Education feature: Catholic center completed

By Argen Duncan: PNT Senior Writer

After three-and-a-half years, the Thomas More Newman Center at Eastern New Mexico University has a new home.

The center serves Catholic students and others at ENMU. The previous building housing the Newman Center, which has existed since the university’s early days, was sold in early 2006.

The remodeled building near St. Helen Catholic Church on Avenue 0 contains a chapel and meeting spaces. The dedication Mass took place Sunday evening.

“Now that we have it in place, we’re looking to the interior life, creating programs for the students, just basically breathing life into center, making it a home away from home for all students,” said St. Helen’s Father Jim McGowan, who leads the center. “All are welcome.”

Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan, who presides over the archdiocese that includes Portales, visited for the dedication.

“This is an opportunity for the Catholic students to continue to grow in their faith and have fellowship as they continue to do their studies here at the university,” Sheehan said. “I’m proud of what Father McGowan, the pastor and chaplain, has been able to do. The center is something good for the whole community.”