Annual Deo Gratias gala to benefit Saint Joseph Seminary College

Saint Joseph Seminary College, now the largest seminary college in the country, will host its annual fundraising gala, Deo Gratias, Latin for “Thanks be to God,” on Saturday, Oct. 28. The event takes place on the beautiful grounds of Saint Joseph Abbey, located at 75376 River Road, in Covington, La. Registration is available at

"Abbey Reflections" by Frankie De Melo

"Abbey Reflections" by Frankie De Melo

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 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 Madisonville’s Frankie De Melo, titled “Abbey Reflections.” Desserts will be provided by Zoë's Bakery and Maple Street Patisserie and fine wines and cheeses by Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket.

Other auction items 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, a one-night stay and breakfast at Annadele’s Plantation, and a framed Audubon print.

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 $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 at 985-867-2284 or or Christine Kelly Baglow at 985-867-2279 or