Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) is a university student movement dedicated to evangelization. We challenge students to live in the fullness of the Catholic faith, with a strong emphasis on becoming leaders in the renewal of the world. CCO was founded at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1988 after receiving the approval of the local bishop. From a humble beginning of four students, the movement now serves hundreds of students on several campuses across Canada through a wide array of programs and outreaches.
Despite the large number of Catholics entering university, many are no longer practicing the faith. It is hard to miss the irony. So many families strive to give their children a good, moral, Christian upbringing, only to see them leave home and drift away from – or reject outright – the Christian faith of their youth. Often their resentment and rejection of Christ and the Church is based upon an unfortunate childhood experience, the inconsistency of some Christians that they have met, hearing how the Church is portrayed in the media, or perhaps the influence of a person in leadership. Most often they admit that they have not honestly considered the person of Jesus Christ and his part in their lives. These are future leaders, policy makers, and teachers who have decided that God is not an important part in their lives.
CCO’s work is seen as:
- A response to Christ’s command that his disciples “Proclaim the Good News to all creation” (Matthew 28:18-19, Mark 16:15-16)
- A concrete way to foster the Catholic Church’s primary and universal mission of evangelization (Evangelii Nuntiandi, #14)
- A positive answer to the call of Pope John Paul II, for a “new evangelization” in our times
- An active outreach to the distressingly small numbers of believing and practicing youth
- A positive and successful influence in the promotion of religious vocations.
Proclaim, Equip, Commission
CCO employs a multiplication model of ministry. Like Jesus did, we invest spiritually in the lives of a few to the point where they in turn can invest in the lives of others. We proclaim Christ to students, equip them to be mature Christians, and then commission them to proclaim to and equip others.
Our programs are aimed primarily but not exclusively at university students:
- between 18 and 30 years of age
- both women and men
- who are churched, nominally churched, or unchurched
- who have been leaders and show further leadership potential
Our programs equip students with the necessary attitudes, skills, and knowledge to become mission-ready, multiplying disciples.
CCO’s programs include:
- Weekly on-campus faith study groups
- One-on-one ministry and leadership training
- On-campus large group meetings, teachings, and training
- Retreats and conferences
- Practical leadership and ministry opportunities
- Youth outreaches
- Overseas and domestic mission projects
- Summer faith sharing groups
- Sports, recreation and socials
The most needed help in sharing their faith for many Catholics is the simple courage to actually begin to evangelize, coupled with a conviction that such efforts can prove excitingly fruitful. We give not only doctrinal principles but also clear and practical teachings on how to evangelize. Such teachings are most effective when there is an opportunity to put them into practice in the company of experienced evangelizers.