In 1881, Sacred Heart, the first permanent parish in Columbia, was established. Catholic students and faculty formed two groups from that parish, the Glennon Club for faculty and Newman Club for students. The Newman Club was named for John Henry Cardinal Newman, a 19th-century scholar who believed education should be moral training rather than mere instruction.
The Diocese of Jefferson City was founded in 1956, and plans for a new Catholic student center were then put into place. The first Mass at the Newman Center Chapel was celebrated on Dec. 8, 1963. The church was dedicated on May 9, 1964.
In the 1970s, membership opened to the rest of the Columbia community and the Newman Center grew rapidly. New programs included the children’s Catholic Education Program, Bible studies and adult education.
A decision was reached to build a new church after overcrowding and increased membership continued in the 1980s. The new church was dedicated on Oct. 16, 1994.
Services are held every weekday at noon, Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. when MU is in fall/winter semesters.
— Submitted by Will Maetzold
St. Thomas More Newman Center
Catholic Church and student center
Address: 602 Turner Ave.
Phone number: 573-449-5424
Mass times: Weekdays at noon, Saturdays at 5 p.m., Sundays at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., during the academic year at MU.