DENVER, Colo., November 17, 2016 — Participants on FOCUS Mission trips go beyond their comfort zones to serve communities around the world. While some college students spend their spring and summer breaks partying on the beach and taking it easy, those who journey with FOCUS on mission trips challenge themselves to see the world from a new perspective and find Christ in the souls they serve.
“My whole life I’ve been Catholic,
always going to Mass and praying before meals — but I never felt that I truly
lived out my faith,” said Nate Quintana, who went on a trip to Mexico City with
Colorado State University. “The pinnacle of the trip (and quite possibly my
life) occurred when we walked over one quarter of a mile on our knees in prayer
to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and then prayed for an hour in the
“Never before have I been overwhelmed in adoration, and I just broke down knowing that I needed to have a daily prayer life, to participate in the sacraments more often and to commit my life to Christ. I am so thankful that I went on this trip because it was a springboard into deepening my faith.”
Since 2004, more than 5,000 college students and FOCUS staff have traveled the globe on hundreds of mission trips. During the 2016 – 2017 academic year, FOCUS Missions will host nearly 125 trips in 45 countries. Nearly 2,000 participants are expected to take on the challenge to serve those in need while developing a new appreciation for diversity across cultures.
While studying at the University of Southern
California-Los Angeles, Jack Delac heard God’s calling during a trip with FOCUS
Missions to the Dominican Republic. As a gifted musician with experience as a
backup singer for artists such as Barry Manilow and Elton John, Delac planned
to pursue a music career right after graduation.
“A blind and lame musician played his guitar at the local church during Mass,” recalls Delac, who now serves as a FOCUS missionary at the University of Memphis. “After receiving the Eucharist on the Feast Day of St. Joseph, I knelt down and prayed. As he started playing guitar, his singing pierced my heart. I felt happiness and joy as I realized how this man was using his talents for God. I felt God telling me my mission was to share my talents as a FOCUS missionary to share the love of Christ.”
Participants must apply for 2017 spring break trips by November 30, 2016, using the application on the FOCUS Missions website. The deadline for summer trips is January 15, 2017. All participants fundraise for their trips and have access to easy-to-use tools and video resources.
New for this academic year, FOCUS Missions is hosting trips in Australia, Belize and additional locations in Southeast Asia. Other mission trips include locations in Latin America, India (South Asia), Africa and Europe.
FOCUS Missions organizes sports camps to Panama,
Honduras, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and other locations. Medical
mission trips to Peru, Argentina and the Philippines invite students in the
medical field to share medical skills with those in need while sharing the love
of Christ. A full list of trips is at focusmissions.org.
Many benefactors support individual students or choose to support the overall mission to invest in the future of the next generation. To help change the lives of students and those whom they serve by sending them on mission, visit focusmissions.org/give/.
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.