About Saint Paul’s Outreach
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, Mission Centers developed in other parts of the country, so we now have Mission Centers in seven states: Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey, Kansas, Texas, Arizona, and Florida. Our national headquarters is located in West St. Paul, Minnesota. The Mission Center in Ohio was established in 2005.
Why College Students?
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. Students are hungry for truth and meaning, but most are not being reached effectively. SPO reaches these students, 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.
There are many excellent programs that contribute to SPO’s unique effectiveness. These programs all fit within a model that is dependent on two key ideas:
- Our mission is grounded in a deep faith witnessed to and lived in community.
- Our strategy entails a comprehensive process of outreach, conversion, faith formation, and mobilization in mission and leadership. This comprehensive process produces a unique quality and depth of formation in the Catholic faith and life.
There are two Chapters in Ohio where we have a formal presence on campus: The Ohio State University and Ohio Dominican University. Our 14 full-time Missionaries collaborate with the campus ministry staff at both universities to maximize the Church’s impact in the lives of college students. We are seeing the fruit of these partnerships, with more students than ever being reached. This year in Columbus, we launched a new men’s Household for a total of six SPO Households at OSU, with 48 members living a life of holiness, communion, and mission. We are investing in alumni volunteers, missionary staff, and student leaders to guide small groups that will impact more than 300 college students with the goal of inviting them more deeply into a life with Christ. The impact is far-reaching, and SPO alumni have become leaders in the diocesan Catholic community and in the marketplace. They see their lives more clearly, live with greater purpose, and make informed decisions that reflect their faith in Christ.
For more information, please visit our webpage www.spoweb.org/ohio/