An Invitation from the Newman Center

Welcome back to campus and campus life.

Has the monotony of classes hit you yet? It got me on Monday, 8:05am. However, what has been keeping me on my toes is the Newman Center, and I’d like you to be a part of this experience. Let me briefly explain what the Newman Center is.

The Newman Center is actually the Newman Catholic Student Center/Christ the Teacher Parish. It is located one block north of the Holmes Student Center at 512 Normal Rd. The Newman Center invites all students to come to pray, to attend services, and to study (we have air-conditioning!).

The Newman Center is a Catholic Church like no other. Three years B.N. (Before Newman), I believed the Catholic church to be a rote service—dry, dull and predictable. I found Newman to have a young spirit, energized by a large student community that comes together to worship. The Newman Center was made for Catholic students, and much of what it does is aimed at the NIU student population. Just this week, we have had several get acquainted functions including a Brat Bash, beer nuggets after the 9:30 Sunday night mass and the Ben and Jerry’s Traveling Circus.

Later this term, we are planning the annual corn boil (Sept. 18, before the football game), a Halloween dance, retreats and movies. We also have the 24 hour study program for finals week, where we are open 24 hours and provide FREE food and drinks to students in a quiet atmosphere. Of course, we always welcome students to study in our air-conditioned, free coffee/tea, quiet building.

Throughout the school year, we have committees (run by students) that offer volunteering and work experience to students, as well as meeting new people and having a great time. Some committees are Social Activities, Public Relations and Newspaper (my committee!), Justice and Social Action Services, Parish Outreach and many others.

Once again, let me state that the Newman Center is for enriching the spiritual lives of Catholic students, but we are open to all students. According to Fr. Stephan Potter, the pastor and director, “We hope you will find Newman to be a place to celebrate your joys, and to console you in times of grief.”

Fr. Stephan, Fr. Paul White (the associate pastor) and the entire Newman ministerial staff (Terry Beer, Anne LeBlanc, and Rose Drance) always keep their doors open (literally) to anyone who needs an open ear. They are really cool people who are pretty much in tune with the NIU students (Fr. Stephan and Fr. Paul are NIU grads). My favorite mass (and most NIU students agree) is the 9:30 Sunday night mass. When you come to it, you are bound to see people you know there, and, as an extra bonus, to receive “some churchin‘ up” (haven’t you seen “The Blues Brothers”?). Seriously, the services are fun, everyone sings and the homilies are very spiritually fulfilling.

Mass times are as follows: 12:05 p.m. from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. on Wednsday, 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 10, 11:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Sundays.

Okay, so now you know what the Newman Center is, where it is, why it is a great place (to visit or to live—as some students seem to do), and what goes on there. I really hope you’ll come and visit us and get involved in a program (Hope Haven, Newman Religious Studies **college credit**, Newman Now Newspaper, social activities and others). For more information about Newman programs, contact us at 758-6667, or stop by. Come and see what all the excitement is about.

You are invited.