Back to school: A missionary perspective

| Katie Burke for The Catholic Spirit | August 27, 2014 | 0 Comments
Rutgers University campus minister Maria Allen visits with Franciscan Sister Maria Pio of Ohio at St. Paul’s Outreach’s School of the New Evangelization, held at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Aug. 2. The program connects young adults with members of religious orders from across the country. Photo courtesy of St. Paul’s Outreach

Rutgers University campus minister Maria Allen visits with Franciscan Sister Maria Pio of Ohio at St. Paul’s Outreach’s School of the New Evangelization, held at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Aug. 2. The program connects young adults with members of religious orders from across the country. Photo courtesy of St. Paul’s Outreach

Just like students, campus missionaries are packing their bags in anticipation of another school year.

For nearly 300 young adults, their first stop was the School of the New Evangelization, which took place at the University of St. Thomas in early August.

Hosted by Twin Cities-based St. Paul’s Outreach and co-sponsored by the St. Paul Seminary, the annual conference is a week packed with teaching, prayer and rich community living among peers.

The School of the New Evangelization trains full- and part-time college missionaries in the art of evangelization to their peers on campus. Participants leave equipped to tackle the challenge.

What makes the SPO School of the New Evangelization so effective? It is an intentional immersion into the evangelistic heart of Catholicism, from sunup to sundown. From participating in praise and worship to evangelizing on the streets near the University of Minnesota, those who have heard the Good News become heralds of the Good News; disciples become apostles. A typical day includes morning prayer, confession, convocation, a plenary session, breakout sessions, recreation, Mass and an evening activity. For the young adults who attend, it is a transformative and empowering experience that fosters freedom and fearlessness in Christ.

“The big key here is commitment: commitment to others, not only to their goals,” said Gina Bauer, SPO mission director at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. “You’re afraid to commit to things because it seems like you’re constricted . . . this is a misunderstanding. The point of committing to something is because you want to do it. Commitment frees you do to things you want to do.”

For more information about St. Paul’s Outreach, visit http://www.spoweb.org.

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Category: Local News