Catholic Herald SAC0711 : Page 16

to serve as pastor of Holy Fam-ily Parish in San Jose.) Twenty miles west, the UC Davis Newman Center is housed in comely-though-aging brick quarters near Central Park. The church and adjacent rectory date to 1931, and were part of the original site of St. James Church. The rectory is used now as office space; a small duplex behind the church is equipped with a kitchen that gets a lot of use – for “soul food” Thurs-day dinners, drop-in meals at mid-terms and a host of other social events. Deacon Clark works with an administrative assistant and a student staff of five. The latter oversee a host of tasks and initiatives, from an out-of-town retreat for new students each fall to a week-long “busy per-son’s retreat” that takes place at the Newman Center one hour a day. The center also sponsors small groups that meet weekly. “It becomes a really intimate and safe space, a great way to connect with people and share God,” says Rose Costello, a sociology major from San Luis Obispo who has been on staff the past two years. Rose has helped with a number of efforts at the New-man Center, organizing a pro-gram that pairs UC Davis students with local Catholic families for monthly visits and home-cooked meals and taking a group of students to south-central Los Angeles in December to help remodel buildings for use by local nonprofit groups. As a freshman, Alysha McCarry came to the Davis Newman Center solely on the weekends and decided to step things up her sophomore year. She spent this past year coordinating social justice efforts, including a “ginormously” successful winter coat drive on behalf of Yolo County’s Short Term Emergency Aid Committee and trick-or-treating for canned goods at Halloween. “I don’t think any of us consider this a job. It’s serving,” says Alysha, who is from Riverside. “Most of us find our joy not in Deacon Clark Goecker, top left, and Fa-ther Innocent Subiza, left, work with an administrative assistant and a student staff of five at the Newman Center in Davis. the paycheck, but in being able to be Jesus’ hands and feet right now.” For Peter, who’s starting his senior year at CSU Chico, the leadership experience has paid dividends. When he came to Chico from his San Diego hometown, he was shy and far from outgoing, he says. Now he gives class presentations --and speaks at Newman Center events --with confidence. His involvement with the ministry has shaped the course of his college years. “There are a lot of other temptations, other groups that try to pull you in,” he says. “We’ve had a lot of different talks on ways to stay strong … I feel like if I’m involved in my faith, it just helps me continue learning more about it, to go deeper in.” On the Web: The Newman Catholic Community at California State University, Sacramento: The St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Cen-ter at California State University, Chico: The Newman Catholic Center at UC Davis: 16 Catholic Herald / July/August 2011 / www. diocese-sacramento .org

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