Not every man or woman has the means to attend a Catholic college or university, but every man and woman can attend Mass and receive the Eucharist each weekend because of the availability of the Newman Apostolate Program. Newman Centers provide a “Home Parish” away from home for our young people who attend public colleges and universities. It is crucial at this stage in their lives that they continue to walk in the faith – nourished by both the Word and Sacrament. Newman Centers afford our young adults the opportunity to grow in their faith. It also gives them a place to seek comfort and friendship in a non-threatening atmosphere and escape the pressures and obstacles present in today’s college life.
The Newman Campus Ministry program plays an important role in keeping Christ in our young adults. Newman Centers respond to the personal and religious needs of college students, both Catholic and non-Catholic.
Named in honor of John Henry Cardinal Newman, the Newman Centers are residence and Catholic Ministry centers at non-Catholic universities throughout the world. They were inspired by Newman’s writings encouraging societies for catholic students attending secular universities.
The first Newman Center was established in 1893 at the University of Pennsylvania by Timothy Harrington, a graduate medical student together with John Gilbride, James and Joseph Walsh with assistance of Father P. J. Garvey, pastor of the local St. James Catholic Church.
The centers provide pastoral services and ministries to their Catholic communities, in particular to the Roman Catholic student population within universities. However, Christians of other denominations often come and participate. A variety of university and parish related meetings and social events take place at the centers, as well as weddings, anniversary celebrations, baptisms masses and funeral receptions.
The Illinois Knights of Columbus dedicated themselves to the support of the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry in 1917 when they began supporting the Newman Foundation at the University of Illinois. In 1959 the Illinois State Council allocated funds for other schools throughout the state and today, we Knights of Illinois support more than 800,000 students enrolled in Illinois Colleges and Universities.
Newman Centers at state-supported colleges in the 1950’s, ‘60’s and ‘70’s addressed student’s sacramental and social needs but were less likely than Catholic colleges to offer courses in theology, liturgy, moral issues or spirituality. Whereas the motivation was once safeguarding Catholics from “losing their faith”, today campus ministry programs work to foster a faith that will grow as the students mature and accept more responsibilities in family, Church and society. Focusing on these aspects:
Forming a Faith Community……….Appropriating the Faith…….
Forming the Christian Conscience…………Educating for Justice………..
Facilitating Personal Development……Developing Leaders….Vocation Ministry….
We are asking for your support because the Illinois Diocesan budgets have either reduced or eliminated funding for the Newman Ministries.
Consider making a personal donation to the Newman program to help keep this program strong and growing for our College Students.
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At the Newman Center we learn to be Christ for one another.