DENVER, Colo., May 12, 2017 — Departing and transitioning missionaries involved with FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, sometimes encounter challenges as they leave campus life, where they have flourished in a close Catholic community. To support them in that transition, FOCUS Alumni Relations department created Go Forth, a four-day commissioning event, to help them prepare for the next phase of their lives and continue living lifelong Catholic mission. Nearly 100 missionaries attended the third annual Go Forth event, held May 8 – 11 in Genesee, Colo.
“Go Forth is an opportunity to celebrate, honor and thank the new alumni for their service,” said FOCUS Alumni Senior Director Deborah Fowlkes. “We also provide world-class training on how to be effective missionary disciples in their families, parishes, workplaces and communities.”
Through prayer, adoration and the sacraments, these new FOCUS alumni at the Go Forth event reflected on how the Holy Spirit guided their hearts and actions in the past. They will continue to discern His calling for their future mission work among co-workers, new parishes, friends and families.
Go Forth speakers included Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, Fr. Scott Traynor and FOCUS Founder and CEO Curtis Martin. The Go Forth event also included a special Commissioning Mass celebrated by Archbishop Aquila and national FOCUS chaplains.
During the evening celebration on May 10, FOCUS honored Greg Doring as this year’s recipient of the St. Francis Xavier Alumni Award for Excellence in the New Evangelization. Doring was hired in 2004 and was the twelfth FOCUS missionary since its founding in 1998. Doring served a total of 10 years and helped launch programs at the University of Nebraska and University of Illinois. He later served as a Regional Director for the Great Plains region.
Doring is currently an eCommerce consultant and retailer and lives with his wife, Adrienne, and two children in Prairie Village, Kansas. He has invested in men in his parish by starting a network of small-groups that meet four nights a week. The members of these groups have in turn gone on to form their own small groups at a variety of parishes, which is a great testament to the power of relationships to enable evangelization. More than 50 men are now involved in the small groups.
The FOCUS Alumni Relations department connects, inspires and equips FOCUS alumni with ongoing experiences and tools to be missionary disciples of Jesus Christ. Resources include the redesigned FOCUS Alumni website with a Job Board, lifelong mission tracks at FOCUS conferences, networking opportunities and social media posts such as FOCUS Alumni Revealed on the FOCUS Alumni Facebook page and other social media channels. Newly formed FOCUS Connect regional communities help alumni stay connected in areas across the country, such as Indianapolis, St. Louis and Northern Virginia.
The FOCUS Alumni Relations team currently serves more than 20,000 FOCUS alumni, including former students and missionaries. Out of this number, 603 have made decisions to pursue Catholic religious vocations. By 2022, FOCUS expects to launch 75,000 alumni into America’s 17,000+ Catholic parishes.
The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) was founded in 1998 and invites 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 friendships in which they lead others to do the same. During the 2016 – 2017 academic year, nearly 600 missionaries are serving full-time on 125 college campuses, located across 38 U.S. states and in two pilot locations in Austria. More than 20,000 students have been involved with FOCUS, who after graduation have the opportunity to move into parish life to continue their missionary work. Within this number, more than 600 have made decisions to pursue Catholic religious vocations. By 2022, FOCUS expects — God willing — to have 75,000 students transitioned into many of America’s 17,000+ Catholic parishes. FOCUS missionaries are typically recent college graduates who devote two or more years of their post-collegiate lives to reach out to peers on campus. To learn more, visit us at www.focus.org.