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2015 FOCUS Annual Report “Be Soldiers” Highlights Faithful on Battlefield Front Lines
More than 17,000 students participate in FOCUS Bible studies on colleges across nation; Over 20,000 FOCUS alumni equipped to evangelize in workplaces, parishes and communities
DENVER, Colo., November 12, 2015 — In November 1997, mere months before FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) was formally launched, Curtis brought his hopes and vision for FOCUS to Pope Saint John Paul II. His Holiness told Curtis: “Be soldiers.” That theme runs throughout the stories and imagery in the newly published 2015 FOCUS Annual Report, which encompasses the 2014 – 2015 academic year. With God’s grace, FOCUS continues to expand and spread His word, love and mercy throughout the nation.
In his opening letter of the report, FOCUS Founder and CEO Curtis Martin reflects, “FOCUS exists to raise up missionary disciples, and we do this by reaching out to souls on campus, inviting students into a genuine relationship with Christ and teaching them how to evangelize others. But the place our missionaries work isn’t just a mission field: it’s a battlefield. They are the ones to walk courageously into the darkness of the culture to share the light of Christ with the whole world; they are the ones who heroically share the Christian way of life and work resolutely to build up the Church.”
The report includes stories from missionaries, chaplains, students, alumni and benefactors who each share this noble battle to evangelize on campus and beyond. FOCUS alumna Tara Elpers is one example highlighted in the report. Elpers spent two years on campus as a FOCUS missionary at the University of Kansas, and she is now a recruiter for Koch Industries.
“FOCUS also helped me to see that I wasn’t just entering a corporate office environment, but another mission field,” said Elpers. “About six months after I started at Koch, a friend and I began a small group that met before work once a week. Together we discussed Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, ‘The Joy of the Gospel.’ Using all that FOCUS taught me, I was able to encourage my coworkers to go deeper into their relationship with Jesus.”
Some highlights are below. Read the full report online: 2015 FOCUS Annual Report.
· FOCUS entered its one hundredth campus: University of California-Irvine
· More than 17,000 students attended a FOCUS Bible study
· More than 20,000 FOCUS alumni have been prepared to evangelize their workplaces, parishes and communities
· Nearly 10,000 attendees came to SEEK2015, and 5,800 confessions were heard
· Almost 800 people participated in trips with FOCUS Missions around the world
FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) is a national outreach founded in 1998 that 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 2014 – 2015 academic year, nearly 500 missionaries will serve full time on 113 college campuses in 36 states and Washington, D.C. More than 20,000 FOCUS alumni are involved with parishes throughout the U.S. Within this number, 547 have made decisions to pursue Catholic religious vocations. By 2022, FOCUS expects to launch 75,000 alumni into 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.