DENVER, Colo., October 13, 2016 — The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) invites college students to seek and understand “What Moves You” during five days of fun, talks, worship and more at SEEK2017 on January 3 – 7, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas. The adventure-themed conference is open to the public and expects 11,000 – 13,000 attendees. The event provides a life-changing opportunity for attendees to grow in faith or to encounter Jesus Christ for the first time.
Johnny Murray, a student from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, attended SEEK2015 and said, “It was life-saving. SEEK2015 opened my heart and let God flood in. I’m beyond excited for SEEK2017!”
Special guests for SEEK2017 include sports legend Lou Holtz, a former American football player, coach and analyst. Entertainment headliners include comedian Michael Jr. and folk rock band The Oh Hellos. Registration is open at seek2017.com.
SEEK2017 includes many opportunities for reflection and discernment such as daily Mass, adoration and confession. Nearly 10,000 attendees came to SEEK2015, including students and chaplains from nearly 450 campuses. Close to 200 priests concelebrated daily Mass and priests heard more than 5,500 confessions.
“What I found at SEEK were two things: knowledge and love,” said Dave Korenchan a student from the University of California-Berkeley who attended SEEK2015. “Not only did the conference equip me with the necessary Catholic teaching I needed to understand, but it addressed my fears of sacrificing myself for the sake of the gospel. Love is an act of will, not an emotion. When I encountered Christ during adoration, I discovered, as tears welled up in my eyes, how much I was loved and how much I desired to love Him! This experience inspired me to change my life.”
Keynote speakers for SEEK2017 include Sr. Miriam James Heidland, Sr. Bethany Madonna, Fr. Mike Schmitz, Mark Hart, John Leyendecker, Curtis Martin, John O’Leary and Dr. Edward Sri.
Several nationally recognized speakers will likewise share perspectives on discipleship, relationships and other hot topics during more than 50 Impact Sessions, including the following: Fr. Philip Bochanski, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Fr. Dave Dwyer, Fr. Michael Gaitley, Fr. Joshua Johnson, Fr. Robert Sirico, Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, Fr. Scott Traynor, Ryan Anderson, Audrey Assad, John Carmichael, Jeff Cavins, Kevin Cotter, Lisa Cotter, Leah Darrow, Paul Darrow, Crystalina Evert, Jason Evert, Matt Fradd, Jackie Francois, Jennifer Fulwiler, Dr. Tim Gray, Dr. Scott Hahn, Marcel LeJeune, Patrick Lencioni, Dr. Jonathan Reyes and Sarah Swafford. Bios and new speaker announcements are online at seek2017.com/speakers.
More than 40,000 people have attended FOCUS events since the inaugural National Conference held in 1999, where 25 students came together to pray, deepen their Catholic faith and learn how to share Christ with others. Most SEEK attendees are college students, but many others attend, including collegiate chaplains served by FOCUS, who are integral to FOCUS’ work on campuses. Other attendees include alumni and benefactors. Many have said that their experiences at SEEK restored their hope for the future of Catholicism.
The event website includes a Sponsor a Student page to provide an opportunity to invest in the future of young adult Catholics. Tax-deductible donations help FOCUS missionaries to be successful with their invitations to students who may object due to budget restraints.
“Students make a time commitment of an entire week from their Christmas breaks to join us at SEEK, but many need donations to make this possible,” said Sean Flack, FOCUS missionary at CU-Boulder. “For SEEK2015, I personally made a commitment to sponsor three students and other donors sponsored several more. The event had a significant impact on many lives. One of those students is now in the seminary, one is applying to be a FOCUS missionary this fall and some are leading their own Bible studies on campus.”
Sponsors include Benedictine College (Partner Sponsor), Augustine Institute (Partner Sponsor), Alliance Defending Freedom (Official Sponsor) and the Liturgical Institute (Official Sponsor). Organizations interested in sponsorship can review the SEEK2017 Sponsorship Brochure online.
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.