DENVER, Oct. 12, 2022 — Every person is being called. Not by the world, but by Someone not of this world. Not merely to survive, but to thrive in His abundance. Not for empty desires, but for the fullness of His promise of eternal life.
FOCUS invites people of all ages to leave old things behind and answer a new call to greatness, holiness, joy and mission by experiencing “SEEK23: You Are Called.” This five-day event, hosted by FOCUS, will take place at the America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, Jan. 2 – 6, 2023. Through fellowship, prayer, world-class speakers and entertainment, participants will be inspired to “Fear not; rise, He is calling you” (Mk 10:49). The FOCUS Catholic YouTube channel features a SEEK23 playlist with inspiring videos about the impact of SEEK and what to expect at SEEK23.
“SEEK touched my heart in places I didn’t think it could,” said Abraham Guerrero, a student at Texas Tech University. “SEEK inspired me to grow in my faith and share it with others, such as by serving on a FOCUS mission trip to the Dominican Republic this year. It showed me a path towards stewardship and has given me a community from around the U.S.”
SEEK is the only Catholic conference of its size diving into the heart of the Gospel and exploring how to answer Christ’s call in every moment. More than 135,000 people have joined FOCUS for national events over the past 25 years. In just the past two years, more than 50,000 participants experienced SEEK through virtual, regional and local gatherings on campuses, at parishes and in homes, drawing them into a deeper encounter with Christ and increasing their zeal for evangelization.
“SEEK cuts through obstacles that prevent us from encountering the Father’s love. It sets the stage to address questions that otherwise would be lost in the busyness of our world,” said Andy Meza, who attended a regional SEEK22 event as a student at Texas State University. Meza is now a first-year missionary serving at Stephen F. Austin State University. “SEEK22 convicted me of the truth of the Gospel and helped highlight its relevance today. That conviction is what led to my desire to bring Christ to my fraternity brothers and fellow classmates. Those experiences evangelizing my peers are what led to my decision to apply to be a FOCUS missionary.”
SEEK21 and SEEK22 launched more regular campus Bible study participants into discipleship than any previous conferences. FOCUS projects that more than 100,000 people will attend a FOCUS conference in the next five years.
FOCUS will launch its 25th anniversary celebration at SEEK23, giving gratitude to God for His many blessings and with hopeful expectation for the future. The anniversary celebration will culminate at SEEK24.
Prayer, Sacraments, Fellowship and Entertainment
SEEK23 attendees will step away from daily distractions and participate in prayer, adoration, Scripture and the sacraments celebrated by hundreds of priests—including Timothy Cardinal Dolan, who will be an impact speaker, and Msgr. James Shea, who will be a concurrent speaker. Several bishops plan to attend, including Archbishop Samuel Aquila (Denver) and Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski (St. Louis).
“SEEK, for me, in a word, is discovery,” explains Cal State University Fullerton Chaplain Fr. Florante Moren. “It is discovering what else we can do and how we can grow our faith deeper. It is discovering ways to engage more of ourselves in a divine relationship with the Lord.”
Exclusive concerts, contests, sponsor activities and more will provide entertainment and foster opportunities for fellowship. SEEK23 gives people the chance to share the experience and dive deeper into topics that really matter alongside those who are at the same stage of their journey of faith.
Sessions for college students, post-college attendees, ministry staff and more
Along with the Collegiate Track, SEEK23 will offer the Ministry Track and the Making Missionary Disciples Track.
Tens of thousands of FOCUS alumni and lay ecclesial leaders long for their parish and diocese to be on fire with the Catholic faith. The Making Missionary Disciples Track will equip post-college attendees to help transform parishes, dioceses, families and communities through implementing the Church’s vision for missionary discipleship.
Making Missionary Disciples impact sessions at SEEK23 will include talks and workshops from parish evangelization experts on topics such as sharing your testimony, praying with others, accompaniment, evangelization in the parish and family, and much more.
"SEEK22 was an excellent event and helped build up a sense of community in the parish we've been trying to rebuild and restore for the past two years," said Ted Spinelli, executive director of Discipleship and Evangelization at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Winchester, Virginia. The parish hosted a regional SEEK22 event with more than 100 participants. "We had a wide range of ages, and many said they wished their children and grandchildren could have experienced SEEK22 as well. SEEK inspired our parishioners to grow their faith and be courageous about sharing their faith."
The Ministry Track is designed for those interested in creating dynamic and fruitful campus ministries and parish ministries. The SEEK23 Seminarian Experience invites seminarians to be inspired and renew their calling to serve as the hands and feet of Christ—and at the same time, be a present-day witness of the courage, beauty and joy of religious life to college-aged souls. It will include special talks, get-togethers and more tailored for seminarians.
Well-known Catholic speakers and catechetical teachers will inspire and encourage participants to seek the heart of Christ’s call and the truth, beauty, goodness and abundance of the Catholic faith. Speakers for SEEK23 include Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, Fr. Joshua Johnson, Sr. Bethany Madonna, S.V., Fr. Mike Schmitz, Chika Anyanwu, Hilary Draftz, Jason Evert, Paul. J. Kim, Curtis Martin and Dr. Edward Sri.
In addition to Timothy Cardinal Dolan, SEEK23 impact session speakers include Sr. Mary Grace, S.V., Fr. Chase Hilgenbrinck, Fr. Sean Kilcawley, Fr. Agustino Torres, C.F.R., Matt Fradd, Damon Owens, Dr. Jonathan Reyes, Oscar Rivera and Emily Wilson. Many additional speakers and entertainment will be announced soon.
Dozens of previous FOCUS event talks are on the FOCUS Catholic YouTube channel, including Fr. Mike Schmitz’ most popular video ever, “The Hour That Will Change Your Life,” which has garnered more than 2.5 million views.
Registration is open at seek.focus.org. The early-bird price through Nov. 1 for an event pass for students at campuses with FOCUS teams is $459. Several options are available for college students and high school students with chaperones. The individual registration price for non-students is $609. Parish groups who buy a bundle of five event passes will receive a sixth pass for free. Special pricing is available for seminarians, deacons, religious, priests and FOCUS staff alumni. American Sign Language interpretation is available when requested within registration.
Every registered attendee will receive exclusive live content, entrance to all sessions and entertainment, opportunities for Mass, the sacraments and adoration, and access to exclusive resources and materials, including the SEEK app. After SEEK is over, registrants will be able access the talks for six months, which provides the chance to return to the conference content and continue to bring what they’ve experienced into everyday life.
Those unable to join others in St. Louis can still experience the very best of SEEK and have the opportunity to encounter the Lord alongside thousands of others through several remote options, including Individual Remote Viewer ($75) and Remote Groups ($675 for up to 10 people). The Remote Parish Pack ($3,750) includes unlimited registrations for parishioners and access to content up to six months after SEEK.
To keep the momentum going after SEEK23, Curtis Martin and Dr. Edward Sri will host a Lenten Post-SEEK23, 12-week Bible study taking participants deep into the one story that matters most: the story of salvation history.
SEEK22 Premier Level Sponsors who will be “Sponsors of the Day” include the Augustine Institute, Benedictine College, Seton Teaching Fellows and the University of Mary. Additional Premier Level Sponsors include Ascension, Camp Wojtyla, Catholic Medical Association, Christ in the City, Exodus 90, the Knights of Columbus, the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart, Spoke Street and Vagabond Missions. Organizations interested in learning more about sponsorships can email [email protected].
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 are serving 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 1,000 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