From Zero to 60 in No Time

In the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, Saint Paul’s Outreach has gone from zero to 60 in suburban KC. SPO is establishing two chapters in the Kansas City area at Johnson County Community College and among post-college young adults in the metro.

Just over a month ago, four mission leaders from Saint Paul’s Outreach – Joe D’Amato, John Prost, Kimy Garvey, and Anna DeMarais – walked onto campus at Johnson County Community College, one of the largest colleges in Kansas, for the first time. They enrolled in classes and began the hard work of building relationships and establishing the first Catholic club in the history of the college. Just this past Monday, the student senate approved SPO as a club and things are off and running. Our first “official” event on campus will be the celebration of the Mass on Friday, October 4 – the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi – with Fr. Andrew Strobl, the Director of the Evangelization in the Archdiocese, serving as the presider at the Liturgy.  

It's not every day you see a priest slacklining!

Already we have a number of students at JCCC participating in various informal events on and off campus, including the super popular slackline, informal jam sessions with our SPO musicians John and Joe, and local Lord’s Day celebrations at the women missionaries' home! Students from all different backgrounds have encountered SPO mission leaders and have begun to be attracted to why we live the way we do!  

Next week, we are kicking off two small groups for women called “In His Image” on Mondays and Fridays on campus, and a small group for men aptly titled “Dangerous Men” on Wednesday afternoons at the men’s house!

In addition to all the great work begun on campus at JCCC, Mission Leaders have established a formation program for young adults in the Kansas City area. SPO’s formation program is a key for our mission among young people: it establishes deep committed relationships with young adults among their peers, it gives a formation in Catholic living in a secular culture, and it engages and equips young people in the mission of the Church. More than 40 young adults participate in the formation program that meets weekly in Kansas City. 

We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities, in our parish or diocesan institutions, when so many people are waiting for the Gospel! To go out as ones sent. It is not enough simply to open the door in welcome because they come, but we must go out through that door to seek and meet the people! Let us urge our young people to go forth. Of course, they will make mistakes, but let us not be afraid! The Apostles made mistakes before us. Let us urge them to go forth.
— Pope Francis

In response to this word for our Holy Father, John, Joe, Kimy, and Anna have begun doing street prayer ministry in some of the most prominent (and secular) young adult environments in the Kansas City area including Westport, the Power and Light District, and the Country Club Plaza. They have felt compelled by the Holy Spirit that the message of salvation in Jesus Christ is for everyone and Jesus came “not for the righteous, but for sinners.” In this first month, we have met and prayed with dozens of young adults in the local social scenes of Kansas City.  

Please keep SPO Kansas in your prayers and stay tuned for more reports of God’s amazing work!