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Students creating bonds of friendship, faith at Newman Center in Omaha


Students prepare snacks for a pre-hockey game gathering at the St. John Paul II Newman Center Feb. 10 in Omaha, Neb. The center, which opened in August 2016 near the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus, is the dormitory home to more than 100 students from the university and the College of St. Mary. (CNS photo/Mike May, Catholic Voice)

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OMAHA, Neb. (CNS) -- After six months together at the St. John Paul II Newman Center in Omaha, residents -- and nonresidents -- are creating bonds based on friendship, sharing and faith.

The center, which opened in August 2016 near the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus, is the dormitory home to more than 100 students from the university and the College of St. Mary.

And they're more than dorm-mates bound together by academic, athletic and social pursuits -- they're a faith community engaging with each other on a deeper level of faith and prayer.

"The opportunities here are so different than living in Scott or University Village, with the opportunities for daily Mass or adoration," said Michaela Moriarity, a UNO freshman and member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Omaha.

Newman Center students also attend community activities and retreats, and participate in Bible study, mission trips and other faith-building activities.

Informal or student-planned activities also bring students together, said Cole Nardini, a UNO senior and member of St. Pius X Parish in Omaha, who started a men's night -- often for bowling or conversation.

Men's and women's small groups also are forming to discuss areas of struggle in their lives and to grow spiritually, he said.

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