The primary goal of any Catholic ministry program is to bring Jesus Christ to the people in a very real way. In the Diocese of Madison, St. Augustine University Parish in Platteville, WI is developing an exciting vision for the future of campus student ministry in order to achieve that goal and to increase Christ’s presence on a secular university campus. The focal point is the creation of a Living and Learning Center (LLC) across the street from the main campus entrance of the University of Wisconsin, Platteville.
History: The Catholic Newman Center community has been in existence since 1954. The community began as the Newman Club on campus, and in 1959, services and meetings were moved to a house close by. In 1973, the existing facility was deemed “badly deteriorated” and that repair or renovation “seemed out of the question”. It was clear to the Diocese of Madison that a true chapel and a larger student center were very much needed. St. Augustine University Parish was founded in 1974 to accommodate the growing number of students. The existing building was completed in 1975. Two additions were constructed within the next 25 years, and the chapel was remodeled in 2013. You can visit our History page to learn more about how we got to this point
Today: At its current location on South Hickory Street, the parish offers two daily Masses and a wide variety of programs such as Bible studies, RCIA, student fellowship, men’s & women’s groups, service retreats, spiritual direction/development, continuing faith education, and much more. However, student ministry has grown steadily over the last 40 years, with each new program and service made available. Since 2011, there has been a sharp increase in student attendance at Mass and a large growth in many programs offered at St. Augustine. The current size of this facility has limited the parish’s ability to serve the community and minister adequately to the needs of the students. Also, in that five year period, there has also been a steady rise in the significant number of religious vocation discernments coming from this particular Newman Center.
Throughout its entire history, the Catholic Newman Center at St. Augustine has seen a recurring pattern of growth and development. The existing building has served the community extraordinarily well for over 40 years. It has been expanded upon twice and remodeled on several occasions in order to meet the needs of the ever increasing success of the ministry. Rather than repair and expand an aging building, the time is
right to go to the next level and build a more modern facility that not only serves the temporal needs of the students, but by its traditional beauty, challenges and fulfills the spiritual needs of everyone who attends there.