Annual Deo Gratias gala to benefit Saint Joseph Seminary College

Saint Joseph Seminary College, which welcomed a record 150 seminarians this year, will host its annual fundraising gala, Deo Gratias, Latin for “Thanks be to God,” at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29. The event takes place on the beautiful grounds of Saint Joseph Abbey, located at 75376 River Road, in Covington, La.

"Weathering the Storms of Life" by Jim Seitz is the featured artwork this year at Deo Gratias.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with vespers in the Abbey Church with the Benedictine monks. Murals painted by renowned artist-monk Dom Gregory de Wit illuminate the Abbey Church, included on the National Register of Historic Places. The outdoor gala begins at 7 p.m.  Food will be prepared by award winning Chef John Folse and guests can participate in a silent auction, featuring a variety of items, including art by local artists. This year’s featured auction artwork is a painting by Jim Seitz titled “Weathering the Storms of Life.” Desserts will be provided by Zoë's Bakery and fine wines and cheeses by Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket.

Other auction items include unique religious pieces, jewelry, getaways 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 a lady’s diamond cross necklace donated by Boudreaux’s Fine Jewelers, a cash raffle, restaurant packages and a one-night stay and breakfast at Annadele’s Plantation.

All proceeds from this event benefit the seminary, which began the semester with the largest enrollment in its history as a college. The seminary has doubled enrollment from just six years ago, when 75 seminarians attended. Support for the Seminary College has never been more vital. The March 11th flood inundated the Abbey and Seminary College with over two feet of water, resulting in the delay of implementing the new construction portion of a strategic plan that would help accommodate a steady rise in enrollment.

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 ceiling to floor murals, also by de Wit. Chef Folse will be on hand to meet the guests and treat them to a special buffet supper. Sponsors also enjoy reserved seating at the gala.

Gala tickets are $95 each, and raffle tickets are $25 each. For more information on being a sponsor, or to purchase tickets and raffle tickets, visit, or contact Kathy Nastasi, Manager of Marketing and Volunteers, at 985-867-2284 or or Christine Kelly Baglow, Deo Gratias Coordinator, at 985-867-2279 or