ORONO — In an effort to raise funds for campus ministry, students and leadership at the Newman Center, the home of the Catholic community at the University of Maine in Orono, have organized a “Spread Your Fragrance” virtual fundraiser to offer Catholics and non-Catholics alike with the opportunity to support the cause while enjoying handcrafted candles inspired by saints and the faith.

“The fundraiser is ‘live’ through Nov. 15,” said Audrey Aylmer, campus minister at UMaine. “In honor of St. John Henry Newman, for whom the Newman Center is named, we’re calling it the #spreadyourfragrance fundraiser after the famous prayer that he wrote: ‘Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go…’”

The Newman Center is working with CORDA, a small Catholic business that makes handcrafted candles with unique scents directly inspired by saints and the faith. Each candle is created with an all-natural coconut wax blend and phthalate-free fragrances. Popular candles include ones inspired by St. Martin de Porres, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Joseph the Worker, and many others.

“What gave them the greatest happiness and fulfillment and what draws us to them now is how they loved God with everything they had and were. One day during prayer, the idea for CORDA was born,” said Anna Camacho, the owner and candlemaker. “The name means ‘hearts.’ Each scent combination is the fruit of love and prayer, and their inspirations come from the day to day lives and heavenly patronages of these holy men and women.”

As part of the fundraiser, CORDA will donate 15 percent of every purchase to the Newman Center at UMaine. To buy candles for yourselves and others, visit

www.portlanddiocese.org/sites/default/files/files/UMaineCandles.pdf or www.cordacandles.com/?ref=UMNC21.

Located on College Avenue in Orono, the Newman Center has served as a venue for gatherings of Catholic students at the University of Maine since 1946 but, more importantly, it has served as a spiritual home for active Catholics and non-Catholics to learn about the beauty of the faith, become rooted in prayer, and cultivate their faith lives in the process. In recent years, the need for structural repairs and other improvements at buildings of the Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord, particularly the Newman Center, became obvious and inspired the “Rebuild His Church” capital campaign which, to date, has raised over $2.7 million. Renovation and repair work at the center is slated to begin in the spring. Among the many improvements on the way at the center are a new multi-purpose space for meetings, ministries, and fellowship; a quiet, beautiful narthex where one can transition into the presence of God; separate entrances to the chapel and the main hall; a chapel featuring a new sacristy, tabernacle, altar, ambo, and main crucifix; a student lounge to encourage relaxation and community, including an outdoor deck extension; a Marian garden with a statue of Our Lady of Wisdom; and a steeple bell to ring out the joyful sound throughout the neighborhood that it is time for Mass, reminding all that the Lord is calling us to Him.

The campaign is still in need of support to reach its ultimate goal of over $3.5 million. To learn more about the campaign, the Newman Center, and how you can help, visit www.blackbearcatholic.org/how-to-give.