The New Newman Center

Scheduled to open Fall 2019

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As you may know, the Newman Center serving the University of Pennsylvania is entering its 125th year of ministry. We thank God for his faithfulness to us and for sustaining our work and that of our predecessors, for so many years.

At the University of Pennsylvania, the Newman Club made its home, known as Newman Hall, in multiple locations in West Philadelphia since its founding. Prior to the move to Chestnut Street, Newman Hall and St. Bede’s Chapel were located near the corner of Spruce & 38th Street where Vance Hall now stands. In 1970, Newman Hall moved its home to the property at 3720 Chestnut Street, adjacent to St. Agatha - St. James. This building has served countless students over the last five decades.

With the move and redevelopment, the future is exciting as the Newman Center at St. Agatha - St. James looks to the next 125 years of ministry. As we move forward into the next phase of the life of the Newman Center, we ask for your continued support and prayers.

Fr. Carlos Keen


The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has entered into an agreement to sell the property located at 3720 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia to EPG Urban LLC. When this sale is completed, a substantial portion of the proceeds will be designated for a new Newman Center. We will move into much improved facilities located at the former parish school building as well as the lower level of the Church.

The net proceeds available after closing costs will benefit the Newman Center and the parish by:

  • providing the funds to support the move and redevelopment of the Newman Center on the property of St. Agatha - St. James Parish located between Sansom and Chestnut along 38th Street;

  • establishing an endowment to replace income lost as a result of this transaction and move;

  • and providing funds for necessary repairs to the exterior of the parish church.

The remaining proceeds will be used to support the Archdiocese’s continuing efforts to strengthen its financial position.


The sale of this property is a strategic transaction and will achieve the following goals:

1. The current Center needs to be updated. The move of the Newman Center will include a major physical redevelopment of current structures with some new construction. This will enable the Center to better meet the growing programmatic needs of engaging the university community.

2. The redevelopment will be the impetus of a major campaign that will build a network of supporters and partnerships around the world interested in seeing a Catholic center of consequence bearing witness to Jesus Christ in a growing, dynamic, urban neighborhood. The campaign will seek capital and endowment funding to expand the programmatic impact of the Newman Center in all of University City.

3. The move and redevelopment will unify both structurally and architecturally the Newman Center with the ministry of the parish of St. Agatha - St. James, which is the parish church supporting the Catholic mission - in all its forms - in University City and its environs.


Creating Spaces Of Encounter

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Phase One

Timeline: July 2018-December 2018 | Complete

Renovate the lower level of St. Agatha-St. James.


Phase Two

Timeline: January 2019-August 2019

Renovate the three story building that currently exists on parish property to serve as the new Newman Center.


Phase Three

Timeline: Fall 2019

Create a courtyard in front of building and a park along the property on 38th Street.



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