DENVER, Sept. 19, 2018 — This fall, college students will develop relationships that impact their lives while on campus and for many years afterward. Missionaries with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) invite them to participate in campus ministry events and deepen their faith by encountering Christ in the sacraments and in their daily lives. For many, these relationships guide decisions to live virtuously and seek eternal joy over the temporary pleasures sometimes associated with campus life.
Through God’s grace and the support of generous benefactors, nearly 700 missionaries are now serving on 153 college campuses, with 19 new campuses welcoming FOCUS teams, including Rice University, Texas Tech University, University of Iowa and University of Louisville.
With this year’s expansion, FOCUS teams will serve in 12 new dioceses in the U.S., including two in new states with the University of Utah and University of South Carolina. The new campuses will give FOCUS the opportunity to reach 400,000 new souls who attend these schools.
“We are delighted to welcome FOCUS to the Diocese of Salt Lake City,” said Bishop Oscar A. Solis. “It is a blessing to have faith-filled and dedicated missionaries to be our partners in the mission of evangelization. They will be a blessing to many students in the University of Utah and young adults at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Newman Center, a source of inspiration as they witness their Catholic faith and share the Gospel of Christ with great conviction, enthusiasm and joy. We are grateful to God for this blessing and thankful to FOCUS.”
Fr. Lukasz Misko, O.P., the chaplain at the St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Newman Center, shared: “It's hard to believe FOCUS has been here only a month! Our missionaries are already friends with dozens of students at the Newman Center and on campus. Most importantly for me, they've found a beautiful, organic way to work with our leaders and the existing programs to add freshness and evangelical joy to them. I recommend FOCUS to any campus ministry that wants to go from good to great.”
The new campuses include 12 Division I campuses, for a total of 112 Division I campuses that FOCUS serves. It also includes one new Ivy League campus, University of Pennsylvania, increasing the total to four Ivy League campuses served by FOCUS (Harvard University, Columbia University and Brown University are the other three).
The expansion includes a new international campus, University of Passau in Passau, Germany. In addition, FOCUS will continue to serve on two campuses in Austria, one in Ireland and one in England.
The following are the new FOCUS campuses:
· Angelo State University — San Angelo, Texas
· Belmont University — Nashville, Tenn.
· Black Hills State University — Spearfish, S.D.
· Drexel University — Philadelphia, Pa.
· Grand Valley State University — Allendale, Mich.
· Lindenwood University — St. Louis, Mo.
· Ohio University — Athens, Ohio
· Rice University — Galveston-Houston, Texas
· Stony Brook University — Stony Brook, N.Y.
· South Dakota School of Mines & Technology — Rapid City, S.D.
· Texas Tech University — Lubbock, Texas
· University of Cincinnati — Cincinnati, Ohio
· University of Colorado — Colorado Springs- Colorado Springs, Colo.
· University of Iowa — Iowa City, Iowa
· University of Louisville — Louisville, Ky.
· University of Pennsylvania — Philadelphia, Pa.
· University of South Carolina — Columbia, S.C.
· University of Utah — Salt Lake City, Utah
· University of Passau — Passau, Germany
Information on all 153 FOCUS campuses is online at focusoncampus.org.
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 will 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.