DENVER, Dec. 13, 2018 — The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) released its FY18 Annual Report, which encapsulates the work of the apostolate for the 2017 – 2018 academic year and celebrates the apostolate’s 20th anniversary. The theme, "Dream and your dreams will fall short," is a quote from St. Josemaría Escrivá.
In his opening letter, Founder and CEO Curtis Martin shares that, when the apostolate was founded in 1998, “… FOCUS was little more than a big dream, one small response to the call of the New Evangelization. At the time, I could not have dreamed of the incredible journey the Lord was about to send us on, nor could I have imagined just how small my dreams were compared to His plans for us … In two decades, we’ve witnessed the Lord use FOCUS to accomplish incredible things.”
Martin recently wrote a book about the model of evangelization FOCUS has been using for the past 20 years, based on the life of Jesus Christ and the magisterial teachings of his Church. “Making Missionary Disciples: How to live the Method Modeled by the Master” is available through https://www.focus.org/making-missionary-disciples.
Through the work of the Holy Spirit and the support of generous benefactors in the past two decades, the lives of tens of thousands of students have been transformed through encounters with missionaries, mission trips, national events and other avenues.
The report includes stories of students and missionaries on campus such as Peter Nguyen, a graduate from Tulane and FOCUS missionary serving at Harvard University.
“It is a pleasure hearing what [the students] receive from Scripture,” said Peter, describing the Bible studies at Harvard. “God’s work speaks differently to each of us in our own situations; the word becomes new to me each time I enter into Bible study with them.”
“It was so amazing seeing the group of men bond together,” he added. “They eventually started their own group known as the New Evangelization, where they study Catholic social teaching. They desire to grow in holiness together. Two of the men are now leading their own Bible studies, and one is in discipleship with me.”
For benefactors Scott and Lannette Turicchi, FOCUS represents a new page in the greater story of evangelization. “To me, FOCUS is a brilliant strategy that is needed systemically throughout the country and the world,” said Scott. “It is important today that we remain hopeful because it is easy to be weighed down by what is going on in the world. We have to always remain hopeful, and I think FOCUS is an element that gives us hope.”
All FOCUS annual reports can be downloaded from https://www.focus.org/about/annual-reports.
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, including 19 expansion campus. The schools are 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.