Farewell To The Aquinas Newman Center As We Know It

Try as I might, I’m having a hard time developing enough Christian goodness to be forgiving or even nice about the forthcoming changes at Newman which include running off the Dominicans who staffed the parish for over 50 years and then unilaterally deciding to redo the church and staff before their first day in charge so that all evidence of the Dominicans’ presence will be eradicated.

But it’s also true my wife and I also recognize that we have  taken the joys of our relationship with the Dominicans over more than 50 years for granted.

We had it so good for so long. All we had to do was show up at Mass and be informed, guided, encouraged and inspired by any one or more of our thoughtful Dominican preachers.

We never had to wonder where to go for a meaningful sermon, to get spiritual guidance, or find an intelligent voice of reason when we needed it.

It was all there for the asking.

Now we’re forced to explore and discover what our future parish connection will be. Stay with the parish and its new pastor? Sample other parishes? Check out the preaching there? Gauge their music programs, the availability of Bible study, the quality of the catechism programs, their Mass schedules, other possible considerations?

This could be good for us, make us stretch a little, think harder, become more proactive in our desire to be good Christians, take a more affirmative, intentional role in determining our spiritual future.

Yes, what the Archbishop and his designated pastor are doing is hard to forgive.

Here’s the sad thing: we’re presided over by an Archbishop who after 50 years as a priest still doesn’t realize that changing the layout of the Newman Center chapel really isn’t going to make its parishioners better Catholics.

Chuck Wellborn

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