FOCUS Blogs Discuss Hot Topics Among Youth

Topics include being a young Latino Catholic, vocation discernment and the role of women

DENVER, Oct. 4, 2018 — The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), published a series of blogs related to hot topics among youth, several of which will be discussed at the 2018 Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment in Rome at the Vatican Oct. 3 – 28. 

In his “Letter to Young People” released January 2017 with the announcement of the focus of the upcoming synod, Pope Francis shared, ”A better world can be built also as a result of your efforts, your desire to change and your generosity. Do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit who proposes bold choices; do not delay when your conscience asks you to take risks in following the Master.” 

The FOCUS blogs discuss topics relevant to young adults in today’s culture, such the role of women in the Church, being a young Latino Catholic, vocational discernment and what defines one’s identity. The blogs share advice on listening for guidance from the Holy Spirit when discussing these topics. 

The first blog, “3 Ways to Prepare for the Synod,” was written by Nathan Stanley, director of Apostolic Development for FOCUS. Stanley spent 14 years on campus as a FOCUS regional director. 

Additional blogs topics and authors include: 

·       What I Wish I Had Known About Success, written by Madalena DeAndrea, a FOCUS missionary at the University of California, Los Angeles, challenges college students to reflect on how they define success and what creates their identity. 

·       Beyond the Minority Mentality, by Carlos Garcia, shares his experience of being a young Latino Catholic. He served as a FOCUS missionary and is currently pursuing his Master of Theological Studies at the University of Notre Dame. 

·       The Great Call Women Have in the Church Today, by Mallory Smyth, former FOCUS missionary and current Director of Program Growth with ENDOW. She suggests several ways women can have a profound effect within the Church. 

·       From Quiet Desperation to Authentic Communion, by Mike Bovino, a former FOCUS missionary, shares his discernment process that led him to enter the seminary. 

These blogs and others are at 


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