A Catholic Center at NYU

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Two Cardinals, a Rabbi, and an Imam found common ground for praise this past Saturday with the opening of the New York University Catholic Center. In audience for the much-anticipated occasion were close to two hundred people that included parishioners of Saint Joseph’s in Greenwich Village, FOCUS missionaries, NYU students and alumni, a half dozen Sisters of Life, a small army of Dominican Friars as well as several priests from the Archdiocese.

His Excellency Cardinal Dolan delivered a heartfelt homily for the Saturday Vigil Mass at the newly christened Cardinal John Newman Chapel. He praised the location of the NYU Catholic Center in “the heart of things” as being the right place for Catholics to shine their light on the world, as well as to live out Christ’s command: “Be Not Afraid!”

Following the mass there was a dedication ceremony with the President of NYU Grad/Law Michelle Fitzgerald holding court as master of ceremonies. Functioning as an inter-religious tag-team, NYU’s Rabbi Yehuda Sarna and the NYU Muslim Chaplain Imam Khalid both sang high praise for the Pastor of Saint Joseph’s Fr. John McGuire, O.P., who has worked hard to make the Catholic Center and his parish of Saint Joseph’s in Greenwich Village a welcoming spiritual home for NYU students in search of community in New York City. The rabbi and imam gave moving examples of how he provided them with support, both spiritual and practical when they needed it.

It was Cardinal Egan who went on to explain with humor and reverence how Fr. John is a tireless worker, and expects the same zeal from his co-workers in Christ, without exception. Cardinal Dolan concluded by blessing the people and the center with holy water.

However, this was not the last act as a photograph of Cardinal Egan was unveiled as part of the dedication of the “Edward Cardinal Egan Catholic Center.” Earlier, Cardinal Dolan said that he was not offended by the choice of names since he expected that the dining room table would bear his namesake.

There are 18,000 Catholic students at NYU, so please pray for the new administrators of the Catholic Center: Fr. Alan White, O.P. and Fr. Austin Litke, O.P., and the FOCUS missionaries who support them.

For more pictures, http://www.flickr.com/photos/dominicanfriars/sets/72157631514104237/

Fr. Kevin Gabriel Gillen, O.P.