Newman Center celebrates 75th
On Saturday, the Catholic Newman Center across from Youngstown State University’s Cafaro and Lyden Houses celebrated its 75th anniversary with an open house, a tailgating event and a mass held downtown at St. Columba’s Cathedral.
While eating snacks in the Newman Center’s multipurpose room, former students shared their fond memories of the center’s past. As Nicky Uerling, campus minister for the Newman Center, explained, the anniversary celebration was an opportunity for alumni to reminisce on their years at YSU.
“It is really exciting. As the campus minister, it is fun to hear — when the alumni come back — it is so fun to hear the impact that ministry had on them throughout the years,” she said. “They still have this love of campus ministry. A lot of them met their spouse here.”
Terry Sell, board member for YSU’s Newman Center, was involved with campus ministry when he was a student in the 1960s and 1970s. Sell said he still maintains positive memories from his college days.
“[The center] used to be in the St. Joseph’s Church … they tore that church down and they moved over to this facility,” Sell said. “It has been a good series of memories: some of the dinners, parties and the masses that we attended over at St. Joe’s.”
For current students, the Newman Center’s 75th anniversary provided an appreciation for the Center’s rich history.
“I’m super excited because with the 75th there is a lot of alumni coming. I really like hearing the stories about what the Newman Center was to them, particularly. Everyone might be able to grab something a little different out of their experiences with it,” said Jessica Kimmet, president of the Catholic Student Association.
Uerling indicated that the 75th anniversary is just one of many events that the CSA has planned. She said the group volunteers at the Dorothy Day House, hosts game and movie nights, holds pancake dinners and participates in group prayer sessions.
“CSA is just a great place for people to come to be formative leaders, to grow in their faith, to have a solid faith community to hang out with and to give back to their community,” Uerling said.
Father Christopher Luoni, the priest assigned to YSU’s Newman Center, echoed Uerling’s message and encouraged everyone on campus to get involved with the Newman Center.
“Give us a try,” Luoni said. “We do mass every Sunday evening at 6, and this facility is here for every young man and woman, regardless of faith. We do cater specifically to the Catholic faith, but our dinners and some of the things we do such as our bible studies, you don’t have to be Catholic.”