The Newman Center closes its doors

By Elisabeth Loeck, NewsNetNebraska

Newman Center - New Fall 2014After more than 50 years on campus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the final services were held Easter weekend at the Newman Center.

“It’s definitely bittersweet since I feel like so much of my college experience has been defined by the Newman Center,” senior Caitlin Marmie said. “The thing to remember is that we aren’t tearing down the Newman Center, just the building that houses it.”

There was a lot of excitement because we were celebrating Easter, Marmie said, but also because we knew these Masses would be the last ones in that building.

Marmie has been involved with the Newman Center since freshman year and is currently a bible study leader and Vice President of Communication for the Newman Board.

On Saturday March, 28 during the Easter Vigil Mass, a confirmation service was held.

Twenty-six students were confirmed into the catholic church at the service, including senior Karissa McDowell.

“I really enjoyed being a part of the last services because it made the process seem so much more meaningful,” McDowell said. “Like the church and I were starting a new journey together.”

During many of the Sunday masses, McDowell said the church is filled and there are a lot of people standing. And it’s even more packed on holy days of obligation like Ash Wednesday or Good Friday.

The new church will fit about 650 people, hundreds more than the current building.

“The new design is beautiful and it will really minister to our growing community,” Marmie said. “At it’s most basic it will provide the extra space we desperately need.”

The construction is set to be done in the fall of 2014. Until then daily services will be held at 640 N. 16th Street and Sunday Masses will be held in the Union Ballroom.

The new St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church will be built at same location on 16th and Q as part of a larger expansion effort. This expansion includes the current construction of a Catholic fraternity house at 17th and Q Streets, set to be available for students during the 2013-2014 school year. A new student center and a Catholic sorority house are also part of the $25 million campaign to expand Catholic student services.

An open house for the current building was held Saturday, April 6th for a final goodbye.

“Honestly , this project has been in the works for so long that I can’t believe it’s finally actually happening,” Marmie said.

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