History at NYU

Built between 1961-1964, the Catholic Center, the original Catholic student center at NYU, was the gift of the Generoso Pope family.  The Center was an integral part of the Catholic experience for undergraduate, graduate and law school students at NYU.  In 2009, the Archdiocese reached an agreement with NYU to surrender part of the site in exchange for the construction of an entirely new and up-to-date Catholic Center, which would belong to the Archdiocese in perpetuity.

The New Catholic Center

In 2012, the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, dedicated this new Center, which occupies the ground floor of the Global and Academic Center for Spiritual Life. The new Center contains a beautiful chapel with the Blessed Sacrament, a room for Confessions, two large auditoriums, offices, a kitchen, and a student common room with a fireplace.

The purpose of the Catholic Center is to provide students with the necessary means to deepen their relationship with Christ and to enable them to witness to their Catholic faith now and in times to come. The Catholic Center seeks to help students mature in their faith, to help students become intelligent, committed, adult Catholics. The Center also welcomes  all of those who genuinely seek a vision by which they might structure their life. 

Catholic Culture at NYU

Cardinal Dolan described the Edward Cardinal Egan Catholic Center at NYU is “an icon of the new evangelization.”  The Center’s staff tries to respond to this challenge by serving the spiritual needs of students from around New York City, but especially NYU, in a number of ways.  Chaplains and FOCUS missionaries witness to the Catholic Church's presence in the wider society of the city. The chaplains celebrate the Eucharist, provide space for private prayer and for the sacrament of Reconciliation, and make the Catholic faith better known and more deeply understood by promoting sound catechesis firmly founded in the faith.  Out of many Catholic students at NYU, 700 witness to their faith by going to Mass every weekend and of those 700, 150 students are involved outside of services through discipleship with missionaries or are members of student organizations. Despite their busy schedules and the hectic pace of New York life, students find time to serve and pray at the Center.  This is a testament to the Center’s function as a spiritual and actual home away from home where students gather in community to strengthen their faith.  Student testimonials are available upon request.

This short video reveals the impact that the Catholic Center has in the lives of the students.

The focus of our mission is:

To build a worshipping community. Masses are held in the chapel throughout the week and are well attended.
To build an informed Christian community through lectures, seminars, and scripture study groups.
To build a caring community through the social activities aimed at developing mature human relationships.
To build a socially responsible community through service in the wider community. 
Since the opening of the new space in 2012, our students have demonstrated their deep commitment to the Center in a variety of ways: 

Our welcome dinners during freshman orientation are a huge success with more than 70 - 80 people in attendance each year. 
30 students regularly attend Tuesday night dinners and discussions. We see 600 - 800 students at our 6 pm Sunday student Mass. 
Our four FOCUS missionaries lead 12 Bible studies and have more than 20 students in discipleship.  The students in discipleship will soon lead their own bible studies.  This has been the trend for the past two and a half years. 
Student-led organizations—Newman Catholic Fellowship, Korean Catholics United, and GradLaw/Young Professionals—boast more than 100 active members.

This video features Fr Allan White, O.P. and Luisa, a current student, on EWTN's "Life on the Rock."

St. Joseph's Church

Since the year 2002, the Catholic Center at NYU has been connected with the nearby parish of St. Joseph's in Greenwich Village. Built in 1833, it is the oldest Catholic Church edifice in the city. The Dominican friars who serve both the parish of St. Joseph's and the Catholic Center at NYU live in community at the rectory of St. Joseph's. 

The historic St. Joseph's Church, on 6th Ave, is just a five minute walk from the Catholic Center.

In addition to the daily Mass at the Catholic Center, students also attend the midday Mass at St. Joseph's. On the weekends, to accommodate the larger number of students who attend Sunday Mass, students attend one of the Masses at St. Joseph's. The principal university student Mass is at 6pm on Sunday evenings, with a contemporary choir.