Go & Make Disciples of All Nations...

 

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. - Matt 28:19


 

Since 2000,

over 130 students

from the UNL Newman Center have said 'yes' to joining FOCUS as a campus missionary.

All over the world, these missionaries are bringing Christ to students at a time in their lives when it's so easy to be lukewarm or leave the Faith. 

How individual taxpayers can exploit the new tax bill right now

Americans can tax advantage of the GOP tax plan already, including by a donating to charity before the end of the year. (Image Source / Getty Images)

Americans can tax advantage of the GOP tax plan already, including by a donating to charity before the end of the year. (Image Source / Getty Images)

The newly-passed tax plan is the most significant shift in U.S. tax policy in over 30 years. For many individuals, the way they file taxes will see significant changes. 

"A typical piece of end-of-the-year advice is to increase your potential deductions before Jan. 1. Deductions claimed for things you did this year will lower tax bills due the following April. Wait until January, and you'll need to cool your heels for more than a year to get the benefit of deductions claimed.

This year, beefing up your charitable giving could be even more effective. If your tax rate is falling in 2018, your deductions are more valuable if claimed against this year's income. Giving to charity, a tax deduction that's preserved under the tax bill, is an effective way to boost your 2017 deductions on short notice.

And even if your tax rate is going up next year under the new bill, you may still want to make a bunch of charitable donations in 2017. Most deductions, including the charitable one, can only be claimed if you itemize your tax return. The bill would sharply limit the number of taxpayers who would benefit from itemizing: First it raises the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for single people, and $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples. Second, it limits other deductions - most famously for state and local taxes - so it's harder for taxpayers to reach the threshold where itemizing makes sense." -Chicago Tribune, December 18, 2017

We have a need!

The Newman Center's parishioners are college students who simply cannot financially sustain the Newman Center alone.  For example, our team of ten FOCUS missionaries cost $150,000 while utilities for the year add another $41,500. Your help is needed! Please consider supporting thousands of college students’ faith!   

Take advantage by making a year-end gift to the Newman Center:

Read the full article by the Chicago Tribune here

Reborn in Wonder Lecture Series, Fall 2017

The Newman Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture has recently concluded their fall lecture series of 2017. This semester, the Institute welcomed Dr. Russell Hittinger, University of Tulsa; Bishop Michael Barber, S.J., Bishop of Oakland; and Dr. Ralph Wood, Baylor University. 

Missed the lectures? They are available online here

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The Beating of the Pulse

Prayer is to the spiritual life what the beating of the pulse and the drawing of the breath are to the life of the body.
— Blessed John Henry Newman 

Over the years, Father Matya has witnessed several lives being changed through prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament. At the start of the fall 2016 semester and again last January, Newman Center students asked for extended Adoration times. Now, Eucharistic Adoration is regularly available for over 57 hours each week!

On a Friday night in September, St. Thomas Aquinas opened its doors to hundreds of people. This event, which has become a biannual tradition at the Newman Center, is called Night Fever. By midnight, twinkling candles glowed beneath the Monstrance, each representing a prayer said for the recovery efforts of the recent hurricanes or for a special intention.

In the softly-lit chapel worship music echoed and encouraged visitors in their prayer. One sophomore student, Ellen Schroll, was deeply moved by the night: "Night Fever is a place of peace, where you can go and put everything out there in front of Jesus and just let Him take control of your life..."

Father Matya and two Newman Center students, Anna and Hayden, were recently featured on EWTN's Battle Ready about the importance of prayer in front of the Eucharist. Check it out: 

By the way, Father Mills also did a killer interview for a different Battle Ready episode. Both videos are original publications by EWTN.

Our doors are open to the public. Please, come join us for Eucharistic Adoration any time. 

Student Stories: Bootcamp

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My name is Jared Fuelberth. I am a sophomore Software Engineering major in the Raikes School here at UNL. I reign from Hartington, NE (technically from the small area we call Pleasant Valley, but it's not actually a real town... :P ), and this bootcamp retreat with the Newman Center was my second; my first was in the fall of my freshman year.

So, you're wondering about my experience at bootcamp?! Well, let me tell you all about it! Since I had already been on a boot camp, I suppose I 'knew' what to expect in the sense that I knew what we were doing to do logistically: adoration, talks, fasting, prayer, etc. Once again, I let my naïve-self think that I knew how God was going to work at camp. Silly me, right?! And in the weeks following camp, I've had some time to reflect on everything that happened in light of the big picture of preparing for camp, attending camp, and everything that went into the planning for the trip. 

UNL's FOCUS missionaries put on the bootcamp retreat once a semester. 

As Logan Burda- one of our FOCUS missionaries- would attest, the weeks leading up to boot camp are usually pretty chaotic, undoubtedly due to spiritual warfare. It's not that complicated: Heaven and Hell are real, and the devil simply doesn't want people to go to camp. He works in whatever ways possible to get us to never walk through the doors of the retreat in Wahoo. In my few weeks before camp, I had met with Logan several times and I was aware of the number of people dropping out for silly reasons: there's school work, it's busy, blah blah blah. I was no exception. Of course I was excited to go, but suddenly before camp I had exponentially more homework, there were group projects and presentations piling up, no time to study for my midterms, and I seriously considered not going. Looking back, it seems silly because I knew this camp was happening for months, and was I really unable to prepare my schedule to fit in this camp? Yes. Obviously I did. I am glad the devil didn't quite get to me enough to convince me not to go, but I wished everyone who had signed up was able to join me.

At camp, there was so many awesome things that happened. Friday night, we had a couple of talks and Mass together as a group. The talks are soooo amazing because our campus is blessed with some great missionaries. They love the Lord, and I've never seen so much excitement and joy in people. Honestly, one of my highlights of camp was hearing Max Chapman talk about the Holy Spirit; he is hilarious, joyful, goofy, and such an example of the joy that comes from a deep relationship with God. There's several things that his talk helped me understand, but I think it was even more inspiring just to see him and witness his joy. And he wasn't even trying. :) Also, at my first bootcamp, Friday was an intense night for me because as I was in adoration in the chapel, and I was struggling with so many things that were being rooted up from years of hurt. At this camp, I was able to look back and see how much I've grown since the last camp and see how God has healed me in many of those ways. That feeling of knowing God is working in my life despite all of my failures is one I cannot explain other than say it's pretty legit. 

Saturday is the heart of the retreat. We have two 3-hour blocks of adoration- one dedicated to receiving healing from the Holy Spirit and the second for praying to the Holy Spirit for the gifts He wants us to have to help the people in our lives, with an emphasis on the Charismatic gifts. The healing session was powerful for me. I came into camp with a short list of things I knew I wanted to pray about, but once again, God helped me understand why I was truly there. Through confession and the prayer team, I was able to understand the root of some of my struggles, which allowed me to present that core issue to God. I pretty much never have an opportunity to have three entire hours in adoration, and for some that might sound really long, but it's like new life in pouring into my heart! There was so much healing I needed in areas I didn't even realize, but the Holy Spirit knew and he dug them up for me! It was hard to face those things, but God was right there; what could I fear?

After we have time in the healing adoration block, we get to take time to open ourselves up to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It's necessary for us to receive personal healing and grace from God first, so then we are open and equipped to share that love of God with the people in our lives; this is the target of this session. I came with a list of my family, my friends, and random people who I've encountered recently, and I was able to take 3 more hours to pray for them, and ask God to give me the gifts necessary for me to reach those people and help them grow closer to God. Now, I didn't come away from camp with a sudden, tangible gift, like praying in tongues, but I felt a huge call to pursue these gifts in my everyday life back in school. In fact, as I am writing this, I have a booklet sitting next to me I need to go through to help me discern my gifts a little further! (I should probably do that right now... thanks for the reminder! Haha). In the end of that session, I felt more understanding of the patient obedience God is calling me towards. He wants to work through me, and He wants to give me gifts, but I'm not ready. Now that I recognize that, I can begin working towards that openness. It's a process, and after camp I am equipped to do just that. 

As I drove home from camp, it felt like my soul had been pushed, pulled, and reformed in so many ways... in so many GOOD ways. This camp is pretty intense, but one of my favorite things I have done in quite a while. God is so real, and He loves us all so much! He's calling us all to be His children, and as we give our lives over to Him, He wants to love through us and bring all of our loved ones closer to Him. I am thankful for our missionaries who put so much time into this camp because it's awesome. It's just so awesome. I could say that a million times, and I could go to camp a million times and never have the same experience. I'm in a totally different place than I was last year, but God knew that and provided accordingly. 

Your brother in Christ,

Jared Fuelberth

Support Jared and students like him in their Catholic faith! Go to our donate page and select "Mail Appeal".