Newman Center & Our Story
Newman Centers are named in honor of St. John Henry Newman, a cardinal and one of the great theologians of the 19th Century. Originally ordained as an Anglican minister, he converted to Catholicism after studying the Early Fathers of the Church and was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1847. His conversion was one of the major “scandals” of Victorian England. He served as rector of the Catholic University of Ireland for seven years. After Cardinal Newman died, his name was chosen for the Catholic organizations at many of the colleges and universities in the United States.
Pope Francis canonized Newman in October 2019.
His Feast Day is October 9.
The UCSC Newman Center, located just one block from the entrance to the campus on Meder Street, serves our students as they mature into adult Catholics. We want to become your partners during your college and professional years.
Our Newman Ministry was initiated by Fr. Gerry Lasko, the first chaplain at UC Santa Cruz. Father Jerry McCormick followed him when he was assigned to Holy Cross in the 1970's. Beloved Santa Cruz icon, Father Mike Marini, assisted as well in the early years.
The Marianist Community served this ministry for a number of years. Brother Tony and Father Roland Bunda were particularly very well known in the local community.
Newman became reconnected with Holy Cross when Father Rodolfo Contreras was our chaplain. Father Justin Bianchi was chaplain for several years before Father Jhonnatan Carmona served us in the pandemic year. Since September 2021, Father Dat Nguyen has been serving as our chaplain.
The Newman Center continues to be closely related to Holy Cross parish and we have been blessed with many volunteers from the local Catholic community. The Diocese of Monterey supports the Newman Center and invites you to become a partner in continuing this vital ministry to our college students. To support the Newman Center, please make checks payable to "Diocese of Monterey" and write "Newman Center Santa Cruz" in the memo line. Our mailing address is 285 Meder St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Thank you for your generosity!