The Newman Centre of McGill University is an independent charitable organization offering religious and educational services to the Catholic students and faculty of McGill University and to the laity of the Archdiocese of Montreal. Having developed from the Catholic presence which had existed at McGill since 1897, the current Newman Centre, headquartered at 3484 Peel Street, first opened its doors in 1954, when Msgr. Gerald Emmett Carter (later Cardinal Archbishop of Toronto) founded the Newman Association of Montreal. The Centre continues in the footprints of its predecessors to provide students, faculty, and the wider community with ongoing formation in the Catholic faith commensurate with the pursuit of truth and knowledge in a secular university. Taking its inspiration from the renowned nineteenth-century intellectual and Anglican convert, as well as author of The Idea of a University, John Henry Newman (beatified in 2010), the Centre’s work is expressed through three dimensions of Catholic life and mission: spirituality, education, and community/service.
Catholic spirituality centres around the prayerful worship of the Church. Drawing from the rich heritage of the liturgy, the Chaplain of the Newman Centre guides students and faculty in individual and communal prayer. Holy Mass, Eucharistic adoration, scriptural meditation, celebration of the sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours, retreats, and observance of the annual cycles of the liturgical calendar are among the ways the Centre helps to nourish the spiritual life of students and faculty.
Faith and reason, according to the wisdom of the Church, have important roles to play in relationship to one another. This doctrine is especially pertinent at a university where young men and women are shaped to shape the future of the world. The transmission of the Catholic intellectual tradition compliments the Centre’s spiritual mandate by bringing faith and reason into fruitful dialogue with each other. The Director, working with the Newman Institute of Catholic Studies, organizes intellectual programs to this end, such as lectures, conferences, discussion groups, courses, and the publication of the Centre’s journal The Newman Rambler. The Director also fosters dialogue with McGill’s faculties and departments, partnering with them in the common pursuit of truth and knowledge.
Community & Service
Members of the Newman Centre recognize each other and grow in self-understanding on the basis of their love for Christ. Inspired by deep reflection on scripture and doctrine, students and faculty turn outward, serving the wider community in the name of Christ. This communal and social dimension of the Centre’s mission is carried out under the guidance of the Campus Minister. It finds expression in the programs and activities of the Newman Residents, the Newman Catholic Students’ Society, the mentorship provided by staff and faculty, and the Centre’s warm and welcoming atmosphere to all men and women of good will. It is also expressed in the Centre’s ministry to families through the work of Dominus Vobiscum Retreat Centre.
For more information, visit www.newmancentre.org