New faces within SPO offer new outlook on program

The faces of Benedictine's 2017-18 SPO team.  Photo from Flickr.

By Sam Stevenson, The Circuit.

Patrick Welsh, Mary Khadivi, Max Throoft and Danielle Medina are four names one may not have heard before and by the end of the year they hope to change that.

These are our campus’s new St. Paul’s Outreach missionaries and they are eager and ready to make a difference in the lives of the students in our college community here at BC. The question is how they will accomplish this feat? What, exactly, is the mission of SPO?

“Our Mission is to build Catholic communities that awaken faith on campus and form lifelong disciples,” said Welsh, a new missionary for the men’s SPO program.

Essentially, SPO is a missionary program that is focused around building a community of men or women that will run with you towards Christ. The core of the program is built around forming a welcoming and holy community.

Khedivi, a newly minted SPO missionary, said that when asked about SPO she does not focus as much on the programs and activities they put on, rather she focuses on the community and atmosphere of SPO.

“I’ve found it to be where I’ve learned what it means to be a free woman, what it means to be a strong woman…sisters walking with each other and bridging that gap,” Khedivi said.

SPO is not simply a once a week program where students congregate in a public space and read the bible.  It is a program where students have the opportunity to commit their lives to following Christ with others and help their fellow men and women along the path to heaven.

They most effectively achieve this through what is considered their hallmark program, which is their Household program. Welsh describes it saying, “It’s like a fraternity or sorority, but built on Catholic principles. Our students live together with missionaries, and the house becomes a context for mission and hospitality with shared meals, communal prayer and an open-door policy.”

SPO is broken up into two communities, a men’s community and a women’s. Both often correspond and work together to put on some of their programs and retreats such as the Alpha retreat and the Fan The Flame retreat. The new missionaries for the men’s side are Welsh and Throoft and the new missionaries on the Women’s side are Khadivi and Medina.

“My role as a missionary is to be a brother who runs along side students,” Throoft said.  “I encourage them in their walk with the Lord more deeply, as I come to know Jesus more deeply in my own life.”

SPO missionaries will be all around campus and in their off-campus houses ready to help students find their way to Christ. They have an office in the JPII center which is shared with FOCUS.