50th Anniversary

banner_templateIn the Fall of 2016, we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Catholic Center at the University of Rhode Island. If you would like to be part of our growing alumni network, please CLICK HERE to provide us with your contact information. CLICK HERE to learn about concrete opportunities to assist with the ongoing mission and ministry of the Catholic Center.


The motto for our anniversary was “Fifty years of faith, learning and service.” These three dimensions have shaped and guided the mission and ministry of the Catholic Center for fifty years and, please God, they will continue to guide and shape it for another fifty!

FAITH: Saint Paul reminds us that it is by grace we have been saved through faith (Eph 2:8). For fifty years, the Catholic Center has stood as a testament to the gospel of Jesus and has facilitated an encounter with him in the community of the Catholic Church. This, above all, is why we exist: to invite all seekers at URI—students and faculty alike—to hear the call of Christ and to support them in their response to that call. We do that through our own witness, through opportunities for prayer and spiritual development, and most especially through the celebration of the sacraments.

LEARNING: We cannot love what we do not know. For fifty years, the Catholic Center has formed countless people—young and old—in the teaching and mission of Christ our Savior. Through catechetical programs, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, presentations and lectures, the accessibility of Catholic publications, and many other means, the rich heritage of our Catholic intellectual tradition has been celebrated and passed on to new generations. What a rich heritage it is.

SERVICE: The scriptures challenge us to consider that if we cannot love the brother or sister whom we have seen, we are incapable of loving the God whom we cannot see (1 Jn 4:20). For fifty years, the Catholic Center has encouraged and promoted service to Christ in the suffering, the poor, and the vulnerable. Through the concrete acts of Christian charity sponsored or promoted by the Catholic Center, countless people have encountered the love and mercy of Jesus. From mission trips to food drives to nursing home visits—among many other activities—the Catholic Center has helped students to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

50th_collage2Photos from our Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration on September 24, 2016 (courtesy of Jay Swoboda)

016606bf95f5465d9fae26d97bd5f988cd156e33f2 A rendering of the Catholic Center, dating from 1964

014752608761a76b7f628c00b3585cde3bac490e8aBishop Russel J. McVinney at the dedication of the new Catholic student center in 1966