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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Newman Center turns 60

  • Bishop John R. Gaydos of the Diocese of Jefferson City preached to a packed St. Patrick's Catholic Church Sunday for a special celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Missouri University of Science and Technology's Newman Center.
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  • Bishop John R. Gaydos of the Diocese of Jefferson City preached to a packed St. Patrick's Catholic Church Sunday for a special celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Missouri University of Science and Technology's Newman Center.
    In his homily, the bishop told the students and parishioners that he was delighted to be with them. He thanked the parish for its support over the decades of this important ministry.
    "When young people are involved in the Newman Center as students, there are great moments of transformation," he said.
    Newman Centers are named after Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman who wrote extensively on the importance and value of higher Catholic education. Gaydos noted that it was Cardinal Newman, who in the late 1800s wrote "religious truth is not only a portion, but a condition of general knowledge."
    He added that in his travels he has come across one common theme that characterizes these Catholic student centers.
    "Typically Newman Centers become fervent houses of prayer during exam time," he said with a smile.
    Mass was followed by a luncheon at St. Patrick's parish center across the street from the church. After a meal of brats and hamburgers, Sister Renita Brummer, a Franciscan Sister of Our Lady of Perpetual Help from St. Louis, who served as the Newman Center's director of campus ministry from 1997-2006 told a number of stories from her years in Rolla. She was one of the driving forces behind the construction of the Newman Center's new facility which was dedicated in 2003.
    "Throughout these 60 years, thousands of young people have found their faith and their spirit during the important college years," shared Brummer. "They found community and service to the community."
    Sister Laura Jean Spaeth, a School Sister of Notre Dame, shared a similar sentiment. She was the director of the Newman Center from 2009 to 2012. She enjoyed working closely with the parish and was very inspired by the dedication of the S&T students.
    "The search for faith here among the students is what impressed me the most," she said. "It was just great being here."
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