St. Paul Newman Center at Wichita State University
St. Paul Parish and Newman Center is both a personal parish (we don't have physical boundaries like territorial parishes) and a Newman Center for college students. People decide to be members of our parish family either through their association with the university or they just want to support the efforts of our college ministry program. Whereas most parishes operate Catholic grade schools the main apostolate of our parish is to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the secular university environment and help college students to learn and live their Catholic faith. We have many formation opportunities and other activities both for parishioners and college students. College ministry is such an important task in the life of the Church today. One of the hurtles college students often face in the college environment is what our Holy Father, Pope Benedict calls a dictatorship of relativism. There is an immense cultural pressure upon college students to conform to moral relativism. It is a philosophical system prevalent in our modern culture that teaches by deed and example that there is no objective truth (the only objective truth is that there is no objective truth). Of course, as you can see, it is anti-intellectual and flies in the face of reality. But college students encounter this worldview on a daily basis. That is why it is so important to be a voice of reason and truth and to help students to realize that science and faith are two ways of coming to know the one God living and true. We hope to be a place where students can learn and live their Catholic faith.
And so, we come together as a community of faith to share all the different dimensions of human life: social, intellectual, spiritual and physical. As disciples of Christ, we strive to the best of our ability everyday to make a conscience choice to put God first by loving Him with our whole heart, mind and soul and to love our neighbor as we do our very own selves. This is much more than a way of thinking, it is a way of life. This is why the early Christians were often called the followers of the way. We live the way by imitating our Savior who came into the world not to be served but to serve. We are called to pour ourselves out in love of God and neighbor. "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" (Matt 16:25). If we want to become our truest selves, and if we want to live to the fullest of our potential then we are called to give ourselves away and the concrete expression of that love is through our gift of time, talent and treasure. St. Irenaeus said that the glory of God is a human being fully alive and that is what we want to become.