About the Newman Center

In 1946, the Newman Center was established for the Catholic students, faculty, staff, administrators and their families at the University of Maine Orono. The original building was located in a former restaurant on the other side of College Avenue. The current Newman Center was dedicated in 1971.

Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890), the man after whom this center is named, was born in England. Raised as a member of the Anglican Church, he attended Oxford where he eventually became a tutor, according to the British style of education. He was ordained an Anglican priest and served the religious community at Oxford.

In his 40’s, Newman began to look more critically at his church and came to the belief that it was not rooted deeply enough in the tradition of the early Church. After a period of deep reflection, prayer and study, he made his profession of faith as a Roman Catholic, eventually being ordained a priest and raised to the position of Cardinal.

The affiliation of his name with Catholic communities at colleges and universities is appropriate not only because of his time at Oxford but because, in later years, he was sent to Dublin, Ireland, to establish the Catholic University of Ireland. In addition, his essay, “The Idea of a University,” won him great acclaim. Furthermore, Blessed Cardinal Newman’s theological works have prompted many to consider him as an important hand in setting the stage for the renewal of the Church in the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).

Cardinal John Henry Newman was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

At the Newman Center, students find opportunities to come to a deeper appreciation and better understanding of Catholicism.