Corpus Christi Blog

Who We are Helping: College Students

06-18-2017Weekly Reflection

Newman Centers are a vibrant home for Catholic students at public universities in our Diocese. With daily Mass, study, and community -building events, the work at Newman Centers help young people encounter Christ and live out their faith dynamically.

The college years are the most formative years for young adults. Research tells us 80% of people who leave the faith do so by the age of 23. Studies also show that within 72 hours on a college campus, a majority of students have found the friends they will have for the next four years. In the Diocese of Phoenix, Catholic young adults have expressed a hunger for Christ, as our Newman Center programs are rapidly outgrowing their current buildings.

The Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante campaign will provide opportunities for young adults to go deeper in their faith by strengthening and expanding the Newman Centers at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and Grand Canyon University. At each of these Newman Centers, the students have opportunities to attend daily Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Confession, young adult faith formation and have access to a priest. Most importantly, students are in environments that cultivate a deepening relationship with Jesus.

For example, every day at NAU, between 40-60 students attend daily Mass. This Easter, 12 students received the sacraments of initiation. Over the past semester, over 120 students experienced the Lumberjack Awakening retreat and over 210 students participated in weekly Bible studies! NAU serves over 4,000 Catholics on a campus of 21,000 students. The Holy Trinity Newman Center chapel cannot hold the number of students who attend Sunday Mass. In an effort to provide outreach to a growing student population, new, larger buildings are needed to be instruments in strengthening students' relationship with God.

NAU's Catholic Jacks:

At ASU, it is not uncommon to find 2,500 young adults attending weekend Masses from the 40,000 students who live on campus. A thriving campus ministry program has brought maximum participation to the All Saints Newman Center. This rapid growth has resulted in a need for expanding their facilities to a multi-level building adding much-needed facilities for classrooms and meeting space as well as a priest rectory.

The ASU Catholic Newman Center:

Grand Canyon University was founded as an evangelical protestant university. The Diocese has worked hard to forge strong relationships to assist GCU in meeting the spiritual needs of Catholics within their student body. Currently at GCU, however, Catholics do not have a permanent place to celebrate Mass or to invite students to come and meet other Catholics. With funding from the Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante campaign, every Catholic who attends Grand Canyon University will have the opportunity to engage their faith and fellow Catholics through a newly developed campus ministry building.

Help College Students Truly Live Out Their Faith

As our young adults leave home for the first time, let us ensure that they can encounter a strong and supportive Catholic faith community to call their own. Together, let us strengthen and empower our Newman Centers to help young people encounter the living Christ!

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