Each year Saint Paul's Outreach New Jersey hosts a Benefit Banquet, giving the opportunity for students and missionaries to meet current and potential mission partners. This year, on the evening of April 25th, missionaries, partners, and new friends gathered at Nanina’s in the Park in Belleville, NJ for the 2017 Benefit Banquet - A Light in the Darkness.
This year, Saint Paul's Outreach honored Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR with the Servant Leadership award.
Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR, a founding member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, has been teaching and preaching retreats and parish missions for several decades. He is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on the apparitions at Fatima. He is the author of numerous books, including Following Mary to Jesus and Walk Humbly With Your God. Fr. Apostoli is the vice-postulator for the cause for the canonization of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. A frequent presence on EWTN television, he hosted the TV special “Our Lady of Fatima and the First Saturday Devotion.” He also hosted a three-part series on Fatima on Catholic TV. This year, Father Andrew celebrates the 30th anniversary of the founding of the CFRs, 50 years of serving as a priest, and 100 years since Our Lady first appeared in Fatima.
At the Banquet, Fr. Apostoli reflected on the gift his priesthood. Father also talked about his love for adoration and time spent with our Lord. He spoke on how heavily he was influenced by Fulton Sheen’s example, watching him speak on television as he grew up and later being ordained a priest by him.
At the Banquet, students are able to share their testimonies of how the Lord has worked in their life through the community of SPO. This year three students from Seton Hall University shared their stories: Brian Delfs, Molly Martinez, and Elisa Maguigad.
The evening's program concluded with a worship song sung by SPO NJ students and missionaries from the past and present.
SPO NJ not only met the goal of raising $50,000 that evening - but exceeded it! This marks the most well attended (about 350 guests), successful banquets to date, having raised over $125,000 total! The annual benefit banquet witnessed to the fact that Lord is so much greater than us. Without Him moving hearts to support the mission of Saint Paul's Outreach New Jersey in big ways, the work we do would not be possible.