Radical Generosity: SNE 2015 Recap

Life is as big or small, deep or shallow, as the object you are searching for.

This was the opening exhortation for #SNE15 from Brother Ken Apuzzo, Director of Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota and Director of School of the New Evangelization, on the evening of August 9th, 2015.

350 college students from around the country gathered at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, MN, for the weeklong conference, School of the New Evangelization (SNE), hosted by Saint Paul's Outreach.  These 350 men and women gave generously and radically of their summer break time, internship and job commitments, and money to attend SNE.  They dropped everything to answer an invitation to deepen their faith.

Elisa Maguigad and David Miller, upcoming sophomores at Seton Hall University, attended SNE for the first time this year and have generously shared their experiences with us. 

SNE was different from other conferences and retreats I’ve been to in that it was designed for the time after we left. It’s true that I spent a lot of time in building my personal relationship with God and my relationships with people at SNE while in Minnesota, but I did not leave with a “retreat high” that many people get after they spend a scheduled amount of time in a faith-centered environment. I left with a mission. For me, that has manifested as a call to return to music.

God gave me a passion and talent for singing, but I put that away for my first year of college. While at SNE, the Lord met me where I was and reminded me of how He wants me to use the gift He’s given me to connect with Him and share Him with others. It was truly moving to be reminded of the way God loves me through the means of music: a place where I have met the Lord so many times.

With the mission I have been given, along with hundreds of other Christ-centered people who attended SNE, I feel prepared to return to college with the Lord guiding me.
— Elisa F Maguigad, Class of 2018, College of Education and Human Services
Going into SNE I had very high expectations because I was waiting for it to come for so long. When I got to the University of St Thomas I was welcomed by so many people, some who I knew but many who I did not know. I was overwhelmed with the kindness that so many people showed me.

My main highlight of SNE was just to see 350 students who were so on fire for Christ, worshiping him and giving their all in the times of praise and worship and getting the most out of every talk. I’ve been to a lot of retreats throughout my life and for many of them, the participants did not all want to be on the retreats, but at SNE, there was such a powerful spirit among us and I could clearly see that the people who were on SNE, not only waned to be there but were getting as much out of it as possible. It was very inspiring to see students from all over the country worshiping God and giving him the honor that he is due.

Throughout the week, one theme continued to come up for me personally. This theme was experiencing the Father’s love in a much deeper way. One way that I experienced the Father’s love was through Father Philip Merdinger. I talked with Father Philip many times and I experienced the power of the Father’s love through his words of wisdom and his continual love and care for me personally.

I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to participate at SNE and I can honestly say that I was changed over the week I spent in Minnesota. I thank God for every moment that I spent at SNE and for all the people that I met. I learned so much about myself and about my faith and more tools that I can use to evangelize others.

Thank you God for SNE 2015!
— Dave Miller, Class of 2018, Undeclared – School of Arts and Sciences

Post by Rose Ederer, Mission Leader at Seton Hall University, New Jersey