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"It was a weekend so powerful that it tangibly set into motion my call to live as a disciple of Christ for the rest of my life." ~ Katie O'Neill

By Katie O'Neill

Where to begin about Men of St. Joseph? So many times have I watched a 48-hour weekend become a pivotal time in someone’s life. It is a weekend of encountering God, beginning or deepening your faith and strengthening—at times rebuilding—your relationship with the person you have come on this retreat with. Though my efforts may be whole hearted, words cannot fully do this weekend justice; it is something that must be experienced. But allow me to shed some light on what a powerful weekend it can be…

I first experienced Outback with my mom in the spring of 2008. My dad and brother had gone that previous fall, and our family was after God unlike I had ever experienced. After the testimony of my dad and brother’s encounters during the previous fall, my mother and I came to the weekend full of expectation. And we were not let down. We were challenged to pray together, to read the Bible daily, to speak openly about our struggles and to talk freely about what God was doing in our lives. And that was only the beginning. Though we knew this weekend had a lot to offer, we could not fully understand until we had participated. The weekend was special to us because we made it a priority to set aside a weekend to focus on our relationship with each other and with God. And as scripture states, we were rewarded ten fold! Our relationship was challenged to be better—a call to go deeper in our relationship with each other, but to also get to know God. This laid the groundwork for a life devoted to Christ. It was a weekend so powerful that it tangibly set into motion my call to live as a disciple of Christ for the rest of my life. Ever since, I have rarely missed an Outback weekend. I have had the opportunity to serve as a coach, a small group leader and as a member on the music ministry team. It has personally been a life-changing ministry, and I know that it can be for you too!

God is waiting to be encountered, waiting for you to say, “yes” to him. The MOSJ Outback weekend is a weekend of rejuvenation, forgiveness, and a call to MORE. Christ is knocking, and through the hands and feet of the volunteers during this weekend, Christ changes lives—mine included. Many of us are from different walks of life, but this weekend is for every person. Jesus calls us to holiness, and if that sounds nerve-wracking, it’s okay! He doesn’t want perfection; He just wants you to show up. Outback is the place to do that. And for me, it has forever changed my life. It is such a wonderful ministry and you will not regret it encountering it!  

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