Open house, more at new ISU Newman chapel Oct. 9

NORMAL — The first feast day of the newly beatified Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman will be a big day at the newly expanded St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Newman Center here, and everyone is invited on Saturday, Oct. 9.

A day of activities begins with 9 a.m. Mass in honor of Blessed Newman celebrated in the center’s new chapel.

At 11 a.m., a three-mile Newman Fun Run/Walk will begin, with all proceeds from the run/walk and a chili cook-off lunch to follow to support students who will attend World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be an open house at the chapel and center, located at 501 S. Main St. in Normal. Activities in addition to the run and food will include a free praise and worship concert on the lawn from 1 to 2:30 p.m., and a brief theatrical performance by the St. Robert Bellarmine Acting Team at 2:30 p.m. The performance will serve to introduce those in attendance to both St. Robert Bellarmine and Blessed Newman.

“In many ways, this is a day of thanksgiving for all those who have so generously supported the Newman Center and the students,” said Sister Sara Marie Kowal, SCTJM, assistant director.

“The students, in putting on this day, are looking to say ‘welcome’ and ‘thank you’ to all those who have so generously given of themselves in order to build this beautiful chapel and center,” she added.

The expanded facility was opened at the start of the school year and the Chapel of St. Robert Bellarmine will be dedicated by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, during a noon Mass on Sunday, Nov. 7. Sister Sara said the dedication Mass will likely be filled with students, so next Saturday’s events offer an opportunity for “the whole diocese and all those who are interested in the Newman Center and have helped to bring it to completion” to come and see the facility.

Those wishing to take part in the three-mile run/walk may obtain a registration form from the center or sign-up from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. on Oct. 9 prior to the run. Cost is $20 for those registering before Oct. 5, or $25 on the day of the event. A $75 family rate is offered for four or more participants. Payment can be sent to St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Newman Center, 501 S. Main St., Normal, IL 61761.

Runners eat for free at the chili cook-off, otherwise lunch prices are $5 per adult and $3 per child. Entries are also invited in the contest to determine the “Best Chili in the Peoria Diocese.” Contact Carol or Sister Sara at (309) 452-5046 for details.

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