What difference does it make?
In a nation seemingly drenched in despair, we see the ‘new springtime’ in the Church beginning to sprout. Cultivating a culture of life throughout every dimension of American society, one of the most bittersweet realities of our work is graduating our FOCUS students and missionary staff into the next phase of their lives.
Since 1998, FOCUS has helped thousands of college graduates and former staff members not only prepare for their next step in life but continue the critically important work of evangelizing the world by sharing and living out the gospel of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Catholic faith in daily life. We are excited to see what God will continue to do in and through these future leaders as they continue to trust God with their futures.
The FOCUS Effect on the Family
“As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”
With the divorce rate just over 50%, the vocation of marriage is once again in the spotlight. Over the years, FOCUS has fostered the union of hundreds of healthy, Christ-centered marriages throughout the country. In passing on the Church’s teachings on the sacrament of marriage and providing living witnesses who have survived its many pitfalls, FOCUS continues to work to redeem marriage and family in our culture.
The FOCUS Effect on the Priesthood and Religious Life
In 1965 there were over 55,000 priests in the United States. By 2005, that number had declined to around 38,000. One of the supernatural bi-products of FOCUS’ presence on college campuses is the explosive number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life we have witnessed. Since 1998, over 350 young men and women have answered our Lord’s call to enter religious life or the seminary after involvement with FOCUS. Through God’s grace and a commitment to daily Mass and prayer, FOCUS missionaries provide students with the opportunity to slow down amidst busy college schedules in order to hear God’s voice and direction.
The FOCUS Effect Internationally
Through dozens of annual mission trips both nationally and internationally, we are building bridges with poor churches in Mexico, El Salvador, Africa, India and elsewhere. By partnering with Catholics around the world, FOCUS is raising the awareness for justice and compassion in the hearts of our university students. In an effort to faithfully live out Catholic social teaching, we hope to continue developing future leaders who have a conviction to work for justice and peace by defending the rights of the marginalized and oppressed in our society. We also send teams to help respond in the case of national emergencies such as the hurricane Katrina relief effort.
The FOCUS Effect on Catholic Parishes
Each year we hear positive feedback on the impact our FOCUS alumni are making in parishes throughout the country. Some join the ranks of the church staff as Directors of Religious Education, Youth ministers, worship leaders, etc. Most, however, simply continue to live out the new evangelization wherever their career takes them.
What college students learn through FOCUS is that every baptized Christian has been given spiritual gifts and talents and has a vital role to play in the life of the local parish. Our hope is that as more FOCUS students graduate from college, they will be ready to hit the ground running by taking the initiative to serve the various needs and ministries in the local parish, thus strengthening the Church for generations to come.
The FOCUS Effect on Academia
The college campus is a strategic mission field for various reasons. Unfortunately, there is widespread hostility toward Christian beliefs and values in today’s halls of academia. Many of the world’s future business and political leaders are currently studying in the United States. With this in mind, many of our FOCUS alumni, both students and missionary staff, return to campus as graduate students with the intention of becoming future professors, teachers, counselors, lawyers and scholars.