The St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center is the home of UND Catholic, an organization dedicated to lighting the “fire of Faith” on campus. Located at 410 Cambridge Street, the Newman Center provides a place for students at UND interested in the Catholic faith a place to meet and worship with others who share in the desire to learn about the spiritual life.
Under the direction of Father Luke Meyer, the Newman Center is “dedicated to the Catholic spiritual, intellectual, apostolic and communal formation of the University of North Dakota students, faculty and staff for their own salvation and for the building up of the Kingdom of God on earth.”
The intellectual formation of the Newman Center is a central part to the vision and mission of their organization. Through this formation, students are able to learn the beauty of the Catholic Church and how to share that with others.
Intellectual formation opportunities at the Newman Center include FOCUS Bible Studies and RCIA classes for those who seek the opportunity to learn about the Catholic faith, as well as the opportunity to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. Both the FOCUS Bible Studies and the RCIA classes are facilitated by Father Luke Meyer. Other programs offered by the Newman Center to foster growth include the Knights of Columbus as well as Catholic Man Night.
FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, is a national outreach organization that meets college students where they are and invites them to a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Catholic faith. The mission of FOCUS is to know Christ Jesus and to fulfill His great commission by first living and then communicating the fullness of life within the family of God, the Church.
The Apostolic life of the Newman center is grounded in the service to others in need as well as the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. FOCUS provides opportunities to go on mission trips over spring and summer breaks, as well as the opportunity for day trips during the school year. To learn more about FOCUS, contact Becky Jarding at [email protected]
Included on UND Catholic’s website are the student profiles of some of their members. These profiles share the students’ stories about how they became involved with the organization, as well as why they stay involved with the organization.
One of the students shared the following story about why the student loved the Newman Center.
“I love the Newman Center because it has provided me a home away from my own home. It is a place where I can gather and know that there will always be friends around that will build me up and help to point me to Christ on a continual basis, and in turn I can do the same to them,” the student said. “Alongside that Father Luke has been great at fostering a sense of community and embracing each one of us students as one of his sons or daughters, just as Jesus would. I look forward to my time spent here as it is always filled with joy and authenticity.”
The Newman Center is also dedicated to the formation of community. The communal aspects they focus on are Peer Minister events, Fireside Chats and communal living at the Newman Women’s House.
Women who are seeking a place to live on campus where they can be serious about their studies and faith should seek out the Newman Women’s House, located at 2620 University Avenue. The Newman Women’s House provides a place for connection, community and the celebration of faith which is conveniently less than two to three blocks away from most classrooms and buildings on campus, including the Chester Fritz Library, the Memorial Union and the Newman Center.
The Newman Women’s House supports both Catholic and non-Catholic college women in a common spirit in their academic studies and spiritual lives. To learn more information about the Newman Women’s House, call 701.77.6850 or email [email protected]
An important note about the Newman Center is all members of the campus community are invited to join them. Students involved with the Newman Center hope others know that you don’t have to be Catholic to get involved, and all are welcome and accepted.
Liz Kacher is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]