September 2, 2005

Butler Newman Center plans Javier Mendoza
concert on Labor Day

By Mary Ann Wyand

Butler University’s Newman Center ministry will welcome collegians back to the Indianapolis campus with a Labor Day concert presented by Catholic musician Javier Mendoza of St. Louis at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 5 in the Reilly Room of the Atherton Center on West Sunset Avenue.

The concert is also open to the public—including Marian College students and high school youth—and a free-will offering is appreciated to help cover expenses.

Mendoza also will play for Mass at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 4, in the third-floor conference room at the Atherton Center.

Butler University junior Anne Poelker of St. Louis, who sings in the choir for Masses at the Newman Center at Washington University when she is home, helped coordinate the Labor Day concert to encourage incoming freshmen and older collegians to participate in Masses and Newman Center ministries.

“I’ve been wanting to do this concert at Butler since my freshman year,” Poelker said. “I met [Mendoza] in St. Louis and have sung with him. I come from a fantastic Newman Center community, and Butler’s Newman Center is so small that I want to help it grow” with more student participation this year.

“I love his music,” she said. “It’s phenomenal music and I want to share it with people.”

Mendoza was born in Virginia, raised in Spain and went to St. Louis University on a soccer scholarship, but was injured and had to leave the team.

“He started playing music and has very strong tries to the Washington University Catholic Student Center,” Poelker said. “He wrote a set of Mass parts for Ordinary Time, and they use those Mass parts almost weekly.”

The Javier Mendoza Band blends Latino and pop rock music with an acoustic guitar base, and has been praised for its “energetic Latin spirit” and “upbeat message of faith.” The band’s music includes secular as well as religious songs.

Poelker said Mendoza has a fan base in St. Louis and Chicago, and wants to expand his music ministry to Indianapolis.

“We’re hoping that by having this concert early in the school year when we have a day off from classes that we will get a lot of students there,” she said. “We have a lasagna dinner in November and a Mardi Gras dinner every year as social events. We’re working on getting retreats and service projects going this year. We’re really trying to make an effort to increase the strength of the Newman Center community. We want it to be more visible on campus.” †

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