Profiles in Mission: Trevor Barger

Trevor Barger

Name: Trevor Barger
Parish: All Saints Newman Center, Tempe
Role: Parish Advisory Committee chairman

How did you get involved at All Saints Newman Center?

It’s my parish. I’ve been going there for 19 years now. I love the energy; I love the mission of the church. There’s a group of us that stay there year after year. Every four years we get a whole different group of students so about three-quarters of the parish is new every four years.

How did you get involved in the “Together” Campaign?

Fr. Clements asked if I would take on the role and I easily said ‘yes’. It’s a great mission so it’s an easy one to support.

All Saints Catholic Newman Center


What does the “Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante” campaign mean to you?

A good portion of the campaign supports our three Newman Centers in the diocese, and at ASU we are very proud to have the largest gathering of college-age Catholics in the country. I like to say that we have a Catholic college bigger than Notre Dame. We have about 17,000 Catholic students on campus and another several thousand Catholic professors on campus; it’s a huge community to attend to.If you ever want to see, just come to our Ash Wednesday masses; they’re every half hour from sunrise to about 9 p.m. It’s the one day when we get everyone involved in the university to turn out.

How does your work with FSL speak to evangelization and discipleship?

At college age, you’re exploring a whole lot of ideas. One of the reasons why we partnered with the University of Mary, now Mary College of ASU, is because we’re realizing there’s a whole lot of questions a university isn’t necessarily set up to fully ask. The Newman Center and Mary College can help ask a more complete question.

I guest lectured once and the question was on the appropriate use of technology. We talk all the time of how to use technology, but what happens in a Catholic setting when you put the word ‘appropriate’ in front of it, and what does it mean to our Catholic values when you talk about technology? Similarly, at the Newman Center we’ve hosted conferences with UMary and with the School of Sustainability on the fairness of sustainability and whether it puts a new burden on the poor of the world. It’s a question that a Catholic organization at the university can ask, not a question that the university probably would ask.

At this young age, when the mind is exploring all these wonderful new ideas and new possibilities, you’re asked deeper questions. It really starts creating new leaders like our current pope who is very well-trained in science and theology for a whole new possibility that hasn’t existed much in the world before.

Why is there a need for a Newman Center on the ASU campus?

It’s a time in life when people often think that the Church is an old set of rules that they grew up with; they’re leaving behind the things that they knew as kids and are exploring their own life. The Newman Center helps them to engage in deeper questions in forming their faith. The Newman Center is an incredibly safe retreat when needed that gives people a very strong grounding to go out and be brave about other things. They can take risks and know that if all else fails, we’re here.

How has All Saints impacted the ASU and Tempe communities?

[ASU head football coach Herm] Edwards’ daughter got confirmed this last August at the Newman Center. [All Saints] anchors the alumni association not only for Catholics but for the university. Two of the board of regents members are Catholics and help us out at the Newman Center. There’s a huge alumni association because there are so many marriages at the Newman Center.We have a huge event every year called ‘Still the One’ where all of the married couples who’ve been married at the church are invited to come back for a celebration. And then of course, they bring their kids back. We also have a program for young families. On Easter, college students hide Easter eggs for all the young kids after the Masses. It’s fun to have that whole family of life, and we anchor that for the university: for the professors, for the students and everybody who supports the university in surrounding businesses.

What does All Saints Newman Center mean to you?

They’re my family. It’s a really great tight-knit community and it’s incredibly welcoming; we can welcome thousands of new people every year to the parish and at the same time, hold the traditions of the Church, week after week after week. To watch Sr. María José and Mike Hyatt set young hearts on fire with the missions that they go do, it’s fun just to watch all of that and being able to support all those people doing such incredible things here.