College campuses are battlegrounds for the minds and souls of our young people, and many are leaving the Church. Only 10% of Catholic millennials attend Sunday Mass (Sherry Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples, 2012). Students are hungry for truth and meaning but most are not being reached effectively.
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.
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.
To build Catholic communities that awaken faith on campus and form lifelong disciples.
- 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 Headquarters, which oversees and supports the Mission Centers, is located in Minnesota.
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.