In an increasingly secular society, it can be hard for young people today to find fellowship and like-minded peer groups. The Newman Center provides a space for university students to do exactly that.
Sam Bishop has been an active member of the Newman Center since the beginning of his freshman year at Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T). As he points out, the Newman Center goes far beyond being a Catholic campus ministry.
“The Newman Center is a place that many students here would consider home,” he says. “With all the spiritual and social opportunities that Newman has to offer, there is never a lack of something to do.”
Sam is currently a sophomore at S&T and serves as the head of the Social Committee for the Newman Center. He coordinates events such as game nights, parties, and even weekend trips for the students.
“Earlier this semester, the social committee held a float trip, as well as a weekend trip to the Lake of the Ozarks, both of which were a major success,” he says.
Beyond a social gathering space and source of events for the students, the Newman Center also offers valuable opportunities for spiritual growth. These include fall retreats and Emmaus talks, which provide a setting for students to learn more about the faith and different traditions of Catholicism.
“My favorite activity at the Newman Center by far must be the Awakening retreat,” Sam says. “It is an incredible opportunity to take a break from school while also growing in our faith. It also gives incoming freshmen and older students the opportunity to connect with other people at the Newman Center.”
University can be a tough time for students as they search for truth and come into their newfound independence. But it helps to have like-minded friends around to help affirm the truth of the Catholic faith.
“There are a lot of opinions aired during classes and discussions that are counter to our faith — these falsehoods spread lies both about the Catholic Church as well as life in general,” Sam says. “We have, however, been keeping good relations with other Christian groups on campus. While they aren’t Catholic and we don’t agree on everything, it is nice to have other groups on campus that have similar goals to us.”
Any students interested in learning more about the Newman Center can drop in and speak with any of the student participants.
“We are right next to the church, which is a very nice place to be,” Sam says. “We are also very close to campus, so it gives us a lot of great opportunities to meet new students.”
To learn more, please visit www.rollanewman.org/