Father Adam Grelinger, chaplain and director of Campus Ministry, said this is such a special occasion for the university, calling it a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
He added many schools and universities choose a well-known saint as their namesake, but it’s rare for a school to get to celebrate their namesake’s canonization.
The process of declaring a member of the Catholic church a saint is a lengthy one.
Before becoming a saint, the person would receive a new title for each step in the canonization process. First, they would be known as a servant of God, then venerable and blessed, which is followed by canonization.
Each step has different requirements — conducting interviews by those who knew the person, continued interest in the person’s life and writings and proof of two miracles.
Grelinger explained the title of saint declares the person “worthy of imitation” and is recognized by the church “for their radical living of the Gospel and teachings of Christ.”
Koby Nguyen and Murphy Obershaw, students and members of Campus Ministry, have been involved with the celebration event planning.
“Personally, I really like Cardinal Newman,” said Obershaw. “It’s always cool when someone you think highly of gets canonized, but it’s even cooler being a Newman student because it’s like I have a closer connection to Cardinal Newman.”
Nguyen agreed, stating, “To have our university’s namesake be declared a saint is extremely valuable. Just as it is the case with St. Maria De Mattias, Cardinal Newman’s life will help guide us into a closer relationship with Christ. They are the world’s best role models. We know, with certainty, that if we ask for Cardinal Newman’s intercession we will not be led astray.”
There are many ways to participate in the celebration week at Newman University. Obershaw encourages students to come to as many events as they like and be part of the celebration.
Grelinger is most looking forward to “Newman in the park,” a three-hour event during which people will take turns reading Newman’s works as people come and go.
He said this will be a great way to connect with Newman’s namesake. “It will give us a taste of Newman, his words, his thoughts and prayers.”
There will also be a lock-in on Saturday for those who want to join in and watch the airing of the canonization ceremony early Sunday morning.
Grelinger was a student at Newman University when Cardinal Newman was beatified. He said, “We are celebrating the greatest thing and I feel very blessed; we got a new chapel and our namesake is being named a saint.”
Nguyen is also glad to take part in this experience.
“As Father Adam stated, not everyone gets to experience their school’s namesake being canonized a saint,” he said. “In that sense, it feels pretty awesome to get to experience Cardinal Newman’s canonization in my final year at Newman University. Also, it is extremely reassuring to know, with certainty, that John Henry Newman is in heaven praying for us.”
For more information about the week’s events, contact Campus Ministry at 316-942-4291, ext. 2422.
Below is a list of events Campus Ministry is planning:
- Monday, Oct. 7 — 8:30 a.m., “Chalk the Campus”
- Tuesday, Oct. 8 — 7 p.m., movie night in the Sr. Tarcisia Roths, ASC, Alumni Lounge (located on the 2nd floor of Dugan Library) presenting the film “Pivotal Players Series: John Henry Newman”
- Wednesday, Oct. 9 — 8:30-11:30 a.m., coffee and scones in the Eck Hall foyer followed by Mass at 12:05 in St. John’s Chapel
- Thursday, Oct. 10 — 5:30-7:30 p.m., Campus Ministry chili feed and pumpkin painting at The Landing (located next door to Carrocci Hall)
- Friday, Oct. 11 — 12:30-3 p.m., ice cream celebration in the Fugate Student Center (located in Dugan Library)
- Saturday, Oct. 12 — 8:30 p.m.-6 a.m., lock-in canonization party in Sacred Heart Hall featuring dancing, snacks, games and more
- Sunday, Oct. 13 — 4 a.m., canonization watch party begins in Sacred Heart Hall, Mass will be celebrated at 7 p.m. in St. John’s Chapel