Newman Center Launched for Elmhurst U.’s Catholic Community

May 2, 2024 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Elmhurst University has launched the campus’s first Newman Center for Catholic ministry, establishing a center for support, resources, fellowship and more for the University’s Roman Catholic community.

University Chaplain H. Scott Matheney announced the Newman Center on Tuesday, April 30, at the start of the annual Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Lecture and after a day of activities exploring Catholicism and what it means to the campus community. Newman Centers are Catholic campus ministry centers located in universities around the country and the world, and are named for Cardinal John Henry Newman and inspired by Newman’s writings, especially The Idea of the University, the topic of this year’s Bernardin Lecture.

Rev. Matheney noted that although Elmhurst’s Newman Center doesn’t have a physical location, “it is really organic to who we are and what we want to be, and to what the Catholic community needs here.

“I wanted us to be able to say to our Bluejay Catholics (student group), to our staff, faculty and trustees, that there is and always has been a place for Catholic life at this institution, and the joy of what that means.”

Justin Reyes, director of the Department of Catechesis and Evangelization for the Diocese of Joliet, agreed that the center serves an important purpose “because the point of a Newman Center is to help Catholics better integrate their faith into their lives, into their experience as students,” and that is what is happening at Elmhurst.

The Newman Center offers a number of resources and opportunities, including:

  • Weekly Student Mass at Immaculate Conception Parish in Elmhurst
  • Bluejay Catholics student organization, which meets regularly on campus to plan programs, host conversation and offer community service opportunities
  • The Annual Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Lecture, which brings prominent Catholic theologians to campus to discuss faith-related issues
  • Service Opportunities with groups like the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and other Catholic organizations
  • Community Outreach

“This Center celebrates our ongoing work of building our Catholic life together at Elmhurst University,” Matheney said. This kind of caring community provides students with support and confidence to excel throughout their lives. To learn more, contact the Office of the Chaplain at or (630) 617-3025.

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