Once our Mission Team Training ended, we moved all of our belongings over to the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota for a week-long conference called the School of the New Evangelization (SNE). This conference pulled together speakers and students from all over the U.S. SNE is built around helping us learn and practice the skills we need this year to be rooted in prayer and focused on reaching new students on campus.
This was my first time, and it was the largest SNE so far with over 400 college students in attendance. Many of the students came from schools with SPO chapters (such as The Ohio State University, the University of Minnesota, etc.) but quite a few came from schools which don’t have SPO staff yet.
Each day of the conference had morning prayer, daily mass, and personal prayer time to help us grow in our prayer life and prepare us for the school year. We spent the majority of the day in various talks divided into three tracks: mission, community, and holiness.
I jumped around between many of the sessions, and often continued discussing the ideas with new friends during our meal times.
I was thrilled to finally meet the students from Texas State University during SNE, and by the end of the week I was finally starting to remember all their names and faces. I spent a few of my free afternoons getting to know the women I’d be living with, and it was exciting to finally know a little bit of the community I would be jumping into in just a few short days.
It was an exhausting week coming right from a week of training, but I learned a lot, got to know my fellow missionaries and many of the students pretty well. I took full advantage of our free time to take some much needed naps, spend time with the students, and participate in the SPOlympics. We finished out the week with an unbelievable talent show, and parted ways to travel to our placements.