On Saturday, October 22nd, Saint Paul's Outreach Ohio hosted its 7th Annual Benefit Banquet in the Ohio Union, located on Ohio State's campus. More than 370 individuals were in attendance, with Bishop Frederick F. Campbell delivering the keynote address on The New Evangelization. We were blessed to share the good news of SPO in Ohio with our Mission Partners and introduce SPO's mission to many who were encountering SPO for the first time. Dominic DeMatte, Assistant Branch Director, shares his re-cap of the evening's events.
As I arrived at the Union on Saturday, October 22nd, I sprinted to the 2nd floor to find the Archie Griffin Grand Ballroom; the room was surrounded with magnificent windows on one side and lights that spanned the entirety of the room. The caterers were hard at work placing each table setting just right. Chills ran down my back with excited anticipate on of the evening – what a beautiful setting for the Saint Paul’s Outreach Annual Benefit Banquet!
The SPO students arrived early that afternoon, dressed in their best: the men looking handsome in their suits, and the women beautiful in their dresses. Collectively we worked on each final detail to make sure everything was in place for when our guests arrived. After setting each place, the students scattered throughout the room eagerly ready to say “Hello!” to each guests and share how God has touched their life through SPO.
The evening commenced with a welcome address from Fr. Walter Oxley, Vice Rector of the Pontifical College Josephinum, who was the evening’s Master of Ceremonies. Following the opening blessing, the guests were wowed by the exceptional food, and lively conversation ensued. As our guests moved on to coffee and dessert, Bishop Frederick Campbell, the evening’s keynote speaker, passionately shared the urgency of answering our baptismal call “to live the Kingdom and to spread the Kingdom.” We later heard later from Andrew Kebe, Ohio Branch Director, on how SPO helps students answer that call and forming them as leaders for the next generation of the Church. This inspirational presentation was followed by two student testimonies, each describing how SPO not only awakened their faith, but brought it to maturity, equipping them to spread the joy of the Gospel to others on campus.
The evening drew to a close with the students beautifully singing “Join With Us”, a song often sung during our times of prayer when gathered on campus. As our guests left, many stopped to thank the SPO students for their dedication to the mission of spreading the Kingdom, a mission they will take well beyond campus.
Thank you to all you who came and joined us for the evening’s celebration. We are grateful for your prayers and support. Your presence helped make the night a great success!
-submitted by Dominic DeMatte, Assistant Branch Director
Watch for more on the Banquet, including video of the Bishop's keynote address and our student testimonials!