For nearly 100 years St. John’s Catholic Newman Center has been a national model for Catholic campus ministry, equipping young men and women to live their faith through the triumphs and challenges of campus life - and beyond. St. John’s Catholic Newman Center has been a beacon for students who find themselves at a crossroads, welcoming them into a community of fellow students striving to discover the meaning and purpose of their lives, and equipping them for life after college with intellectual and spiritual formation led by the dedicated religious staff.
In the course of its history, St. John’s Catholic Newman Center has been the source of innumerable life-changing encounters and the catalyst for tens of thousands of vocations: to the priesthood and religious life, and to marriage and family life. The encounters, experiences, and relationships begun in the pews and halls of SJCNC continue to echo through generations.
Poised at the beginning of our Second Century, SJCNC stands ready to build upon its traditions and history while meeting students where they are at, helping them to address the challenges of their generation. While the needs and priorities of students continue to evolve, our mission remains the same: “To equip college students for a lifelong relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church through the sacraments and a vibrant, inviting community.”
Since its dedication in 1928, students, alumni, parents, and visitors have been captivated by the beauty of St. John’s Catholic Chapel, inspiring a sense of wonder and awe, and preparing hearts to encounter the beauty and grace of the sacraments celebrated within its walls. Students walking through the doors of the Chapel sense immediately that they have entered a place completely unlike anyplace else on campus, yet only steps from the Quad. Students know that at the corner of Sixth & Armory they can find respite and relief from the daily stresses of campus life.
The Chapel now needs renovations to restore and enhance its inherent beauty and return some elements of the sanctuary architecture to its traditional and historical state. Preparing for our Second Century, our Chapel must also be ready to greet and welcome more students through its doors and provide an accessible entry to the grace of the sacraments and participation in the Mass, as well as provide an inviting space for the life-changing encounters in community that have been the hallmark of our history.
Serving Catholic Illini on campus through daily sacraments and student-focused ministries and programs is our mission focus, and the priority of this campaign. Funds raised in this campaign will be directed towards capital projects that will preserve the historical beauty of St. John’s Catholic Chapel, provide improved access to the sanctuary and sacraments, and provide new and renovated spaces within the Chapel building to better serve students and foster community.
In 2023-2024, we invite you back to campus to reconnect with your past (and present!) as a Catholic Illini, and to experience our vision for the future of our mission to equip coming generations of Catholic Illini for lifelong relationship with Christ and His Church.
We invite you to join us:
- Blessing of the Chapel Renovation & Mass
Sunday, October 8, 2023 at 10:30 AM
Mass celebrated by Bishop Lou Tylka
- Second Century Campaign Celebration Mass & Reception
Thursday, April 18, 2024 at 5:00 PM