Mary Kate Vander Woude

Hello! My name is Mary Kate and I am a FOCUS Missionary!

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Where I serve

I serve as a Missions Specialist for FOCUS Missions, a division of FOCUS which sends thousands of college students to the ends of the earth to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and serve Him in the poorest of the poor. FOCUS Missions plays a vital role in deepening college students' relationships with Jesus Christ and His Church and furthering the Joy of the Gospel both on American college campuses and all over the world. I could not be more excited to continue serving the Lord in this new capacity! 

Prior to working in FOCUS Missions, I served for two years as a campus missionary at the University of Connecticut. Go Huskies!

My Story

The American college campus is one of the most influential places of our time. It is there that the future leaders of our nation and our world are being formed. Furthermore, it is in college that people choose to embrace their faith or reject it, and it is a place where students are faced daily with moral opposition and attacks on chastity, sobriety, modesty, and virtue.  Because of this, nine out of ten people lose their Catholic faith in college. Nine out of ten are choosing to chase after success or pleasure rather than eternal life and end up serving someone or something other than God.

Pope Benedict XVI

 once said "But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness." It was two years ago when I read this quote for the first time and it completely wrecked my world- for the good. For the longest time I had planned my comfortable life as a northern Virginia nurse living with her best friends and making a good salary. And although there was nothing wrong with this, I distinctly heard Christ calling me to serve him in a more sacrificial and great way. It is one thing to nurse someone's physical body, but Christ was calling me to nurse souls. I thus decided I wanted to return to Christ that which I received from Him through family, friends and religious He placed in my life. I have been blessed with the knowledge of the love of Christ, and therefore I am responsible. For this reason, I have chosen to be a part of this mission to make disciples of all nations.

Your Impact

When I answered the call to join FOCUS, I made the decision to rely completely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help me through this mission. I've been blessed with the most amazing people who have journeyed with me as I serve in this apostolate. If you are interested in partnering with me, please considering joining me with a monthly gift by clicking "Support Mary Kate" above.  I am truly honored to be on this mission with you! Thank you, and God bless!

Know, Love and Serve God

We encounter God in an intimate relationship through daily prayer, the sacraments and the Scriptures.

Build Virtuous Friendships

By building genuine friendships, we meet students on a deeper level.

Teach Others to Share Christ

We teach students how to share the gospel, who in turn teach other students how to pass it on …