To be the spiritual home for Catholic students on the University of Toronto’s downtown campus.
The university chaplaincy is inspired by John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890). He wrote extensively about the role of faith in a university setting:
“Here, then, I conceive is the object of the Holy See and the Catholic Church in setting up Universities; it is to reunite things which were in the beginning joined together by God, and have been put asunder by man... I wish the intellect to range with the utmost freedom, and religion to enjoy an equal freedom but what I am stipulating for is that they should be found in one and the same place, and exemplified in the same persons… I wish the same spots and the same individuals to be at once oracles of philosophy and shrines of devotions… Devotion is not a sort of finish given to the sciences; nor is science a sort of feather in the cap, if I may so express myself, an ornament and set-off to devotion. I want the intellectual layman to be religious and the devout ecclesiastic to be intellectual."
- "Intellect, The Instrument of Religious Training" in Sermons Preached on Various Occasions, London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1898 , pp. 12-13
The role of N
ewman Centre as a university parish is essential. The development of a deep interior life rooted in the sacraments is at the core of our mandate to all who come here: students, faculty, young working professionals and parishioners from all walks of life. The Newman Centre’s St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Community finds its fullest and richest expression in our celebration of the Eucharist- both the Sunday assembly and the daily celebrations of Mass.
“Campus ministry offers a notable opportunity to be close to young people at a significant time in their lives: "... the university chapel is called to be a vital centre for promoting the Christian renewal of culture, in respectful and frank dialogue, in a clear and well-grounded perspective (cf. 1 Pt 3: 15), in a witness which is open to questioning and capable of convincing" (Address to the European Congress of University Chaplains, 1 May 1998, n. 4). Young adults need the service of committed chaplains who can help them, intellectually and spiritually, to attain their full maturity in Christ.”
- Pope John Paul II, “Students have the right to learn the Church's teaching in all its richness”, L'Osservatore Romano, May 30, 1998
The Newman Centre offers opportunities for faith in Christ to take root in action, and in authentic social justice programs. The volunteers in the Newman community are very dedicated to many varied parish and student focused events, such as retreats, social events, concerts, lectures and outreach programs to the poor and needy.
Student Campus Ministry — Residency Formation Program
Our Student Campus Ministry residency formation program is a unique and successful campus ministry model in Canada. We develop future Catholic leaders from across all academic disciplines and cultivate in them a heart for service.
Student Campus Ministers are an integral component of the Newman Centre's chaplaincy initiative. Under the supervision of the Pastor/Chaplain, Student Campus Ministers are first and foremost part of the Newman Centre Residential Community. This Community is rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, striving to hear and live the Word of God. Thus, Student Campus Ministers are bearers of and witnesses to Christ. Our deepest unity and meaning is found in the celebration of the Eucharist, a celebration that does not end with the Mass, but is instead the focal point that invigorates all our activities.
Each member of the Campus Ministry Team plays an important role in the overall campus outreach of the Newman Centre,
bringing his or her own unique personality, talents and skills to the community-at-large. This experience also provides the opportunity for a significant deepening and sharing of personal faith (peer ministry), helping others to grow in the process.
Some of the Newman Centre's programs and activities require a team effort and presence in which the Student Campus Ministers act as a group. During these events, together we provide an environment in which university students and parishioners can come to a deeper involvement and understanding of faith and God, community and friendship, social justice and compassion for others.
Chaplaincy Outreach to Students
Chaplaincy at the Newman Centre aims to be a bridge from the faith community of the parish, school and family, out into the wider
academic and work world. It is also a place for new discovery and faith formation. With over 50,000 individual Catholic students enrolled on the downtown campus every five years, we have much work to do.
In order to better serve these students and fulfill our mission, the Newman Centre needs to expand its chaplaincy services. We will better serve our Catholic students by providing programs and services during weekdays, in addition to our current weeknight and weekend activities. The Newman house can be utilized more during the daytime Monday through Friday as a drop-in centre and by providing more programming for students. Areas of growth for drawing in students involve: soup lunches, faith-sharing groups, bible studies, and promotions in the University’s student agenda. We wish for students to feel that the Centre is a second home on campus.
To achieve this vision, we need to raise the profile of the Newman Centre to make students, parents and grandparents aware of our presence. Many commuter students, whose parishes are spread around the Archdiocese, do not know that there is a Catholic chaplaincy on campus. Active promotional efforts should be focused through parishes, high-schools and on the university campus.
So as to continue to build on the chaplaincy services and to further promote the Newman Centre, there is a need for additional staff and program resources. With the assistance of the Newman Foundation of Toronto (an organization dedicated to funding the chaplaincy efforts of the Newman Centre), we have hired a full-time Director of Chaplaincy Services to coordinate the weekday programming, facilitate and serve as a contact point for Catholic student groups, and draw in students to become more involved with their faith. The Director of Chaplaincy Services is also available for drop-in students who may need counselling or referral. More information on our chaplaincy programs is available at chaplaincy.newmantoronto.com
The Newman Foundation is looking for supporters to both maintain and expand our capacity to serve students. We are asking for your help to raise funds to support this initiative through the Newman Foundation. We wish to solicit funding from donors who can commit for a number of years for the growing chaplaincy initiative at the Newman Centre.
For more information on how you can contribute to our goal of funding this new chaplaincy initiative, or the many other ways you can contribute to our mission, please contact Fr. Chris Cauchi using our contact form