Newman Centers

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Newman Centers, Newman Houses, Newman Clubs, or Newman Communities are Roman Catholic ministry centers at non-Catholic universities found throughout the world. The establishment of this movement was inspired by the writings of Cardinal John Henry Newman encouraging societies for Catholic students attending secular universities.[1] The first Newman club was established in 1888 at Oxford; the original Catholic club was founded by Hartwell de la Garde Grissell.

These centers/houses may include residential living space (such as Troy University), or may be actual houses close to the campus with or without a chapel (such as the Newman House associated with UMass Dartmouth).[2] Activities vary between Newman Centers/Houses/Clubs but usually include both spiritual worship (like Sunday mass and Eucharistic Adoration), social get-togethers (like movies or coffee socials) and group outings (like apple picking, March for Life events, and amusement parks).

The first American Newman Club[3] was established in 1893 at the University of Pennsylvania by Timothy Harrington,[4] 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 the universities. However, since these centers are located on university campuses, Christians of other denominations often come and participate as well. A variety of university and parish related meetings and social events take place at the centers, as well as personal events including weddings, anniversary celebrations, baptisms, Masses and funeral receptions.

The following are partial lists of Newman Centers/Catholic Student Associations.

United Kingdom[edit]

In 1878 the Oxford University Catholic Club was founded by Hartwell de la Garde Grissell. In 1888 it was renamed the Oxford University Newman Society.

United States[edit]

According to The Newman Connection [5], a US Catholic Church Campus Ministries non-profit organization, there are over 2,000 Newman Centers in the United States. Here are merely a few examples of campuses with Newman Centers:

St. John's Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign—formerly known as the Newman Foundation—is the largest in the nation and has been considered one of the model Newman Centers in the United States. It encompasses three main entities: St. John's Catholic Chapel, Newman Hall, and the Institute of Catholic Thought. St. John's Catholic Newman Center finished an expansion/renovation in August 2008. St. John's is in the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. It is one of the few Newman Centers that also encompasses a large undergraduate housing, through the University's Certified Private Housing program, having over 600 live-in residents, a cafeteria, etc. Other Newman Centers/Programs in the Peoria Diocese include the Augustana Catholic Campus Ministry, Galesburg Newman Club, Monmouth Newman Club, Newman Foundation – Bradley University & ICC, St. Francis of Assisi Newman Center, and Salve Regina Newman Center at Eureka College.

The Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman Residence Halls at Troy University will open in fall 2013 for students. Inside the halls, will be the Mother Teresa Catholic Newman Center. The Newman Center will contain a perpetual adoration chapel, meeting and office space for the Newman Ministry, a kitchen, and lounge area. Newman Halls will house 376 residents, 6 resident assistants, and one live-in married couple who acts as the community directors. Residents must keep a 2.5 GPA or better, present a letter of recommendation in order to live in the residence, and be involved in community service.

Active since 1946, the St. Philip Neri Catholic Newman Center[6] serves the students and neighboring community at the University of Tulsa. Ministries include Sunday Mass, weekday Masses, men's and women's discussion groups, community service days, and retreats.

The Newman Catholic Center[7] of Newark, New Jersey encompasses the three communities of Rutgers–Newark, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Essex County College. At the center, located adjacent to the Pro-Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Newark, students participate in Sunday night student Masses, weekday Masses around the campuses, bible studies, catechism, weekly small group meetings, homeless outreach and prison ministry, retreats, and adoration. The Newman Catholic Center of Newark is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.

EIU Newman Center[8] at Eastern Illinois University- Services Catholic students at EIU. The center started as the Catholic Study Club in 1939, when Father Thomas Connolly and Mrs. Dorothee Coleman opened up Coleman's home to thirteen students at what was then Eastern Illinois State Teacher's College. The current Newman Center, finished in 1999, houses meeting spaces, ministry offices and the St. Philip Neri Chapel.

Cornell had one of the first Newman Clubs, organized in 1888. The Newman Club eventually became a full-fledged campus parish, the Cornell Catholic Community.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Newman Center[9] at Western Illinois University, serves a Catholic student population of approximately 2,200.

The College of DuPage Newman Association is a Catholic Campus Ministry, part of the Diocese of Joliet, which serves the Chicago suburban community with service/outreach opportunities for Catholic students.

Blessed Pope John Paul II Newman Center at Illinois State University—formerly known as the St. Robert Cardinal Bellarmine Newman Center and before that as the Newman Club, in the Catholic Diocese of Peoria—had six newly married couples in 2008, three ordained priests, and as of 2013 twelve seminarians studying for the priesthood.

Blessed Pope John Paul II Newman Center at the University of Illinois, Chicago—serves the largest Catholic student population in the Midwest and one of the largest in the country. UIC has 25,000+ students, of which over 15,000 are Catholic. The John Paul II Newman Center in 1999 established the Arthur J. Schmitt Chair in Catholic studies for students to study the Catholic faith and receive college credit for doing so. Currently, students may receive a minor in Catholic studies. Of the other programs the John Paul II Newman Center offers, Vocation Discernment averages 10–15 students each year who study to become priests and religious brothers and sisters. The Integritas Institute for Ethics, a third program, teaches ethics and morality. The John Paul II Newman Center is in the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.

All Saints Catholic Newman Center in Tempe, Arizona

All Saints Catholic Newman Center at Arizona State University serves the students, faculty, and staff of ASU. All Saints is in the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

St. Paul's Newman Center in Fargo, North Dakota, serves the campus of North Dakota State University. This Newman Center has been in partnership with FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, for over a decade. The facility is currently (as of Fall, 2017) undergoing a fundraising campaign to replace the aging 1958 facility. The new facility will consist of a substantially larger and more traditional chapel, more office space for staff and student volunteers, and off-campus apartments as well as faith-based housing adjacent to the main facility.

St. Mary's Catholic Center at Texas A&M University made a bold decision to turn their permanent parishioners into volunteers for the campus ministry and discontinued all other parish programs not related directly to campus ministry. 200 families stayed and the rest went to the other parish in College Station. The Catholic Campus Ministry Association has done presentations before national audiences concerning the success of St. Mary's.

The St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Newman Center is located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It serves the students of UNLV as well as the surrounding community. The center offers Sunday Mass, Daily Mass (during the school semester), Praise & Worship nights, volunteer and service opportunities, social events, and bible studies throughout the school year.

The Newman Catholic Student Center Parish at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Duke Newman Catholic Student Center at Duke University serve two of the larger Catholic Campus Ministry programs in the region. The Newman Centers provide activities such as Masses and prayer services, dinners, social events, and service opportunities such as the Alternative Spring Break program. The Diocese of Raleigh, NC also has Newman Centers at NC State, Elon University, UNC-Wilmington, and East Carolina University.

The Middlebury College Newman Club meets on Sundays for student mass. The club is associated with St. Mary's Catholic Church, found right next to the college's campus.

Similar to the "Pieta", the University of Nevada Reno Our Lady of Wisdom Newman Center students acting out the Stations of the Cross during Lent at the Carmel of Reno.

Our Lady of Wisdom Newman Center is on the campus of the University of Nevada Reno. One of their service ministries for the students is to do the Stations of the Cross during Lent at local parishes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno and also at the Carmelite Monastery in Reno, Nevada.

The St. Thomas More Newman Center is at the University of Missouri and it also serves the campuses of Stephen's College and Columbia College (Missouri) in Columbia, Missouri.

The Newman Center near the University of Missouri campus

The St. Thomas More Newman Center in Columbus, Ohio serves the students of The Ohio State University and Columbus State Community College.

The Newman Center near the Ohio State campus

The St. Thomas More Oratory on the campus of the University of Delaware, in Newark, DE is a personal parish of the Diocese of Wilmington, serving the University community (students, faculty & staff, plus their families) & home to the Catholic Campus Ministry.

New Mexico has Newman Centers in Las Cruces at New Mexico State University. The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque hosts the Aquinas Newman Center. Socorro, NM also has a Newman Center—St. Patrick's—which is hosted by New Mexico Tech. Silver City, NM has the St. Francis Newman Center at Western New Mexico University. Also, Eastern New Mexico University has a Newman Center-Saint Helen's Catholic Church in Portales, NM.

The Diocese of Lexington, covering 50 counties in Central and Eastern Kentucky, maintains Newman Centers at eight of the Commonwealth's colleges and Universities, including Berea College, Centre College, Eastern Kentucky University, University of Kentucky, Morehead State University, Union College, Georgetown College and Transylvania University. The Diocese of Covington maintains at least one Newman Center at Northern Kentucky University.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has a Newman Center that serves the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Chatham College. It is run as part of the Pittsburgh Oratory of Saint Philip Neri.

Rolla, Missouri, has a Newman Center that serves Missouri S&T, and hosts monthly spaghetti dinners for campus students.

Kirksville, Missouri has a Newman Center that serves Truman State University.

Prominent Newman Clubs in the Southern California region include the California State University (Cal State) Long Beach Newman Club,[10] the Cal State Fullerton Newman Club, & Cal Poly Pomona Newman.

Central California has a Newman Center at California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo[11]

The Diocese of Sacramento has three Newman Centers.

University of Hawaii Manoa has a Newman Center that also serves as the school's Catholic Campus Ministry. The center also goes by the name Holy Spirit Parish. It draws parishioners from the surrounding community. Center is currently run by the Jesuits under the Diocese of Honolulu.

The University of Chicago's Calvert House is also a Newman Center.

The Archdiocese of Agana (the capital of Guam, territory of the United States) has a Newman Center for The University of Guam and Guam Community College, and is also open to high school students.[12]

The Roncalli Newman Center is a church with parish status in the diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin. It is currently host to many students, as well as several hundred families, and functions as a normal parish.

Florida Institute of Technology has a Newman Club / Catholic Campus Ministry which had 20 active members in 2008. It is led by Fr. Doug Bailey and does various service project, spiritual activities, and outdoor activities throughout the fall and spring semesters.[13]

University of Maine also has a Newman club and center. In 1946, the Newman Center (also known as Our Lady of Wisdom Parish) was established for the Catholic students, faculty, staff, administrators and their families at the University. The original building was located in a former restaurant on the other side of College Avenue. The current Newman Center was dedicated in 1971.[14]

University of Southern Maine has a Newman club. It operates out of the interfaith office.[15]

University of California, San Diego has a Newman Center, which the Jesuits operate out of the Good Samaritan Episcopal Church and the Center for Ethics and Spirituality on campus.[16]

Missouri Western State University, in St. Joseph, Missouri has a Newman Center, The Newman center is led my Leeds Haroldson and Fr. Joshua Barlett.[17]

University of California at Santa Barbara is served by St. Mark's University Parish (founded in 1965) in the nearby beach student community of Isla Vista, CA by priests of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.[18]

University of Massachusetts Amherst has a Newman Center located right off its campus. The Center offers Mass, and has a cafe in the basement.

The State University of New York at Potsdam and Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY share a joint Newman Club. The Newman Club, based at Saint Mary Church, often shares in Theology on Tap discussions, weekly dinner and meetings, praise and worship, and Mass on the two campuses.

At the University of Evansville, the present-day Newman Center house was purchased from the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity in 1964, and after renovations, it was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Henry Grimmelsman in 1965, in the last year of his tenure as the first Bishop of Evansville, a see and diocese created for him.

The University of Cincinnati has St. Monica-St. George Newman Center.

The University of Rochester's Catholic Newman Community is located in The Interfaith Chapel, adjacent to the River Campus and on the banks of the Genesee River. Its activities and programming include Sunday liturgy and other liturgical functions throughout the week (Eucharistic Adoration, Rosary Prayer, and InstaMass), food and fellowship events, retreats, and an Alternative Spring Break (ASB). The Newman Community also sponsors a Lecture Series, the St. Sebastian Society, and a Stephen Ministries team.


Toronto's Newman Centre west side


Toronto's Newman Centre is housed in the historical W.D. Matthews House, located at the corner of Hoskin Avenue and St. George Street, across from the Robarts Library on the University of Toronto campus (43°39′52″N 79°23′54″W / 43.66444°N 79.39827°W / 43.66444; -79.39827). It is under the direction of the Archdiocese of Toronto and is associated with the neighbouring St. Thomas Aquinas Church.


Queen's University has a Newman Centre on Frontenac Street.(44°13′41″N 76°29′55″W / 44.22796°N 76.49851°W / 44.22796; -76.49851)


The Newman Centre in Montreal, which serves McGill University and the Archdiocese of Montreal, is headquartered in an Edwardian home dating to 1903 at 3484 Peel Street, adjacent to McGill's downtown campus. Although the Centre's location at this address dates to 1954, the origins of an organized Catholic presence at McGill University goes back to the Columbian Club (est. 1897) and the Newman Club (est. in 1929).[19] In 1941, the Rev. Gerald Emmett Carter (later Cardinal Archbishop of Toronto) was appointed director. In 1949, under his leadership, the Club acquired a new home, "Newman House," located centrally on McGill College Avenue, one block south of the Roddick Gates. In 1951, the Newman Association of Montreal was created (incorporated under the Bighops' Act). The Association's purpose would be to support the Catholic community at McGill University. In 1954 the Newman Association purchased the La Fleur mansion located at 3484 Peel Street, which remains the Centre's Montreal address to this day.

In 1998 theNewman Institute of Catholic Studies was established under the direction of Dr. Daniel Cere in order to expand the Centre's intellectual engagement both at McGill University and beyond. The Newman Institute of Catholic Studies was federally incorporated in 2000, when the Catholic Studies Minor Concentration was established at McGill University, along with the Kennedy Smith Chair in Catholic Studies. The Newman Institute continues to support the Catholic Studies program at McGill through research, publication, and teaching.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Warren Allmand – Member of Parliament (1965–1997), Solicitor General from 1972–76, Order of Canada (2000).
  • Anthony Mancini – Archbishop of Halifax (2007–), Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal (1999–2007).
  • Claude Ryan – Member of the National Assembly (1979–1994), Leader of the Quebec Liberal Party (1978–1982), former editor of Le Devoir, Companion to the Order of Canada (1995).
  • John Turner – Prime Minister of Canada (1984), Member of Parliament (1962–1993).
  • David Williams – Professor of English at McGill University and first person to be appointed the Kennedy Smith Chair in Catholic Studies (1939–2015)


The Newman Club at the University of Western Ontario is the largest Catholic association on campus and is entirely student run.


The Newman Centre Guelph at the University of Guelph was opened in October of 2016 through the leadership of Father Mark Morley. It is the home to the University Catholic Community and located at 325 Gordon St. Guelph, Ontario.


The University of British Columbia in Vancouver has a Newman Club. It is the Catholic Students' Association of the university and is the oldest Catholic student club on the UBC campus. The club currently holds its activities at St. Mark's College.[20]


Saskatchewan's Newman Centre is located on the University of Saskatchewan campus at St. Thomas More College. The Newman Centre at the University of Saskatchewan represents itself as a Catholic campus club that seeks to provide a welcoming Christian atmosphere. The club was founded in 1926 in the tradition of Cardinal Newman. It is based out of St. Thomas More College but is for students in any college at the university. The Newman Centre works closely with STM Campus Ministry (School of Theology and Ministry).


University of Queensland and Charles Sturt University both house Newman Centres.

New Zealand[edit]

A Newman Society, on the lines of the one at Oxford University, was first set up at the New Zealand University in 1909.[21]


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