FOCUS Missionaries Courageously Share Faith and Inspire Hope Around the World

More than 860 FOCUS missionaries will serve at 216 locations, including 21 new ones

DENVER, Aug. 24, 2022 — This fall, FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) missionaries will serve alongside campus ministries, chaplains and pastors, encountering tens of thousands of people around the world and courageously sharing faith with love, mercy and compassion. The work of the Holy Spirit through FOCUS missionaries inspires hope in clergy, benefactors and all who understand the urgent need for renewal in the Catholic faith. 

For the 2022 – 2023 academic year, 861 missionaries will serve at 216 locations: 193 campus locations (including eight international campuses and 10 Digital Outreach campuses) and 23 parish locations. Of the 216 locations, 21 will receive FOCUS missionaries for the first time. By 2027, FOCUS expects to have more than 1000 missionaries serving in more than 250 locations around the world. 

“When my bishop asked me to become the pastor of St. Paul University Parish at Wichita State University, one of my great comforts was knowing that I would be working with FOCUS missionaries on campus,” said Fr. Drew Hoffman. “My life was changed in a FOCUS Bible study while I was a student at the University of Kansas, and I saw the power of FOCUS while [serving as] the assistant chaplain at St. Isidore’s on the campus of Kansas State. I have already seen the fruit of these four young people extending invitations to new students, leading Bible studies and encountering college kids in a real and beautiful way. It is wonderfully life-giving, and I truly believe it to be the future of the Church.” 

Abroad, FOCUS missionaries serve on eight campuses in five countries, including two new European locations: Queens University Belfast in Northern Ireland and St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences in Austria. Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico had a hybrid model last year with student missionaries, digital discipleship and in-person visits to the campus. This year, that hybrid model will continue with one Mexican student and one full-time Mexican missionary. 

Two campuses previously served by the Digital Outreach team will have in-person FOCUS teams: College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla, Missouri. FOCUS Digital Outreach missionaries will start serving students at six new campuses, including the University of New Hampshire. A new location for FOCUS Parish missionaries will be St. Louis Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia. 

Through Bible studies, local and national outreach events such as SEEK, FOCUS mission trips and personal encounters, FOCUS missionaries inspire and build up students and parishioners in the faith, sending them out to boldly share God’s love and pursue St. Catherine of Siena’s call: “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” 

“The cold New England air can't stop the burning fire of Christ's love from continuing to heal hearts and draw souls closer to Him,” said FOCUS missionary Keith A. Brown, who serves at the University of Rhode Island. “We’ll continue the momentum from last year and meet new students by playing Spikeball on the Quad, striking up conversations in the Student Union and going on rosary walks around campus. I’ll also keep hosting Men's Poker Night and Dinner at the Catholic Center, which gives us an opportunity to talk about deeper things going on in our lives and discuss how we can be better men of God. I'm psyched for another year of mission at Rhode Island, and I know that God will continue to work wonders in our ministry! Go Rams!” 

The full list of FOCUS campuses is at focus.org/campuses. The following are the 14 new FOCUS campus locations for 2022 – 2023:   

United States: 

·       Auraria Campus — Denver, Co.

·       Black Hills State University — Spearfish, S.D.

·       Collegia Catholic Boston — Boston, Mass.

·       College of William & Mary — Williamsburg, Va.

·       Middle Tennessee State — Murfreesboro, Tenn.

·       Missouri University of Science and Technology — Rolla, Mo.

·       Montana State University — Bozeman, Mont.

·       University of Arkansas — Fayetteville, Ark.

·       University of Delaware — Newark, Del.

·       University of Nevada, Reno — Reno, Nev.

·       University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire — Eau Claire, Wis.

·       University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point — Stevens Point, Wis. 

International:

·       St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences — St. Pölten, Austria

·       Queens University Belfast — Belfast, Northern Ireland 

In the past decade, FOCUS Digital Outreach missionaries have served more than 2,500 students. They share the Gospel and mentor students who are not attending a campus with a FOCUS team, working similarly to campus missionaries by hosting Bible studies and weekly conversations. This fall, Digital Outreach missionaries will serve on six new locations in partnership with the campus chaplains: 

·       Hofstra University — Hempstead, N.Y.

·       Lehigh University — Bethlehem, Pa.

·       Kennesaw State — Kennesaw, Ga.

·       Shippensburg University — Shippensburg, Pa.

·       Simpson College — Indianola, Iowa

·       University of New Hampshire — Durham, N.H. 

Parish Outreach takes FOCUS’ model of spiritual multiplication from the campus to the parish. Experienced campus missionaries transition to the parish mission field and offer their evangelization skills and training to teach parishioners how to pray, evangelize and make disciples of others. 

America’s 17,000 Catholic parishes have a critically important role to play in the New Evangelization. Parishes are the arms of the Church where people are loved and cared for, where the lost are found and where people can encounter Christ in prayer and in the sacraments. Many are in need of renewal.  FOCUS Parish missionaries serve in 23 parish locations, including one new parish this year: St. Louis Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia. 

FOCUS missionaries strive to be saints and encourage those they encounter to do the same. Recently, Bishop David Kagan, Diocese of Bismarck, N.D., announced the opening of the diocesan investigation which could lead to the beatification and canonization of North Dakota native and FOCUS missionary alumna Michelle Christine Duppong. More information on Duppong, including the video of Bishop Kagan’s announcement, is at focus.org/michelleduppong

About FOCUS

FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) is a Catholic apostolate whose mission is to share the hope and joy of the Gospel. FOCUS missionaries encounter people in friendship, inviting them into a personal relationship with Christ and accompanying them as they pursue lives of virtue and excellence. Through Bible studies, outreach events, mission trips and discipleship, missionaries inspire and build up others in the faith, sending them out to live out lifelong Catholic mission wherever they are.  

For the 2022 – 2023 academic year, 861 missionaries will serve at 216 locations: 193 campus locations (including eight international campuses and 10 Digital Outreach campuses) and 23 parish locations. By 2027, FOCUS expects to have more than 1000 missionaries serving in more than 250 locations around the world. FOCUS alumni, now more than 50,000 strong, are living and serving in parishes and communities across the country, including more than 10,000 trained for post-graduate evangelization. An important blessing of a fruitful partnership between the local campus ministry and FOCUS has been the pursuit of religious vocations. Since 1998, more than 1,000 people have entered the seminary or a religious house of formation after involvement with FOCUS on college campuses. Based on past experience, FOCUS expects that number to nearly double in the next five years. 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. focus.org   

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