✓ A new mission field of 100,000 students and 12 campuses.
✓ A better missionary training center.
FOCUS Impact at the University of Tennessee
This is FOCUS’first year at the University of Tennessee, and we have already seen God at work. We brought 27 students with us to the National FOCUS Student Conference. Once we were back on campus we discussed how we could do better at reaching out for Christ on campus. We thought the conversation with students might last an hour, but were blown away when it went two and a half hours, chalked full of ideas! Many students started greeting everyone they met on campus, inviting them to Bible studies and praying with them. At the Catholic center we have seen more people attending daily Mass and going to the chapel for prayer. God is so good and is really doing great things in the hearts of these students at the University of Tennessee!
“New Staff Training changed my life. Every day it pierced my heart. The most I learned about was the person of Jesus Christ and any time someone spoke of the Crucifixion and why we are doing this work, I had more zeal for souls. It was at New Staff Training that I learned to have a heart for others. Mostly what it did was it taught me the value of my faith and leadership.”
Kristin, Varsity Catholic FOCUS Missionary
“Our leadership training has helped me to grow in my faith life while serving on campus.”
Amy, FOCUS Missionary
“New Staff Training is long, tough, and downright exhausting. Yet, I have left New Staff Training each summer feeling strong, longing to propose Jesus Christ on campus. The formation that is offered at New Staff Training is by far the best that can be offered. The Marines have boot camp and FOCUS has New Staff Training.”
Jerome, FOCUS Missionary
“New staff training surprised me in so many ways. The idea of being spiritually formed and trained excited me, as well as being surrounded by like-minded men and women striving for holiness. After New Staff Training, I felt mentally, spiritually, and physically prepared for campus and more like the daughter of God that I was born to be. I can’t wait for my second year of New Staff Training this upcoming summer to find out what kind of adventures are in store.”
Linda, FOCUS Missionary
We know what God is already doing through FOCUS on 74 college and university campuses…now it’s time to take it to the next level. We need to meet the challenge God put before us and be good stewards—returning to Him from the gifts He has given to us.
Imagine your child or grandchild enrolling at college next fall. Then ask this simple question: would I want FOCUS to be there for him or her? If the answer is yes, and you would want FOCUS to help someone you love change the culture and stand for the Church and faith, then we urge you to join hands with us to make this new, bigger training center and 12 campus expansion a reality. Your support will help us provide world-class training for our missionaries and expand to 12 new campuses this fall, including:
University of Rhode Island
Eastern Michigan University
University of Idaho
Murray State University
University of California – Santa Barbara
And many more…
FOCUS is growing because the need is growing. The college campus is one of the most important and most effective mission fields in history. Tomorrow’s leaders—for our society, our families and our Church—are being bombarded from every side by lies, falsehoods and deceptions. Many young people are yielding to temptation and leaving their faith behind. Others have never connected with Jesus Christ or His Church in any meaningful way. If we continue to grow and expand, in ten years’ time we will have some 2,200 young men and women committed to full time religious vocations! That’s almost as many as the total number of graduates from Notre Dame each year. And we’ll graduate tens of thousands of students who carry a love for the Church into all areas of society.
The Power of FOCUS on a New Campus
When FOCUS arrives on a new campus, we establish a good working relationship with the Catholic chaplain and campus ministry that already exists. We understand that our missionaries are part of the overall local Catholic ministry outreach – we strongly support the local Catholic diocese.
FOCUS’ main approach is to use each missionary’s expertise in reaching out to those who are “lost”- may not believe in God or have seriously lost their way in life. We also desire to reach those “sleeping” Catholics on each campus -- those who don’t take their faith seriously or don’t understand their faith. We want to wake them up to the beauty of Catholicism.
Once FOCUS missionaries find students who are growing and developing their relationship with Jesus, we train them to be leaders to their peers – launching them to lifelong Catholic mission.
Our campus primary emphases include:
1. Daily prayer- each missionary commits to praying in front of Jesus in the chapel every day, the source of our work. Missionaries provide a public example of a life of prayer through morning Holy hours in the chapel as well as regular attendance at daily mass. After a few weeks we see student demand for Confession and Daily Mass attendance increase.
2. Outreach to students – each missionary chooses an affinity group of students whom they want to reach. At least 100 students are invited to join a Bible study within the first few weeks of missionaries hitting campus.
3. Unity and collaboration with the local chaplain, Catholic ministry and parish relationships. We instantly provide additional support and labor for the local Chaplain.
While the average FOCUS campus mission averages 100 students, engaging 30 students into leadership roles, the first year is a time for establishing a solid foundation for the mission. By the end of the 1st year, the FOCUS missionaries will have 30 to 40 students involved in weekly Bible study and attending Mass, with 6 to 10 student leaders. Thousands of students will be made aware of the Catholic presence on campus, with countless relationships and interactions formed.
The Power of FOCUS Spiritual Formation Training
FOCUS provides one of the most dynamic, effective spiritual training method available today. Our missionaries undertake an annual comprehensive five-week process focusing on such topics as,
• Character Growth
• Spiritual Development
• Intellectual Apologetics
• Apostolic Formation
Now God has opened the door for us to move from a single building on the campus of the University of Illinois, to an entire campus at Ave Maria University in Florida this summer. This will allow us to train as many as 1200 missionaries and staff in one location in the years to come.