Northern Arizona University alumna Sara Sara Mitchell (far left) joins Holy Trinity Newman Center students in taking a hike through the iconic Lava Tube caves in Flagstaff during NAU’s welcome week in this Aug. 30, 2018 file photo. (Courtesy of Holy Trinity Newman Center)
Northern Arizona University alumna Sara Mitchell, who worked for Holy Trinity Newman Center as coordinator of evangelization for two-and-a-half years before taking on a position as a parish campaign manager for the Diocese of Phoenix’ “Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante” Campaign. (Courtesy of the Office of Mission Advancement)

Parish: Christ the King, Mesa

Role: Parish campaign manager; Former coordinator of evangelization at Holy Trinity Newman Center for 2.5 years

What does your job at the diocese entail?

I’m part of the Office of Mission Advancement where I work with a team for the “Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante” Campaign which is a campaign for discipleship and evangelization in our diocese. The bishop recognized the importance of our young people so a lot of the campaign goes towards Catholic education and Newman Centers. Bishop Olmsted wants every baptized Catholic to feel invited to participate in the campaign.

I go to parishes and I work with the pastors, their staffs and teams to implement the plan for the campaign. A huge blessing is I was in Flagstaff for seven years, so now I’m still serving the Newman Center but in a new way.

How has Holy Trinity Catholic Newman Center impacted the NAU and Flagstaff communities?

I’ve seen the relationship between NAU, Flagstaff and the Newman Center grow. Fr Matt [Lowry] was not always the chaplain of the football team, and now every home game, Fr. Matt is down by the field. Last year, a small Bible study got started by a professor on campus who met at the Newman Center.

The Friends of the Newman Center event [an event for donors of the Newman Center] continues to grow and it shows how many people we’ve been able to encounter. Night Fever has been opening up Nativity Church for students and Flagstaff community members to come and pray where they encounter beauty. Nativity is normally only open for weddings and other special occasions. I remember a man who works across the street and he just walked over and said, ‘It’s open! It’s never open!’ I could see tears in his eyes.

Northern Arizona University students participate in “Night Fever,” a time of Adoration with praise and worship music at the historic Nativity Church during in this April 6, 2018 file photo. (Courtesy of Holy Trinity Newman Center)

Holy Trinity Newman Center at Northern Arizona University

520 W. Riordan Rd., Flagstaff

The NAU Newman Center invites students into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, leading to a lifetime of discipleship and evangelization.

(928) 779-2903



How does the Newman Center speak to evangelization and discipleship?

That’s what the Newman Center is all about! Evangelization is going out to share the Good News with others.

We are created for relationship and perfect unity with the Lord. It was ruptured by sin, and that relationship is not what it once was — man was separated from God. No matter what man did we couldn’t cross that gap on our own and the Lord in His goodness sent His Son to suffer and die for us and rise from the dead. He came to restore that relationship. So what that requires is a response. The response is “yes.” we are able to give our “yes” to the Lord every day, that’s what we’re meant to share, the Good News. The Newman Center has FOCUS missionaries and Bible studies and events, not for the sake of doing an event, but there is a reason behind each event — to meet people where they’re at.

There’s a student who came to the fugitive welcome week event and he won and got a gift card. He came back and came to Mass and continued to come to Mass. He joined RCIA and became Catholic.

The mission of the Newman Center is discipleship and evangelization, where students can be formed as missionary disciples who set the world on fire. In knowing whose they are, they are able to be sent out to other students and to their families and to the world.

Why is there a need for the Newman Center at NAU?

Newman Centers are intellectual houses of formation. They form young people for the rest of their lives. It’s meant to be a beacon of hope.

The need for Newman Centers is great. Newman Centers want to win souls for Christ. A college campus is lonely and broken. College students have a unique window to be able to sit with each other and talk about life, to start asking these questions and sharing. It starts with prayer and with the Lord. You can’t give what you don’t have; I can’t be expected to go out and tell everyone about Jesus if I don’t have a relationship with the Lord first. Our faith life is not just me and Jesus; it’s meant for others — that’s why we have the Church.

What does the Newman Center mean to you?

I love the Newman Center. It’s formed me into the woman I am today. It’s where I grew up a lot. Through college I found out who I was, and I met my husband. When I look to the future, I don’t know where I’m going to be in a year, but I know the Lord has me. The Newman Center has formed me to be a wife and one day a mother, and it’s laid roots and foundations. The seeds have been planted of what I want my family’s life to look like.