Fr. James Wilcox said that by mid-January, students will be able to come "pray, study, and relax" in the TCU Catholic Newman Center.

The TCU Catholic community will celebrate the opening of its first official home this week.

TCU’s first Newman Center, a designated building for Catholic communities at non-Catholic schools, is located on 2704 West Berry St. next to Kubes Jewelers. The Newman Center, which is already being used for weekly mass services, will hold its official opening and reception at 2 p.m. on Jan. 20.

Rev. James Wilcox, the university’s Catholic chaplain, said he worked with the Diocese of Fort Worth to lease the space.

Catholics are the largest religious denomination at TCU. More than 2,200 students identified themselves as Catholic, according to the 2015 Factbook.

Kelly Guilbeau, liturgy chair for the Catholic Campus Ministry, said the Newman Center will bring “a better sense of community.”

“I’ve seen centers on other college campuses be wonderful places for Catholic students to gather and build friendships,” Guilbeau said. “I can’t wait to see what it will do for our community.”

Wilcox said the Newman Center will be “the home for TCU Catholic students, but [it] is welcome to anyone. There will be office space, work space, kitchen space, places to relax and, of course, places to pray.”

Meggie Koch, co-president of the Catholic community, said she thinks the space will help build a “tighter knit community.”

“It will be so nice to have a central location for all Catholic TCU students to hang out, study and pray together. I think it will help the Catholic community expand and reach out to more students.”

Wilcox has been working to establish a Newman Center since his appointment in the summer. He said he wanted to create “a place for Catholic and non-Catholic students to just be.”

The center will allow students to establish a relationship with Christ while finding “comfort in friendships and security in our blessed Lord,” said Tom Centarri, the Catholic community’s campus minister.

While most of the Newman Center was planned as an open space, there is a special walled-off section for a chapel. The Newman Center will hold weekday masses and Bible studies in the chapel.

“There will be a chapel for adoration and a place for confession,” Wilcox said. “It will be much more quiet and private there.”

“I’m really excited for the opening,” said Michael Arterburn, a junior political science major. “It’s going to be a great resource for the Catholic Community and will serve as a tool to build a stronger sense of community.”

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Hank Kilgore is a senior Journalism major and FTDM minor from Lafayette, Louisiana. He is currently Editor of The Skiff and the Student Life and Entertainment Managing Editor for TCU 360. You can often find him anywhere a superhero movie is being played.