ample space and with windows rolled down so they could hear the choir, music and worship. As the service came to an end, the cars rolled out one at a time to receive communion before departing.

For more information regarding KAFB Chapel services, counseling, advice or prayer, contact the chapel staff at 505-846-5691 or follow their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kirtlandchapel.