DENVER, Colo., December 13, 2016 — The 2016 FOCUS Annual Report, which encompasses the 2015 – 2016 academic year, includes stories of the impact of FOCUS on campus and beyond. The report likewise includes inspiring results from a research study conducted last year to gauge the effectiveness of FOCUS’ work.
In the report’s opening letter, Founder and CEO Curtis Martin reflects on the joy which drove Christ to endure the cross: “It was the joy of rescuing each of us that inspired Him as He gave Himself for each of us.”
The report details experiences of students, missionaries and chaplains sharing the love of Christ and teachings of the Church on campus. It also highlights benefactors who support the mission and FOCUS alumni living out lifelong Catholic mission, such as Sabrina Sy. Sy is the RCIA director and young adult ministry coordinator at St. Augustine Catholic Church at the University of Florida, where she served as a FOCUS missionary.
“As a FOCUS missionary, my purpose for life became very clear: I was called to live a life radically for the Lord and bring others with me on my journey,” said Sy. “My time with FOCUS inspired and equipped me to share Christ with anyone and everyone I encountered.”
FOCUS Effect Research
In 2015, FOCUS commissioned a professional research firm to conduct a study which gathered feedback from young adults, ages 22 – 32, including both FOCUS alumni and those who self-identified as Catholic going into college. Respondents spoke to the profession of faith, life in Christ, celebration of the Christian mystery and Christian prayer.
The research showed that FOCUS alumni experienced growth in their faith in college and are more aligned with Church teaching. FOCUS alumni understand and live the social teaching of the Catholic Church much better than Catholic millennials, even when compared to “strong” Catholic millennials.
In fact, 72% of FOCUS alumni said they “believe in sharing the good news” versus 23% of “strong” Catholic millennials. Also, 63% of FOCUS alumni said identifying as Catholic was “an important part of their lives,” compared to just 18% of “strong” Catholic millennials agreeing with that statement.
From the beginning, FOCUS has stood upon the foundation of sacred Scripture. Every aspect of FOCUS’ mission is tied to these five verses as FOCUS’ scriptural basis, which are shared in the report:
Matthew 28:18 – 20: “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
John 17:3: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
1 Thessalonians 2:8: “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.”
2 Timothy 2:2: “And what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
John 15:8: “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.”
The 2016 Annual Report and previous year reports are at www.focus.org/about/annual-reports.
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, more than 550 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 FOCUS alumni have been prepared to evangelize parishes throughout the U.S. Within this number, more than 600 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.