Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The University of Iowa in Iowa City has an enrollment of over 30,000 students. It is a place where young people make important decisions, including the nature of their relationship with Jesus Christ as an adult. This is difficult on a campus and in a culture that offer enticing paths away from Jesus.
In today’s world, young people are experiencing a crisis of faith. Recent surveys show that as many as four out of five Catholics will leave their faith by age 23. Meanwhile, research demonstrates that those who participate in campus ministry are much more likely to remain in the faith and transition into active parish life following graduation.
The Newman Catholic Student Center (www.iowacatholic.org) provides campus ministry to the 7,000+ Catholic students, as well as students of all faiths, associated with The University of Iowa. Centrally located on campus, its goal is to be a faith home-away-from-home for students.
Newman Center offers daily Mass, Bible studies, service and social justice opportunities, retreats, the rosary and adoration, student leadership opportunities, fellowship, fun and a family atmosphere. Its mission is to prepare disciples for our Church and our world.
Newman Center can’t accomplish this mission alone. Because Newman Center is 100% self-funded through private contributions, it needs the help of parish partners and other donors like you.
As the chair of the Newman Center board of directors, I have witnessed the impact of the Center’s mission firsthand. That is why, in early 2021, I asked that a special collection be taken up on Oct. 9 and 10 of this year in all the parishes of the Diocese of Davenport. Entitled SURROUND-SUPPORT-STRENGTHEN, the proceeds from this collection will assist young people in all three of these ways.
Please give generously to this collection so that we can walk with young people on their faith journeys and advance the Kingdom of God.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Thomas R. Zinkula
Bishop of Davenport