DENVER, Sept. 3, 2020 —With God’s grace and the support of several bishops and benefactors, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) will partner with campus ministries on 17 new campuses during the 2020-2021 academic year. Nearly 800 missionaries will serve thousands of young souls on 171 campuses, including The Ohio State University, University of Dallas, Wayne State University, University of Montana and California State University, Long Beach, and a new international location in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Missionaries bring the light of Christ to students on campuses through Bible studies, outreach events, mission trips and discipleship. Missionaries inspire students to deepen their faith and share it through all areas of life on campus and beyond – with families, friendships, workplaces, parishes and communities.
FOCUS is excited to see the fruit of the Holy Spirit through campus ministry efforts, despite challenges due to the pandemic, including some campuses that are mandating online learning this fall.
“Incarnational evangelization is the primary way we share the Gospel and evangelize others,” said John Zimmer, vice president of apostolic development for FOCUS. “There are always risks in sharing the love of Jesus Christ, but God never fails to provide opportunities to draw men and women to Himself – even in challenging circumstances. For these reasons, FOCUS teams are working in creative ways with the campus ministries they serve in order to continue their evangelization and discipleship efforts. Whether these efforts are in person on campus or restricted to digital means, the missionaries continue to beg the Holy Spirit for grace while placing their trust in the Providence of God, who ‘works all things for good for those who love Him’ (Romans 8:28).”
Missionaries will follow the state and local laws and regulations, and regularly review the CDC for guidance on social distancing and mask use. FOCUS recommends digital outreach for those who are not able to be reached in person given local and state regulations, if a campus is entirely virtual, or if students the missionaries are trying to reach feel uncomfortable meeting in person. In addition, FOCUS advises missionaries to be monitoring themselves regularly for symptoms per CDC guidelines.
“Vital unity with each campus ministry that we serve is an essential foundation of our mission, and FOCUS serves at each campus by the blessing and authority of the local bishop and campus ministry staff,” said Zimmer, stressing how each FOCUS team is working with the chaplains and campus ministers they serve on outreach plans that follow state and local laws and the regulations of the local dioceses (including those regarding sacramental participation).
The following are the new FOCUS campus locations for 2020-2021:
· California State University, Long Beach — Long Beach, California
· Carroll College — Helena, Montana
· Colorado Mesa University — Grand Junction, Colorado
· Miami University — Miami, Ohio
· North Carolina State University — Raleigh, North Carolina
· Northern Illinois University — DeKalb, Illinois
· Saint Francis University — Loretto, Pennsylvania
· Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota — Winona, Minnesota
· Southern Illinois University — Edwardsville, Illinois
· The Ohio State University — Columbus, Ohio
· University of Dallas — Irving, Texas
· University of Montana — Missoula, Montana
· University of Southern Indiana — Evansville, Indiana
· University of Texas at Dallas — Richardson, Texas
· Wayne State University — Detroit, Michigan
· Worcester Polytechnic Institute — Worcester, Massachusetts
· University of Dusseldorf — Dusseldorf, Germany
FOCUS parish missionaries will also serve Catholic parishes in seven states:
· St. James Parish — Arlington Heights, Illinois
· St. John the Evangelist Parish — Jackson, Mississippi
· St. John Neumann Parish — Charlotte, North Carolina
· Immaculate Conception of Dardenne — Dardenne Prairie, Missouri
· Church of the Magdalen — Wichita, Kansas
· St. John the Baptist — Beloit, Kansas
· St. Agnes Parish — Sellersville, Pennsylvania
· The Diocese of Spokane, Washington
More information about FOCUS’ campuses can be found online at focusoncampus.org/find-my-campus.
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. For the 2020-2021 academic year, nearly 800 FOCUS missionaries are serving on 171 campuses and 9 parishes across the U.S. and Europe. Tens of thousands of students have been involved with FOCUS, who after graduation have the opportunity to move into parish life to continue their missionary work. An important blessing of a fruitful partnership between the local campus ministry and FOCUS has been the pursuit of religious vocations. Over the past 20 years, 959 people have entered the seminary or a religious house of formation after involvement with FOCUS on college campuses. 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. focus.org