Father Jenkins to inaugurate Notre Dame–Newman Centre for Faith and Reason in Dublin

by Amanda Skofstad

Interior of Newman University Church in Dublin. Photo by David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0.

Interior of Newman University Church in Dublin. Photo by David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0.

University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will join the Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin, archbishop of Dublin, in inaugurating the Notre Dame–Newman Centre for Faith and Reason in Dublin Nov. 23 (Thursday) with a Mass at 5:30 p.m.

At the invitation of Archbishop Martin, the University agreed in 2016 to steward the historic Newman University Church by establishing a center designed for young professionals. The center is named for the church’s founder, Blessed John Henry Newman.   

“I see the establishment of the center as an opportunity for University Church to return to its original vocation as a focal point for reflection on faith and reason,” said Archbishop Martin. “Dublin can take a new lead in today’s changed social context in something which is part of the rich heritage of Newman’s presence in Dublin.”

Father Jenkins said: “The Notre Dame–Newman Centre enables us to bring together our respect for Blessed John Henry Newman’s towering contributions to the dialogue of faith and reason with the University’s deep connection to the people, culture and nation of Ireland.  We are grateful for the opportunity and hope the endeavor serves the Church and people of Ireland.”

The inaugural events in Dublin will also include a lecture on faith and reason in a secular age by Cyril O’Regan, Notre Dame’s Huisking Professor of Theology, and the premiere of a new Mass composed by the internationally recognized Irish composer Patrick Cassidy — and performed by the National Orchestra of Ireland. 

Founded by Newman, then rector of University College Dublin, the church opened in 1856 and has remained an iconic landmark in Dublin’s city center. Newman — an Oxford academic, Anglican priest and adult convert to Catholicism — was later elevated to the cardinalate of the Catholic Church in 1879 and beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

Under the direction of Rev. William R. Dailey, C.S.C., the Notre Dame–Newman Centre emphasizes excellent liturgy and music, a lecture series, cultural events and service to the Dublin community. Steve Warner, director of the Notre Dame Folk Choir for 35 years, is associate director of the center with responsibility for music, liturgy and outreach. The center’s team also includes three members of the House of Brigid, an international service and outreach program for recent college graduates.  

The newly established center complements an array of University activities in Ireland, including those of the Dublin Global Gateway, a partnership with Kylemore Abbey and myriad teaching and research projects connected to the work of the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies.

Contact: Amanda Skofstad, assistant director of media relations, 574-631-4313, skofstad@nd.edu