There are many excellent programs that contribute to our unique effectiveness. They all fit within a model that is dependent on two key ideas: 

  1. Our mission is grounded in a deep faith witnessed to and lived in community .
  2. Our strategy entails a comprehensive process of outreach, conversion, faith formation, and mobilization in mission and leadership.

This comprehensive process that is lived out in the context of community life produces a unique quality and depth of formation in the Catholic faith and life. The result is thousands of alumni who are passionate followers of Christ and who continue to shine his light in the world long after they have graduated. They are renewing the Church and evangelizing the culture.

Core Programs

We have a wide array of programs that facilitate our evangelization strategy. However, there are four particular ones that are at the core of what we do.    

Every year hundreds of lives across the nation are transformed through SPO's Fan into Flame retreats. They provide college students and young professionals with the chance to choose Jesus Christ as Lord and to live more fully in the power of his Holy Spirit.

I would not be a priest, longing to be a saint, or even believing it was possible, had I not encountered SPO. I hadn’t thought of being a priest as a youth, but when I encountered the presence of the Holy Spirit through SPO, that entire world opened up to me and I began to imagine such a life.
— Fr. Michael Becker, SPO Alumnus

SPO Households equip young Catholics to live out the call to holiness in their daily lives. Living the Household way of life fosters growth in selfless love and service through daily personal prayer, regular meals, weekly chores, and evangelistic outreach. Because this formation in Christian living and mission is learned day in and day out, the components of this new way of life in Christ become habits that last a lifetime.  

To evangelize means... to teach the art of living.
— Pope Benedict XVI
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The Formation in Christian Living Program augments the Household program, forming young people into mature men and women trained in the Catholic faith and life. This vital work for the Church is accomplished through weekly teaching, pastoral mentoring, and accountability groups. These three pillars of the program provide an incredibly strong foundation in the Catholic faith. 

One of the greatest gifts that SPO gives is formation. It’s essential. If anyone, for example, is going to live a Catholic marriage and pass on the faith to their children, they need mature formation, and SPO is providing that.
— Bishop Andrew Cozzens, SPO Alumnus

Each summer, SPO mobilizes college students and Catholic ministry leaders from across the U.S. through the School of the New Evangelization (SNE). Participants receive some of the best SPO has to offer: dynamic orthodox teaching, powerful prayer, and rich community living. As a result, each year SNE sends out hundreds of young people to bring Catholic faith to life on campus.

The best instrument to evangelize young people is other young people.
— Pope Francis

Program Delivery

  1. Missionaries: We carry out our evangelization strategy by recruiting and training young people to be Missionaries on college campuses. Some are recent graduates who serve full-time. Others are part-time student volunteers.
  2. Chapters: We establish Chapters on college campuses led by our Missionaries. At the heart of an SPO Chapter is an evangelistic community of students and staff that reaches, calls, forms, and sends young people to be life-long disciples and leaders in the New Evangelization. The life of a Chapter is based on Christ-centered relationships and a structured pattern of frequent events and activities including those outlined above.
  3. Mission Centers: Chapters are run by Mission Centers. These are geographic operational hubs that are named after the state in which they are headquartered: currently Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey, Kansas, Texas, Arizona, and Florida. Their primary purpose is to establish and run Chapters on local campuses.
  4. National Headquarters: Mission Centers are supervised and supported by the National Headquarters in Inver Grove Heights, MN.