Saint Joseph Seminary College, the largest seminary college in the country, will host its annual fundraising gala, Deo Gratias, Latin for “Thanks be to God,” on Saturday, Oct. 27. The event takes place on the beautiful grounds of Saint Joseph Abbey, located at 75376 River Road, in Covington, La. Tickets may be purchased at www.sjasc.edu.
The evening begins at 6 p.m. with vespers in the Abbey Church with the Benedictine monks and the Schola Cantorum. The outdoor gala begins at 7 p.m. Food will be prepared by award-winning Chef John Folse and desserts will be provided by Zoë's Bakery. Acquistapace’s Covington Supermarket will provide fine wines and cheeses.
Guests can participate in a silent auction featuring a variety of items, including a football signed by the entire 2017 New Orleans Saints team and its owner, the late Tom Benson. This year’s featured auction artwork is “Bond of St. Benedict” by Marilyn Rougelot-Geddes. The oil painting depicts a historic moment in the life of the Abbey’s Benedictine community, the 2001 election of Abbot Justin Brown, O.S.B., as the fifth Abbot of Saint Joseph Abbey. Marilyn’s painting illustrates that day in November as the monks processed to their Chapter Room to vote.
Rougelot-Geddes is a long celebrated and highly respected artist of the greater New Orleans area. Well before 1990, and after becoming a Benedictine Oblate of the Abbey, she has enjoyed being a part of the spiritual life of this community. Her artworks are visible in homes across the area and nationwide. Though many of her paintings are portraits, she has also illustrated books and painted murals in large homes as well as for several highly trafficked public venues.
Other auction items at Deo Gratias include unique religious pieces, jewelry, get-a-ways, and gift certificates. A favorite auction item is always a basket of goods made by members of the monastic community. The Deo Gratias raffle this year will include $500 cash, restaurant packages, and a one-night stay and breakfast at Annadele’s Plantation.
All proceeds from this event benefit the Seminary College, which has seen a surge in enrollment over the last several years. In 2010, just 75 seminarians were studying for the priesthood here. Now, with nearly double the student body, support for the Seminary College has never been more vital. As the student body continues to grow, the support is essential to the continued growth of its academic and formation programs.
Sponsors for Deo Gratias will enjoy a pre-gala reception hosted by Abbot Justin Brown, O.S.B., and Fr. Gregory Boquet, O.S.B., President-Rector of the Seminary College, in the beautiful Monks’ Refectory which features floor to ceiling murals by Dom Gregory de Wit. Sponsors will also enjoy reserved seating at the gala.
Gala tickets are $100 each, and raffle tickets are $25 each. For more information on being a sponsor, or to purchase tickets and raffle tickets, visit www.sjasc.edu, or contact Kathy Nastasi at 985-867-2284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.