The Holy Spirit Newman Center was established over 50 years ago on the campus of Northern Arizona University to be a beacon of Christ’s light to students at NAU and Coconino Community College. With hundreds of students participating in Mass, Bible studies, sacrament preparation and fellowship activities each week, the Newman Center provides a spiritual home for students.
“Students can feel so isolated and alone, and the center has become a home away from home where they can show up as they are and be known and loved,” says Fr. Matt Lowry, Chaplain of the Newman Center.By some estimates, 80 percent of Catholics that leave the Church do so during their college years. Those that continue to engage during those years, however, are more likely to continue attending Mass after college, discern vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and to live their faith in their daily lives.
“This becomes the critical time where you're really understanding who you are and what your mission is in the world. We've found that when we enter into this time with students, that rather than wander away, they actually become more involved, more fully invested in their faith and actually come to evangelize their peers,” says Fr. Lowry.
The Newman Center’s ministries and activities, such as Welcome Week’s “Fugitive” game and Dunk Contests with the NAU basketball team, are needed now more than ever, as Fr. Lowry sees college students struggling with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts at increased rates.
“The Centershows our young people that God cares about them and wants to meet them where they are at. College students feel kind of disconnected from God and religion, and they feel maybe like they just don't know or they feel unworthy,” he said. “To be visible is to say, ‘Hey, God wants to be in your life, we want to be in your life and you’re welcome as you are.’”
The Catholic Community Foundation has been a longstanding supporter and partner of the NAU Newman Center, providing support for programs and opportunities for a lifetime of faith.
To learn more about the NAU Newman Center, visit catholicjacks.org.BACK TO LIST