DENVER, August 29, 2018 — David Bereit, founder and former CEO of 40 Days for Life, is partnering with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) to build the Culture of Love and Life initiative, bolstering pro-life and purity efforts on college campuses while strengthening marriage and family formation and support.
The Culture of Love and Life initiative equips and empowers staff and students to live and act with a deep understanding of human dignity, providing compassionate help for students who are ensnared in risky lifestyles, experiencing unexpected pregnancies or suffering from post-abortion trauma.
Bereit led 40 Days for Life through its first decade, building it into the largest grassroots pro-life mobilization in the world. Through its network of 750,000 volunteers in 769 cities across all 50 American states and 50 nations, 40 Days for Life has helped to save 14,643 children’s lives, bring 177 workers out of the abortion industry and close 96 abortion centers.
“David’s extensive experience will be an incredible benefit to FOCUS as we work to help our missionaries and students approach their evangelization efforts with a robust pro-life worldview,” said John Zimmer, FOCUS vice president of apostolic development. “Our missionaries and students are truly on the front-line of the purity and pro-life battle, as college age students account for nearly half of the pregnant mothers who choose abortion, and Planned Parenthood places 80 percent of their facilities within 5 miles of college campuses.”
David has been married to his best friend, Margaret, for 26 years, and the Bereits have led marriage preparation programs, relationship classes and marriage enrichment programs over the last two decades. In addition to David providing program development for pro-life efforts, the Bereits will jointly collaborate with FOCUS to provide more effective marriage and family formation and support.
“I am incredibly excited to be collaborating with FOCUS, a profoundly effective apostolate that has been life-changing for tens of thousands of college students,” said David Bereit. “By helping its missionaries and students successfully address some of the greatest challenges faced on campuses, the impact of FOCUS is also life-saving.”
The Bereits live in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and are the parents of two children, Claire, a student and FOCUS small group leader at the University of Virginia, and Patrick, a high school student.
The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) was founded in 1998. The apostolate 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. Throughout the 2018 – 2019 academic year, nearly 700 missionaries serve full-time on 153 college campuses, located across 42 U.S. states and at five international locations (two in Austria, one in England, one in Germany and one in Ireland). Tens of thousands of students have been involved with FOCUS, who after graduation have the opportunity to move into parish life and continue their missionary work. Within this number, 732 have made decisions to pursue Catholic religious vocations. By 2022, FOCUS expects — God willing — to have 75,000 students transitioned into many of 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.