The 1950's

Catholic Campus Ministry at Bucknell University has a long history. Earliest records show that CCM at Bucknell started as early as 1952 with a small group of Catholics on campus. In its early days, the organization took several names, including the Newman Club and the Newman Association. Now it is known as Catholic Campus Ministry and is part of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

On the right is an example of some of the early days of Bucknell CCM. Second from the left is Betty Jean Gowland Bluth, Bucknell class of 1957. On the far right is Father John Donnelly, the Newman Club Chaplain at the University of Pennsylvania at that time. He later became a monsignor and the pastor of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Second from the right is Betty Kielar Skweir, Bucknell class of 1956. Many of the Bucknell Catholic students at that time became involved in the Middle Atlantic Province of Newman Clubs to bring exciting events and speakers to campus.

As with any new group, it was tough getting started. Interest in a Catholic club at Bucknell declined at first, but then in 1958 the small group grew stronger. Most of this was because of the efforts of the early trailblazers of CCM at Bucknell. For example, one of the past presidents of CCM, Roger J. Braun, tried to gather more interest in his letter to all Catholic students on campus.

A large effort was made in 1958 to strengthen the club and define its structure. From 1958 (or earlier) to 1962 (or later), Father John R. Gunville served as the part-time Chaplain of the Newman Club during his assignment as pastor of Sacred Heart Church, 814 Saint Louis Street, Lewisburg, PA. Miss Beatrice Gonzalez also helped the club by serving as the faculty advisor. Later, Father Woodrow W. Jones was involved in the Newman Club at Bucknell while he served as pastor of Sacred Heart Church after Father Gunville.

Back then, activities for the club were limited. One of the biggest events was the Religion-in-Life Program, which started in 1944. This was an annual event held by the university and sponsored by the Christian Association to enhance the spiritual lives of students. Through events such as the Religion-in-Life Program, the Newman Club started to make itself known on campus.