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FOCUS is a Catholic college outreach with a staff of over 400 and a presence on 99 campuses across the United States…

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FAQs

General FAQs Donor FAQs Chaplain FAQs

faq2

Q: How is FOCUS different from the Newman Center or other Catholic Campus ministry?

FOCUS missionary teams have a complementary relationship with Newman Centers and other Catholic ministries on campus.  We do not seek to do the work of the Newman Center or duplicate efforts.  While each campus is unique, FOCUS missionaries often serve as the hands and feet of the Newman Center, meeting college students on their level, where they live (i.e., dorms, intramural sports, student unions, GREEK life, etc.).  FOCUS stresses ‘incarnational evangelization’ among its staff, which expresses God’s love by meeting students where they are and making a personal, sacrificial investment in their lives.

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Q: Who started FOCUS and when did FOCUS begin?

The Fellowship of Catholic University Students was founded in 1998 by Curtis Martin at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.  In sixteen years, FOCUS has grown from two missionaries on one campus to over 400 missionaries serving 99 campuses across the country.

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Q: How can I bring FOCUS to my campus or diocese?

In order for FOCUS to continue to expand to new college and university campuses, it is necessary for the following three criteria to be met before FOCUS can commit to further expansion:

  • The blessing and approval of the local Bishop
  • Provision of the Campus Fee
  • Qualified Missionaries for Expansion

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faq1Q: How can I help FOCUS?

As more people become aware of the need for our work on today’s college campuses, we are frequently asked what can be done to help. 

  • First, please pray for us.  We know that ‘unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1), so please pray for FOCUS leadership, our missionaries, all Bishops and university parish priests, that we may work together to share the love of Christ and the Catholic faith.
  • Participate.  If you’re a young adult considering your next step after college, consider applying for FOCUS staff in order to develop your leadership skills, grow spiritually and help change lives.
  • Give.  As FOCUS continues to grow, so do the costs to effectively train our missionary staff, host national conferences, and continue to create dynamic, culturally relevant material that will to reach students.

 

Donor FAQs

What is FOCUS’ Contact Information?

  • Mail: FOCUS, P.O. Box 18710, Golden, CO 80402-9810. Please include the missionary or special project you would like to support with your gift.
  • Phone: 303-962-5750 (8:30 – 5:00 MST)
  • Email: donations@focus.org

                                                      

Change of Address?

If you've recently moved, please use this form to let us know and we'll update your records promptly: Address Change

                                                      

How Do I Get a Year-End Giving Statement for Tax Purposes?

Each year FOCUS mails a summary of your donations from the previous year for your tax purposes. If you would like a duplicate copy, please click here to fill out the Summary of Gifts request form or e-mail us at: donations@focus.org.

                                                      

Can I make changes to my donation online?

For gifts you have setup since June 2010 through the FOCUS website, you are able to login to your profile to make changes to your donations.  If you cannot remember your password, please contact us.

For gifts you have setup prior to June 2010, please email donations@focus.org to make any changes.  You can also email us to cancel the current donation and set up the donation on the website.

                                                      

My bank account or credit card information has changed; what should I do?

For gifts you have setup since June 2010 through the FOCUS website, you are able to login to your profile to make changes to your donations.  If you cannot remember your password, please contact us.

For gifts you have setup prior to June 2010, please call our office at 303-962-5750.  You can also e-mail us at donations@focus.org and we will get in touch with you.  Please do not send credit card numbers or bank information in the e-mail.  You can also email us to cancel your current donation and set up the donation on the website.

                                                      

Privacy Policy.. Does FOCUS give my information to other organizations?

Our privacy policy is as follows: User's Confidential Information shall be treated as strictly confidential by FOCUS and shall not be disclosed by FOCUS to any third party except to those third parties operating under non-disclosure provisions and who have justified business "need to know".

                                                      

I would like to receive more information about supporting a missionary!

We will be glad to give you any information you want or need in learning more about partnering with us in this mission. Contact us for more information. Please include what interests you about supporting a missionary (i.e. a missionary in greatest need, the college you graduated from, a missionary from your home State, etc.).

                                                      

I would like to set-up automatic bill pay from my bank, what do I do?

FOCUS incurs the highest cost in processing fees for Bill Pay checks. Would you consider supporting us by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)?  With an EFT, we pay a flat fee of $0.12 per transaction regardless of the amount of donation. 

If you would like to support us by Bill Pay, mail the checks to the FOCUS address above.  Please include your Donor ID # and Missionary ID # on the Memo line or account line of the e-check in the following format: D#xxxxx/M#xxxx  If you do not know your Donor or Missionary number, please contact us and we will provide that information promptly.

                                                      

How do I contact the missionary I support?

The best and likely fastest way to get in touch with the FOCUS missionary you support is by email.  All FOCUS e-mail addresses are the first name followed a period followed by the last name@focus.org (i.e., John Fisher = john.fisher@focus.org).  If you do not know the correct spelling of the missionary you support, please call us and we’ll provide you with the correct contact information. You can also visit the missionary's personal page to contact them.

                                                      

Removal from Mailing

FOCUS sends mailings both from our national work and also from our individual missionaries.  It is our hope these mailings keep you up to date with our national program and the specific work of a missionary, if you direct your support to the work of one of these staff.  If you wish to no longer receive mailings from one or both of these sources, we will honor your request. If you would prefer that we don’t contact your through mail, phone, or e-mail, please click here and fill out the form.  If you do not want to receive mailings from a missionary, as well as our national office, please include this information.

                                                      

General Donation Questions

If you have any other questions regarding donations that are not answered above, please e-mail us at donations@focus.org

 

Chaplain FAQs

Q: Can one team of missionaries serve on more than one campus?

We have not found a way to do this successfully.

                                                      

Q: What do missionaries do? What is a typical day like?

As for what missionaries do, see the Main Thing statement. As for a typical day it varies from campus to campus.  In many locations missionaries will pray together every morning Monday-Friday for an hour.  From there each day looks a lot different.  The majority of their time they will be out meeting new students and evangelizing.  On more established campus a missionary will have many discipleship meetings and relationships to upkeep.  Four hours of the week are held aside for each missionary to work on their personal support raising, both cultivation and growing their teams.  Another few hours a week will be spent together as a team both fraternally hanging out, and having tactical/strategic meetings about the movement on campus.  All in all, a typical day has prayer, Mass, Rosary, several meetings with students, and down time hanging out on campus meeting new students.  See also:  FOCUS has been on my campus for several years, but I’m a new chaplain, what should I expect from the team? (about working hours, MPD, etc.)

                                                      

Q: I keep hearing references to the Main Thing, what is that?

The main thing is a statement to help give alignment throughout FOCUS and from campus to campus. It is: “Inviting college students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, Inspiring and Equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered Evangelization, Discipleship and Friendship, in which they lead others to do the same.”

                                                      

Q: What can I as a priest do to help the missionaries in this task of accomplishing the Main Thing?

It’s very easy to get distracted doing the good, but not the great.  FOCUS Missionaries are trained to evangelize both barehanded and relationally, so asking them from time to time who are the new students, or lost students they are working with can be a good checkpoint.  Check in with the Team Director and ask how all the missionaries are doing and if they’re staying on track.  Perhaps once a month you could attend their weekly meeting and ask questions about the Main Thing and how they’re doing it.  Ask the missionaries how they are doing and if you can be a help in anyway.

                                                      

 Q: FOCUS has been on my campus for several years, but I’m a new chaplain. What should I expect from the team? (about working hours, MPD, etc.)

Missionaries serve in partnership with your pastoral leadership alongside your campus ministry staff.  You should expect the missionaries to strive for excellence in their work with students on campus, inviting, inspiring and equipping students to have a new impact among their peers on campus.  Over the past few years FOCUS has implemented a method of directing missionaries’ time and energy to more impactful activities.  Because the efforts require a diversity of activities we use a tool which we call the  50 point week.  Click here to view the 50 point week.

                                                      

Q: I’m a new chaplain, what should the missionaries expect from me?

See Answer for “How can I create an atmosphere that will enable the missionaries to thrive?”

                                                      

Q: I hear the missionaries talk about MPD, can you explain that to me?

MPD translates to Mission Partner Development, which makes up the major share of funding needed to place missionaries on your campus.  Specifically MPD is the fundraising which each Missionary does for their own salary and other personal costs associated with the mission.

                                                      

Q: What’s the cycle of conference and are there going to be conferences every year?

We have a team currently working on this long term question. As soon as we have a decision it will be announced.

                                                      

Q: What does my $50,000 partial campus fee go towards?

The $50,000 makes up one part of the total cost (approx. $250,000) for FOCUS to operate a team of four missionaries on a campus.  The other portions come from Missionary MPD efforts and FOCUS’s national fundraising efforts.  The total cost goes into everything that is required to recruit/hire/train/transport/insure/pay/support and minister on campus.  This is broken down to a per missionary cost of $12,500.

                                                      

Q: What are the criteria for evaluating the fruitfulness of a program on campus?

Campuses are graded by the following factors:

  • # of Disciple-Makers
  • Vocations
  • Students who accept positions with FOCUS
  • # of students attending Bible studies
  • # of students praying with Campus Staff

                                                      

Q: What are the FOCUS Missionaries trained in?

All elements which go into their ability to be a successful missionary on campus.  Prayer, personal fundraising, discipleship, evangelization, outreach and strategy and a myriad of other knowledge, skills, character and vision.

                                                      

Q: Why can’t I keep the same team of missionaries every year if they aren’t leaving FOCUS?

As missionaries only make an initial commitment of 2 years the concern of large turnover (75%-100%) can be alleviated by a planned turnover to ensure that each year there are 2 new missionaries.  Of course, there are multiple factors that go into placements and moving missionaries, often times the turnover is the result of missionary requests to serve a particular campus or their promotion to the Team Director role for another campus.

                                                      

Q: One of my missionaries had to leave campus because they’re underfunded. Why is that?

Over the past several years we have found that our most effective and longest serving missionaries are also the missionaries who don’t have to worry about paying their bills.  Sometimes a missionary who is severely underfunded (

                                                      

 Q: How can I create an atmosphere that will enable my missionaries to thrive?

  • Offer Mass at convenient times. Popular Mass times are Noon, 5pm, and 9 or 10pm Masses.  Keep in mind if your staff/students are trying to pray at 8am every day, a 10pm Mass may not be practical.
  • Offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation daily. With the missionaries evangelizing the lost, many times they will encounter fallen away Catholics who then desire to come back to the Church.  When confession is regularly available, it helps the missionaries in the process of restoring Catholics back to full communion with the Church.
  • Pray with the missionaries and all the campus ministry staff. At UW-Madison, all the staff and missionaries pray a holy hour from 8-9am.  In the 1st year they had 5 students attending holy hour.  By year 3, between 40-60 were showing up every morning.
  • Offer spiritual direction to your students. Missionaries are not spiritual directors, even though in discipleship spiritual things do come up.  Our missionaries are directed to encourage students to find spiritual directors.  Over time you might not be able to spiritually direct all the students coming through the doors, so providing a list of good spiritual directors in the geographical area would help tremendously.
  • Emphasize Unity. It can be easy for there to be Newman Center students, and FOCUS students.  If the FOCUS missionaries are just a branch of the entire Newman Center Campus Ministry, this division can be avoided.  Talk to the missionaries about adopting an overarching vision for the entire campus ministry on your campus.