Newman Centers


Does anyone know where I can find information about what college campus' offer Newman Centers? I am on a college hunt for my 17 year old daughter. I also would like more information about the mission of the Newman Centers and what it offers college students. Thanks for any feedback.:)


What region is your daughter looking to go to school in? I think that will make it easier to look for schools with a Newman Center. My bet is that a majority of the schools will be in the North East.

there you go :slight_smile:


Great list, boson!

Also, to the OP: as a recent product of Newman Centers (one in Florida and one in Boston), I can tell you what they offer in young adult terms as opposed to sounding like a brochure:

  • social circle who likes the same games, books, music, etc. that secular friends do, BUT you can talk Catholic things to the heart’s content. :thumbsup:

  • free spaghetti (or some such) dinners one night a week

  • safe, chaste, FUN social activities where you meet great guys and girls and have fun without pressure to do drugs or alcohol

  • enthusiastic volunteers who put together other events like retreats (one changed my life) or Bible studies…and…

  • good, holy marriages! So many couples met through the Catholic Centers I attended and now are engaged, married, expecting (in that proper order) and are happy and loving.


Thanks for the info. We are in California so we will research Newman Centers here.


I would keep in mind that a lot of schools may have active catholic ministry without having Newman centers, such as mine.


One of my boys went to ASU in Tempe, AZ and they had a robust Newman Center community of folks and great priests at the Chapel on the edge of the campus. We were very grateful for it’s influence.


My family and I attend the one at Northern Illinois University at times. It is a very active Newman Center and extremely holy. They are blessed with wonderful priests who do not water anything down (every time I leave mass I feel consciously challenged and seem to discover my sins at deeper levels). They do not shy away from current events and how they relate to Catholic teaching either.

Though I have not experienced this Newman Center, the pastor for the Newman Center at University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana is on Relevant Radio a lot (it's a Catholic radio station that is fabulous). From how it sounds, he is pastor of a wonderful Newman Center also.


I'm kind of new here, and just kind of looking around, getting familiar with this website.

I, too, attended (and graduated from) Northern Illinois University. I was a "non-trad" commuter student there, and when my schedule allowed, I attended daily Mass there. On weekends, I attended Mass at my home parish, where I'm an usher & EM, so I never got to St. Francis (the Newman Center) for weekend Mass. As GMarie offered, it was quite a vibrant faith community, and when I was a student, we even had a married priest (an Episcopalian convert, I believe) which sort of rocked me back on my heels at first.

Back to the topic: From our researching when our sons sought out schools, most large public universities have some Catholic-affiliated organization like the Newman Centers; Western Illinois U had one, and so did Illinois State and U of Illinois. The Catholic Universities usually had an integral Catholic faith organization.



Hi, everyone! Asking for prayers as my school tries to build a Newman Center. We’ve had a Catholic ministry for years, but we are praying and trying to secure a building for us. Thanks!


You will have to look into each individual center . Both schools that my sons went to had Newman centers. The Mass was not done according to the rubrics at either of them. Very disappointing.


[quote="Seatuck, post:10, topic:197599"]
You will have to look into each individual center . Both schools that my sons went to had Newman centers. The Mass was not done according to the rubrics at either of them. Very disappointing.


I agree. As a recent college graduate, the Newman Center was disappointing. The priest was so liberal, that once when I went to confession to confess a sin that I KNEW had been a sin, he was like "oh don't worry about it, it wasn't anything big." Never went back to him again. He had a LOT of complaints about him, so one mass his whole homily was about not complaining about people. Well it was more than that, but it was so obvious he was talking about himself. Also, the deacon wouldn't let the secretary listen to EWTN on the radio!

He wasn't pro-active about things either, and didn't let the students grow. I think they have a new priest there now, but since I've graduated, I don't know how it's been. :shrug: I hope other Newman Centers are a lot better


Another suggestion is to look at the diocesan level. If there is a solid bishop in the diocese of the university, my guess is that the Newman Center will also be solid because that bishop does assign the priests to the center. I hope that helps.


Not in the frequent case of Newman Centers operated by religious orders such as the Dominicans.

I attended the Newman Center at ASU for a few years and I had mixed experiences there. Many of the priests were holy men and wonderful preachers, a few of them were not so great. But they uniformly seemed to enjoy liturgical innovation, and there were many irregularities in the celebration of sacraments that rubbed me the wrong way. This is a matter in which the diocesan bishop supposedly retains authority.

Coincidentally, the same bishop has decided to exercise his authority over that Newman Center and oust the Dominicans. It will be under diocesan control as of June this year. Notwithstanding the shenanigans in the liturgy, the center really did have a vibrant community, and the priest being sent there is top-notch, so I’m sure it will remain an excellent place for religious formation.


If you’re looking for a Catholic presence on a campus do not limit yourself to looking for a “Newman Center.” That’s what’s available in some places while others have full-fledged parishes serving them. Try Googling the name of the school and “catholic” to see what is available.

For a number of years I attended a church designated a “University Parish.” Unlike a Newman Center it could offer all the sacraments including marriages and baptisms.


Also look for places where FOCUS has established campus ministries. While there are both good and bad Newmann center’s (including some excellent ones), you can’t go wrong with Focus; it hasn’t been around long enough to have any dead weight! :smiley:


Here in San Diego, UCSD has a Newman Center and also SDSU. The pastor of the church we attend sometimes on Sunday night is also the chaplain of the one at SDSU. He is excellent. UCLA had one, many years ago, but I’m no sure if it is still active.


Yes it is.


I live down the street from an AMAZING Newman center run by the Oratorians( sorry about the spelling) here in Pittsburgh! It is highly vibrant young community, I was welcomed in and I am am three years out of school! :slight_smile:


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