Minnesota Benefit Banquet Celebrates Revolution, Success

by Anh Pham, Junior at the University of St. Thomas

On the frigid evening of February 17, 2015, vibrant smiles, hearty greetings, and touched hearts from SPO Missionaries warmed up the chambers of the Crowne Plaza where Saint Paul’s Outreach hosted its annual MN Benefit Banquet. More than 650 family and friends of Saint Paul’s Outreach attended the reception, not only to show generosity and support, but also to witness God’s grace working through SPO on Minnesotan college campuses.

SPO alumnus and Board of Directors Chair Most Rev. Andrew Cozzens emceed the night and commended SPO on the significant growth that continues to revolutionize college campuses in Minnesota. From just the past semester (Fall 2014):

  • Missionaries reached over 1,000 students through strong bonds, events, and outreach
  • Over 200 total students regularly connected with the SPO community on various campuses
  • 90 students signed up for SPO’s MN Formation Program, and are being sent out to revolutionize college campuses for Christ and His Church

SPO’s Founder, Gordon DeMarais, and co-founder and 2015 banquet honoree Fr. Kevin Finnegan credit this substantial growth to the SPO Missionaries’ choice to say YES to the Lord. As the Gospel of Luke (9:23) writes, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Amid all economic, political, and social issues of today’s culture, SPO men and women are selflessly taking up the cross of Christ every day in order to spread the joy of the Gospel and to share their lives with others. Their “yes” continues to transform hearts and create dynamic bonds, building an attractive and ever-flourishing community of brothers and sisters in Christ.

Two SPO Missionaries from Minnesota, Josiah Klas and Lenore Popp, reminded us with their testimonies that it is not status, nor cats, nor wealth that satisfies our pursuit for happiness. Instead, it is our pursuit and faith in God that brings forth the true satisfaction and invites us into God’s family. View all videos below:

The future outlook of SPO Minnesota is very promising. As Jeremiah 29: 11 writes, “For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” The Lord has a grand plan for SPO Minnesota. Believe and say yes, for our yes can only bring the best!