9/19/12 | 595 views
Catholic Center at NYU Dedicated in Cardinal Egan’s Name
As Cardinal Dolan arrived for the Mass during which he would bless the John Henry Cardinal Newman Chapel at NYU’s new Catholic center, he admitted to wondering at first about the absence of stained-glass windows.
However, the cardinal said he soon noticed that the clear windows of the new chapel look directly out onto bustling Washington Square Park. The great number of people who passed by the ground-floor space as he was offering the Mass Sept. 8 clearly demonstrated the opportunity for evangelization that exists at the location, the cardinal said in his homily.
The chapel is the first thing that visitors encounter once they enter the newly opened Edward Cardinal Egan Catholic Center at New York University, which Cardinal Dolan dedicated later that day.
After blessing the chapel’s walls and the altar at the beginning of the Mass, Cardinal Dolan, who was the principal celebrant and homilist, credited his predecessor as Archbishop of New York for reaching the agreement with New York University to construct the new center at a time when not too many dioceses would have taken such a step.
“Thank you for your courage,” Cardinal Dolan said to Cardinal Egan, who was present at the altar. “I, for one, think it was astoundingly appropriate that this Catholic Center was named after you. Congratulations!”
The chapel was filled to overflowing with friends and associates of Cardinal Egan. Many NYU students were present as well as representatives of the Sisters of Life. Concelebrants included a large contingent of Dominican friars of the Province of St. Joseph whose members have directed NYU’s Catholic Center since the 1980s. The Gospel was read by Father John McGuire, O.P., a former longtime director of the center who is pastor of nearby St. Joseph’s-Greenwich Village, the university parish.
Speaking to the students present, many of whom performed active roles during the liturgy, Cardinal Dolan said, “This is your home. You’ve made us all feel part of your home.”
The Cardinal Egan Catholic Center sits at the corner of Thompson Street and Washington Square South. Besides the chapel, which can accommodate approximately 181 people, the 10,500-square-foot center includes a lecture hall for 200 people, a meeting room for 180 and a common room holding another 100 people, plus a confessional room, a kitchen and other amenities.
It is one component of NYU’s five-story Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life. The Catholic Center is owned and operated by the Archdiocese of New York, with its programs staffed by the Dominican Friars.
The dedication ceremony featured the unveiling of a plaque officially naming the center for Cardinal Egan, who was instrumental not only in approving the project but also involving in overseeing many of the details along the way.
Speaking of the center, Cardinal Egan said, “It is everything I ever hoped it would be.” Regarding the presence of the Church at “a great university” such as NYU, he said, “It’s absolutely necessary that we be in places like this.”
At the ceremony, remarks were also delivered by a university official and other religious chaplains at NYU. It was noted that NYU is home to some 18,000 Catholic students, reportedly the largest such number of any university in the country.
At the dedication, Father Allan White, O.P., was installed as the new director of the Catholic Center, and Father Austin Litke, O.P., as assistant director.
Megan Fountain, an NYU senior who is interning as a FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) missionary this semester, told CNY, “I can’t believe I’m here to experience this.”
The existence of such a center, she said, “makes a statement that we have a voice, a community.”
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