SAN BERNARDINO—The skies threatened rain and winter winds were chilly but, fittingly, sunshine poked through the clouds to bring light and warmth to a day worth celebrating.
The Bishop Barnes Newman Center at Cal State, San Bernardino was dedicated with a liturgical ceremony and reception/open house on March 7.
“The fact is that this building is a sign of our faith in our young people,” Bishop Gerald Barnes said during his homily. “It’s a place where students will come to be fed, to feed on the Gospel.”
The 5,000 square-foot, one-story building is built on three acres at 2624 Kendall Drive, about a mile from the CSUSB campus. It has a large main meeting area that can accommodate up to 150 people, but can also be divided into three separate meeting rooms. It has two offices, a music room, kitchen, bathrooms and a prayer chapel. Outdoors, there is a prayer garden, a large covered patio and a recreational area that includes a basketball court. There are also 35 parking spaces.
It was a dream for years but after a major donation through the “Honoring Our Past, Investing in Our Future” fund created by Mary Ganje in memory of her husband, Tony, plans were put on paper to build a Newman Center. Construction on the $2.3 million project began 18 months ago.
“We have our building now and that will definitely strengthen the Catholic community here,” said Curtis Galley, a recent graduate of CSUSB who belonged to the Newman Club.
Prior to the opening of the Barnes Center, Roman Catholic students at CSUSB have met in various conference rooms on campus for Mass, Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), confirmation classes, confessions, club meetings and social functions.
CSUSB President Tomas Morales, who spoke during the dedication ceremony, called it a place “where individuals can contemplate, study or just relax.” He added that he hoped the Newman Center would become a place that welcomed students of all backgrounds.
Bishop Barnes said he hoped it would be a place to center students in their Catholic faith.
“This building celebrates our calling to the Mission as missionary disciples,” he said.