Spiritual riches on a secular campus

Paulist Fr. Ed Nowak, director of the University Catholic Center at the University of Texas in Austin

Austin, Texas — Fr. Ed Nowak agrees with the University of Texas motto: “What starts here changes the world.” The Paulist priest, who directs the University Catholic Center, need only step outside his office across from the campus’ famed south mall fountain and flying horsemen bronze sculptures and he can behold the white tower that is central to the university’s iconic architecture.

Every week he sees some 1,500 of the university’s 52,000 students. Some 100 of them attend daily Mass and 30-40 queue up to an hour twice a week for regularly scheduled confession. Many others approach him for reconciliation by appointment or in the course of spiritual direction or counseling advice, which he also dispenses regularly, as does his fellow Paulist Fr. Jaime Baca, associate director of the University Catholic Center.

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A version of this story appeared in the Nov 6-19, 2015 print issue under the headline: Spiritual riches on a secular campus .

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