About Us

Welcome!

The St Thomas More Newman Center is a place to encounter Jesus Christ. Bible Studies, Eucharistic Adoration, receiving daily the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and Confession, making new friendships, receiving spiritual direction, and large group events discussing topics of faith are some of the ways we help foster that encounter with Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us in Revelation 3:20,

"Behold, I stand at the door and Knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me."

Let us help you more deeply open the door of faith to welcome Jesus Christ into your life. You will not be disappointed.

Our Mission

In collaboration with the University of South Dakota and the Diocese of Sioux Falls, the St Thomas More Newman Center provides an authentic Catholic home for the family of God. We serve all students, alumni, parents, faculty, and staff of the USD community in order to integrate Christ into their lives, their lives into the Church, and the Church into USD.

Staff

Fr Jeff Norfolk, Chaplain

I was born and raised in Mitchell, SD. I have an older sister, brother and step brother as well as 3 younger step brothers, a half-sister and a half-brother. I went to Catholic grade school and graduated from Mitchell High School in 1999. I attended Pre-Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville and graduated in 2004. I continued on to Major Seminary in Denver, Colorado, at St John Vianney Seminary where I completed my studies and was ordained a priest on May 29, 2009 at St Joseph's Cathedral in Sioux Falls. I began priestly ministry as an Associate Pastor at St Mary's in Aberdeen, SD, for 2 years. From there I spent two years as an Associate Pastor at St Mary's in Sioux Falls as well as being an Assistant Chaplain at Avera Hospitals in Sioux Falls, SD. I was then assigned as Pastor at St Patrick's in Wakonda, SD, as well as being the Chaplain at St Thomas More Newman Center at the University of South Dakota. I continue y work as Chaplain at USD as well as being a Sacramental Minister of the parishes in Elk Point, Jefferson, and Dakota Dunes, SD.

Steven Piorkowski, FOCUS Team Director

Hey friend! As a missionary, my single desire is to light the path to Christ. From Arizona to Spain, from the baseball field to the chapel, the Lord has called and sent me to reunite souls with Him. Our God is an AWESOME God and I hope you give yourself the chance to be with Him. I'm blessed to be serving here at USD and look forward to seeing you there!

Kim Layman, FOCUS Missionary

Hi friends! My name is Kim Layman and I am a first year FOCUS missionary here at USD. I graduated from UND in May and love all things coffee, any and all adventures, and just hanging out! I am so excited to share with others how much Jesus thirsts for us, and especially to work with those in Greek Life, which is where I met Christ, and I hope to spread His Love and Joy here on campus. Peace!

Alex Rodriguez, FOCUS Missionary

God has called me to rock the University of South Dakota and that is exactly what I'm doing! I get to serve college students, specifically college athletes at USD. I love getting to know people and investing time in authentic friendships. Since I started living my life centered around God my eyes have been opened to the urgent need for His love! God has asked me to serve this need through FOCUS so watch out USD Coyotes, here comes Jesus!

Josh Snow, FOCUS Missionary

I have been Catholic my whole life and the faith has always been an important part of my identity. In high school, however, I struggled with knowing exactly where I stood on the faith because I didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. On numerous occasions I fell into sins of the flesh and had many difficulties with the Church’s teaching on chastity. When I got to college I began to encounter Christ in a personal way. I got involved in a bible study for the football team and was invited into a one-on-one mentorship by one of the FOCUS missionaries at Benedictine College. I began to fall in love with the Lord and to see Him as a friend I could count on for anything. That caused me to end a relationship I was in with a girl from home and to start running after Christ. I am now consecrated to Jesus through His Blessed Mother Mary, have a deep love and passion for sharing the Gospel, and am engaged to my best friend, Annie, who is helping me to follow Christ until the day I see Him in eternity.

I began to feel a call to be a laborer for the Kingdom of God my sophomore year of college when I began co-leading a bible study for the football team at Benedictine. With the help of my FOCUS missionary mentor, I learned how to share my faith with other men on campus. Sharing the Gospel and my very self with others was something that brought me great joy and fulfillment. As I came into my senior year of college I felt called to apply for FOCUS and serve as a missionary. Now the time has come for me to begin my ministry and I feel honored to serve college athletes at the University of South Dakota and be an instrument of God’s will to them.

Tricia Zikmund, FOCUS Missionary

Hey! My name is Tricia Zikmund. I grew up on a hog farm near Pisek, ND, as the second oldest of eight kids. I graduated from NDSU in May with degrees in math, math education, and family & consumer science education. I am an enthusiast of coffee, board games (especially Catan), and all things outdoors. Most importantly, I'm beyond excited for this new adventure as a FOCUS missionary getting to know all of you and growing deeper in our faith together.

Kris Larson, Campus Minister

I recently moved to Vermillion with my family from Madison, SD, where I was the Director of the DSU Newman/Catholic Trojans. I was in my previous position for 8 years where I created the program at DSU and watched the Holy Spirit work in the lives of the college population there. I have a passion for young adults and see great potential in the young adults of the church. Let's GO YOTES!

Valerie Zorr, Office Manager, aka "All Office Staff"

I am originally from Mitchell, SD, and an alum of the University of South Dakota. I made my first connection with the Newman Center my freshman year at USD and later become a member of the student Parish Council as well as a student resident. After graduating and starting a family, I was offered a position in the office replacing student staff and making it a more permanent position. Over the years my position has expanded to include all office related positions including census manager, business manager, administrative assistant and accidental techie. My desire to see the Newman Center thrive at the University of South Dakota keeps me returning year after year. I commute from Akron, IA, where I live with my husband and 3 children.