Oct. 8 and 9 ‘Mission Talk’ focuses on first president of Newman University

Newman University will present the first "Mission Talk" of the 2013-2014 series on Oct. 8 and 9. This year's Mission Talk series has been dedicated to the first president of Newman University Monsignor Leon A. McNeill, as well as Newman University's 80th anniversary.

Joyce Suellentrop will present the first Mission Talk, "Beginning McNeill's Journey," from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8 in the Tarcisia Roths, ASC Alumni Center inside the Dugan Library and Campus Center on the Newman campus. She will repeat the presentation at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center on the Newman campus.

Monsignor Leon A. McNeill
Monsignor Leon A. McNeill

Suellentrop was an archivist at Newman University and has returned to organize and catalog a variety of Monsignor's McNeill's papers that were recently rediscovered in the Newman archives. In the first presentation Suellentrop will focus on McNeill's early years in high school, college, and the seminary. She will also touch on his work in the Catholic Diocese of Wichita before 1933, when Sacred Heart Junior College, the institution that became Newman University, was founded. McNeill was superintendent of schools for the diocese, and was asked to be the first president of Sacred Heart Junior College.

"I want to paint a portrait of this young man, Leon A. McNeill, by using specifics and events of the times to explain his personality, qualities, and actions," Suellentrop said. "As I open, sort, and file his papers, it is the unfolding of a life - and the sheer energy of the man, that is what interests me the most."

Her presentation will be the first time that these details about McNeill's life will be revealed, not only to Newman University but to the entire Diocese of Wichita.

Both the Oct. 8 and Oct. 9 events are free and open to the public. Reservations are required for the Oct. 8 luncheon and may be made by contacting Charlotte Rohrbach, ASC, at 316-942-4291, ext. 2167, or emailing rohrbachc@newmanu.edu.

The complete schedule of the 2013-2014 Mission Talk series is as follows:

Mission Talk I
"Beginning McNeill's Journey"
Joyce Suellentrop
Noon, Oct. 8, 2013 - Tarcisia Roths, ASC Alumni Center
7 p.m., Oct. 9, 2013 - Dugan-Gorges Conference Center

Mission Talk II
"Higher Education (Sisters College and SHJC)"
Charlotte Rohrbach, ASC
Noon, Nov. 19, 2013 - Tarcisia Roths, ASC Alumni Center
7 p.m., Nov. 20, 2013 - Dugan-Gorges Conference Center

Mission Talk III
"Catholic Rural Life"
Charlotte Rohrbach, ASC
Noon, Feb. 11, 2014 - Tarcisia Roths, ASC Alumni Center
7 p.m., Feb. 12, 2014 - Dugan-Gorges Conference Center

Mission Talk IV
"Catholic Welfare/Action"
Joyce Suellentrop
Noon, April 1, 2014 - Tarcisia Roths, ASC Alumni Center
7 p.m., April 2, 2014 - Dugan-Gorges Conference Center

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