- The Need
College campuses are battlegrounds for the minds and souls of our young people, and many are leaving the Church. Nearly 80% of cradle Catholics are no longer Catholic by the time they graduate college. Students are hungry for truth and meaning but most are not being reached effectively.
- The Response
Saint Paul's Outreach (SPO) reaches these students around the country, bringing them back to Christ and the fullness of the Catholic faith. We build evangelistic communities that provide a unique quality and depth of formation in the Catholic faith and life.
- The Result
Our ministry has produced 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.
SPO is a nonprofit corporation with 501(c)(3) status, governed by a Board of Directors under the ecclesiastical vigilance of the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Saint Paul's Outreach actively invites college students to a life of Christian discipleship. With Saint Paul as our example, we create vibrant, faith-filled environments that challenge students to deepen their relationships with Christ in the fullness of the Catholic Church.
- Renewed Catholicism
We advance the renewal of authentic Catholic life on college campuses, rooted in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and confident in the help of the Holy Spirit.
- The New Evangelization
We follow the example of Saint Paul the Apostle by proclaiming the Gospel so that all might come to faith and maturity in Christ.
- Life-Changing Communities
We create transformative environments to challenge and equip college students to live out the call to holiness in their daily lives.
- Servant Leadership
We identify and form the next generation of lay and religious leaders for our Church, our communities, and our world.
- Christian Unity
We are committed to the unity of the Church, and collaborate with other Catholic and Christian organizations.
History & Locations
SPO began in 1985 at the Catholic Youth Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, founded by Gordy DeMarais, who remains the Executive Director today. As SPO grew, word about its success began to spread to other parts of the country and the demand led to the development of Mission Centers outside of Minnesota.
We currently have Mission Centers in seven states: Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey, Kansas, Texas, Arizona, and Florida. These Mission Centers have Chapters on various kinds of local campuses: public and private, colleges and universities, religious and non-religious. Our National Office, which oversees and supports the Mission Centers, is located in Minnesota.
Vision for the Future
We want as many college students as possible to encounter Christ, so our vision is to continue to expand our impact nationwide. To that end, our goal is to have 30 Mission Centers across the U.S., based in metropolitan areas. Each of them will have Chapters on various local campuses, including all major universities in the country.
The New Evangelization
Our mission is a response to the Church's call for a "New Evangelization". Evangelization - the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ - has always been the "deepest identity" of the Church. Indeed, "she exists in order to evangelize", so that all might come to faith and salvation in Christ (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14).
Our recent popes have recognized that the reality of today's post-Christian culture necessitates that the Church actively embrace her evangelistic identity with renewed urgency. So, they have called for a great re-launching of evangelization in the life of the Church, for a New Evangelization.