I first became exposed to the Newman Center four years ago, as a Freshman in college when I began attending one of the programs offered there called the Fragua course. I grew up Catholic but never really had a solid relationship with the church, the faith, or God. Time passed and, the older I grew, the more my heart hardened toward the Christian faith. By the time I was a Freshman in college, I had become disinterested in pursuing a life with God and His church; but I wasn’t content.
What began as a mostly-unwilling trek to the Newman Center (forcibly by my parents but nonetheless a loving invitation from the Holy Spirit) for the Fragua course turned into a genuine, love-filled and authentic experience with our Lord Jesus Christ and a friendship with people my age who were zealous for their faith. It was the first time I had learned about the Christian faith in an open and welcoming environment. It was the first time I could ask genuine questions and objections that I had to the church and have them answered in a gentle manner. It was the first time I had ever made friends who were willingly pursuing their Catholic faith.
Although it wasn’t until the end of my Junior year that I started becoming more involved in Newman, the encounters I had blossomed into a beautiful relationship with Christ and His community. It has given me more joy than I could’ve imagined and has helped formed me into the person I longed to be. The Newman Center provided the environment in which I placed my heart and my life into the hands of God so that they could finally authentically grow.
If you have any questions about the Christian faith, come to Newman. If you’re desire to explore or grow in Christianity, come to Newman. If you’re looking to expand your community of friends, to become involved in impactful projects, or just a homey space for study or prayer come to Newman. Walking through the door of the Newman center led to the most enriching experiences I had in college; come and see.
Melinda Guillen is a Senior at Portland State University majoring in Communication Studies.