A closer look at the University’s religious life facilities


Julie Spierer, Special Features Editor

The University offers an array of different opportunities for religious observance right on campus.

Rooke Chapel

Perhaps one of the University’s most iconic buildings is Rooke Chapel. On most evenings, the chapel’s spire can be seen illuminated by the University’s brilliant sunsets. But, the chapel is also home to worship, weddings, celebrations, musical performances, and more.

The chapel was dedicated on Oct. 25, 1964 as a gift from the late alumnus Robert L. Rooke, class of 1913. Rooke was a previous member of the University’s Board of Trustees and the Chapel’s full name, the Charles M. and Olive S. Rooke Chapel, is an homage to Robert’s parents.

The building’s architecture can be described as Georgian Colonial, a style that was representative of Colonial Revival architecture in the United States in the late 19th century. The style, which is marked by its symmetrical and proportionate structure, traces its foundation back to the classical architecture of Greece and Rome.

Attached to the chapel is a one-story wing, home to the Office of Religious Life, the Chaplain’s office, a meditation chapel, and a kitchen. In the main portion of the chapel, there is the narthex, sanctuary, chancel area, organ chamber, choir rooms, and balconies.

The chapel is non-denominational, meaning that it is for the use of people of any Christian denomination. A myriad of services are offered when the University is in session, and the chapel can seat up to approximately 700 people.

The chapel is home to the Rooke Chapel Congregation Protestant masses, Roman Catholic services, and Jewish services.

If you have any questions or are interested in more information, email [email protected].

Fellowship House

Located at 628 St. George Street, the Protestant Christian religious life center at the University offers students  a space for students to relax, socialize, cook, meditate, and meet in small groups.

The Fellowship House is the informal home to the Sojourners Christian Fellowship. The house hosts Wednesday evening dinners for students of the Protestant Community. The Christian Fellowship also facilitates Bible study, retreats, and service practices.

If you are interested in the University’s Protestant Religious life, contact the University Chaplain at 570-577-1592.

Newman House

The Newman House is home to the Catholic Campus Ministry, or the CCM.  Located at 610 St. George Street, the home welcomes members of the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic Campus Ministry provides nearly 200 students weekly with space to relax, study, and socialize.

“I get to sit around, with people who are looking for something, and discuss with them the faith.  I get to help people heal, and reconcile their broken relationships with God and others.  I share meals with them, Mass with them, service with them, and even sorrows with them,” Chaplain for the Catholic Community, Mike Rothan said.

The CCM holds weekly Thursday evening Mass, followed by home-cooked dinner and group discussion. Within the Mass, the CCM leads liturgical and musical assistance. There are also a myriad of different retreats and service programs within the local community.

“Joining students in worship means equipping them to go beyond the walls of the church, and allow their worship to manifest itself to their brothers and sisters in love,” Mike Rothan said.

If you are interested in the University’s Catholic Campus Ministry, contact Father Michael Rothan at [email protected], or the Assistant Catholic Campus Minister, Suzanne Domzalski at [email protected].

Berelson Center

Located at 632 St. George Street, the Berelson Center, also known as the Center for Jewish Life, offers programs that celebrate Jewish life and encourage growth within the University community.

The Berelson Center hosts Hillel, a program open to all University students. Hillel is run by a student executive board in conjunction with Rabbi Chana Leslie Glazer, Chaplain for the Jewish Community, where students join together to share dinner and attend Shabbat services regularly.

If you are interested in more information, contact Rabbi Chana Leslie Glazer at [email protected].

Muslim Prayer Room

Students who practice Islam gather for daily prayers in the South Campus Apartments, on the first floor of Building 2.

The Muslim Student Association was founded in 1999 on the University’s campus and aspired to bring together Muslim students to practice Islam, as well as educate the community about Islamic ways of life.

Mouhamadou B. Diagne, Chaplain for the Muslim Community, said, “My favorite part of being the Chaplain for the Muslim Community is working with so many engaged, passionate Muslim students from various backgrounds and nationalities. College is a great time for exploration of oneself and one’s sense of purpose, and I help students on that journey through individual counseling, leading worship services, and organizing diverse programs and events. I also enjoy being visible on campus by attending as many events as I can and meeting with students, faculty, and staff. Good ministry starts with presence.”

If you are interested in engaging with the Islamic community on the University’s campus, contact Mouhamadou B. Diagne at [email protected].

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