SPO future in hands of young adults

| August 3, 2011 | 0 Comments

Colleen D’Andrea, a student at Texas State University, is one example of how St. Paul’s Outreach has expanded over the years, said Gordy DeMarais, founder and executive director of SPO.

Three years ago, D’Andrea heard about and attended SPO’s School of the New Evangelization. SPO took its training program for local missionaries and created the school in 2004 to train people for other areas. Twenty people from five universities attended that year. Last August, 200 people from 33 schools attended.

D’Andrea went back to Texas and began to practice what she learned. The next summer, she came with six of her peers and they returned to Texas and began to build an SPO program, setting up six households with four people in each one, who were praying, evangelizing and sharing life together.

“We are now formally opening an SPO chapter at Texas State this September,” DeMarais said. In the past five years, SPO has expanded to schools in Ohio, New Jersey, Kansas, Arizona and Florida.

SPO is on Facebook and Twitter, which it uses to promote programs. The web page — http://www.spoweb.org — was recently revised to be interactive, and groups are using YouTube videos and blogs to reach young adults, he said.

“If we are going to respond to this need, we need people who are going to financially stand with us. We need missionaries. We also need resource development,” DeMarais said. “It’s part of our plan going forward to develop those resources.”

SPO recently sponsored a concert and speaker as part of a more broad-based evangelization. It is initiating a program for juniors and seniors in college to take on leadership roles.

Another initiative is to keep working on the high school-to-college link by partnering with groups such as NET Ministries and Serra Clubs, which started College Connection for Catholics to link college students with campus ministry, SPO, parishes, etc.

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Category: St. Paul's Outreach