The missionaries of Saint Paul’s Outreach journey into the very heart of college campuses to bring the message and light of Jesus Christ to a generation desperately seeking truth and fulfillment. The result of this missionary activity is a renewal of culture, forming communities that awaken faith.
This SPO community extends further than those on campus; it includes mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, family, friends, alumni and benefactors all striving for the renewal of hearts and minds. The breadth and richness of the SPO community was seen and felt on Tuesday, October 23, when nearly 600 men and women poured into the Ohio Union to celebrate and support the great work God is doing to bring Faith Alive on college campuses, both in Ohio and across the country.
Our keynote speaker Fr. Philip Merdinger, the founder of the Brotherhood of Hope and SPO’s national chaplain, spoke with great authority about the crisis of faith on campus. He shared the important role that SPO missionaries play in the lives of college students whose Catholic faith is “seriously challenged when they step foot onto campus.” He said that “it is not enough to have programs available to students through the institution of the Church, missionaries are needed to go where they are not wanted and to insert themselves into the life of the student body so as to bring them something of hope, something of Jesus.” As missionaries offer authentic friendship, “it is then that students can be invited to programs,” which do provide for an encounter with Jesus Christ.
In addition to other students, Will Eichel, attested to the value of an SPO missionary in his life. Through this friendship, Will was invited to a retreat he otherwise would not have attended. On that retreat, during Eucharistic Adoration, Will said, “God broke into my life and changed it forever.
The evening of the SPO Banquet was filled with many more wonderful moments, and we are so blessed for those who were able to join us. We also know there were so many others that wanted to be with us that evening who were unable to be present. Thank you to all of you who are part of this beautiful SPO community! We are grateful for your prayers and support that help us share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to thousands of students each year! You are in our prayers.
Join us for our banquet next year, Thursday, October 24th.
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