University of Iowa - Archdiocese of Davenport

In what seems like our never-ending search for faithful, orthodox Newman Centers in the Midwest, does anyone know much about the Newman Center at the University of Iowa or the diocese of Davenport? Where some of the staff is from at the Center worries me (the Chaplain used to be at St. Ambrose. When we visited this school, if it wasn’t for the name, I never would have guessed it was Catholic…) Thank you!

It looks like he also studied in Rome. :shrug: I wouldn’t make too much of any guilt-by-association without anything else to go by.

The best way to find out about a place is to look at their programs. What do they offer for further formation in the faith? You can always call and ask them.

We live near Iowa City, and sometimes hit the “last chance” 6 pm Sunday Mass at the Newman Center. I tend to divide parishes into two categories: “felt banner” churches and “statuary” churches, and I feel more comfortable in the latter. I’ve never heard either of the priests who are there currently say anything that I was bothered by. I don’t think you have anything to fear.

Considering how liberal the U of I is, it is surprising how traditional Iowa City Catholics are. If you are uncomfortable at the Newman Center, you only need to walk one block east to arrive at St. Mary’s.Father John is a great guy. Go there to admire the statues if nothing else. You can walk another 8 blocks or so and arrive at my home parish, St. Wenceslaus. Our 10 am Sunday has lots of young families and donuts after Mass.

When your parents are in town, get in the car and take them out to St. Pat’s. It’s a very family-oriented parish. They have a Perpetual Adoration chapel. Their 8:30 a.m. daily Mass will change your life.

If you’re feeling low, get hooked up with someone who has kids at Regina Catholic Education. There are weekly prayer services at the elementary and high school that will lift you up. Speaking of Regina: promise me that you will walk up to the elementary front door and ask to see the chapel. Some of my favorite art anywhere, though the name of the artist escapes me.

…and you would only be about 20 minutes away from the 11 a.m. Latin Mass that is said at St. Mary’s Riverside every Sunday, if that is your thing. You would be amazed at the number of people under 30 that are there.


Thanks. That helps. We’ll be visiting this summer. I appreciate all the great tips!

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