Our Story

"Be soldiers."

— Pope St. John Paul II to Curtis Martin, our founder and CEO  

This is a generation in crisis — of identity, of purpose and of belief. Faced with so many distractions, acts of violence, empty pleasures and a loss of faith in God, they are losing hope. For the sake of so many souls, the joyful message of Jesus Christ’s life and salvation needs to be shared, now more than ever.

Recognizing the significant impact the college years have on a young person’s future, Curtis Martin founded the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, starting with just two missionaries at Benedictine College in 1998.

Later that same year, Curtis was blessed with the opportunity to meet Pope St. John Paul II and to share his vision for FOCUS: a chance for every student to know and feel known, loved and cared for by Jesus Christ. His Holiness listened carefully, and in response he simply told Curtis, “Be soldiers.”

Encouraged and driven by Pope St. John Paul II’s call to a New Evangelization and encouraged with steadfast hope to change the culture for Christ, FOCUS has forged ahead into the battlefield. FOCUS missionaries have spread the gospel message to tens of thousands of college students through on-campus outreach, Bible studies, discipleship, mission trips, national conferences and more.

Today, FOCUS continues to encourage young people to pursue truth and meaning in their lives, to invest in relationships with Jesus Christ and their fellow students. Our story is and remains the same: through God’s mercy, FOCUS missionaries will continue to help young people go and share the good news to everyone they meet, bringing Christ to the world and transforming the world through Christ.