By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Cal State San Bernardino representatives, including President Tomás D. Morales and those from the CSUSB Catholic Newman Club, as well as local community members, joined Bishop Gerald Richard Barnes, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino, on March 7 for a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Bishop Barnes Newman Center near the CSUSB campus.
“It was just 18 months ago we came together for the official groundbreaking ceremony. Long before that, the dream and desire of caring and committed individuals began the journey that is now complete,” Morales said during the event. “This beautiful facility, about a mile from the CSUSB campus, is a place where students, faculty and staff can come, no matter what their faith or beliefs.”
“This building is a sign of our faith in our young people,” said Bishop Barnes, who led the prayer and blessing portions of the ceremony. “It is a sign to the students that we believe in you – we believe in you here at this present time and in the future, and those that come in the following generations.”
“The Newman Center is a place for students to come and celebrate their faith,” he said. “The center is a place where we are reminded that our calling is to grow, to live, to share our values and our beliefs, and put in our work in our decisions and in our teachings. It’s a place to foster honesty, patience, respect.”
The center, named for the bishop, will serve students from the Catholic Newman Club at CSUSB as well as other schools and colleges.
The 5,000 square-foot facility is built on three acres. The building has a large main meeting area that can accommodate up to 150 people, but can also be divided into three separate meeting rooms. It has two offices, a music room, kitchen, bathrooms and a prayer chapel. Outdoors, there is a prayer garden, a large covered patio and a recreational area that includes a basketball court. There are also 35 parking spaces.
The total cost of the Newman Center project was $2.3 million, with a significant portion coming from the “Honoring Our Past, Investing in Our Future” fund created by Mary Ganje in memory of her husband, Tony.
Prior to the opening of the Barnes Center, Roman Catholic students at CSUSB have met in various conference rooms on campus for Mass, Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), confirmation classes, confessions, club meetings and social functions. The center will serve Catholic students of the university while also welcoming any student or faculty member who wishes to spend time there.
Newman Centers, Newman Houses, or Newman Clubs are Catholic ministry centers at non-Catholic universities found throughout the world. Their establishment was inspired by the writings of Cardinal John Henry Newman, who encouraged societies for Catholic students attending secular universities. The first Newman club was established in 1888 at Oxford; the original Catholic club was founded by Hartwell de la Garde Grissell.