Aaron and Shanna Filzen

Hey! We are the Filzen's. We are FOCUS missionaries at North Dakota State University! We are excited to meet you! 

Support Aaron and Shanna

Where we serve

We are the Filzen's. We are second year missionaries serving the campus of NDSU! We welcomed our daughter, Pia, into the world this past April. It is with great joy to be living our first two years of marriage serving the Church! It is a privilege to be on mission together and invite students into life as a young family. 

         Introducing team NDSU: Noah, Joe, Aaron, Lexie, Rachel, Shanna and Pia

Our Story

Aaron: 5 years ago I was in the process of making the biggest decision of my life, leaving my Catholic faith. I was leaving it for the simple reason that I didn't get the purpose and the beauty of it. Needless to say I was not expecting that my life would radically change in the ways it has. It was my first year at Minnesota State University, Mankato and a missionary introduced himself to me, he invited me to a conference that semester break called Seek and that is where this journey began. At Seek I discovered Holiness was possible and the most beautiful thing I could pursue. Through brotherhood and a deeper intellectual conversion I found myself seeing the beauty and the need of being a Catholic Missionary. 

Shanna and I met on a cold fall night praying outside of the local Planned Parenthood. Our friendship took root through prayer and virtuous living. It was not long until I knew that the Lord's will for my life was to lay down my life in love and service for this woman. We have recently celebrated our 1 year wedding Anniversary! 

Shanna: After years of trying relentlessly to find happiness and validation in what the world says to do, I found myself crying in my dorm room as a freshman by myself, wondering why I was so unhappy and left searching for answers. I had done everything the world tells you to have a fulfilling life: good grades, relationships, career outlook, a social circle, etc. 

I wasn't going to mass at this point, but figured I would give God one last try. There was a missionary who made an announcement about a retreat at the end of Mass. A few weekends later, I found myself at the retreat and mustered up the courage to go to confession for the first time in years. I almost could not believe the sins I was confessing and was so full of shame. The priest encountered me with the gaze of Jesus and spoke with such mercy. 

Life after encountering Jesus was one of beauty, joy, purpose, passion and zeal for others to know this type of love. Jesus graciously asked if Aaron and I would serve Him as His missionaries and through His grace, bring others to encounter Him.

Your Impact

Our family has said yes to being full-time missionaries to advance the Gospel on the college camps. When we answered the call to join FOCUS, we made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners. It is only through your generosity, we are able to serve Our Lord in this mission that is crucial for the young Church. Through others generosity, we have been shown the Father's providence for us. If you want to support us, please reach out to us! We would love to talk more. 

[email protected] | 507-429-4919

Know, Love and Serve God

We encounter God in an intimate relationship through daily prayer, the sacraments and the Scriptures.

Build Virtuous Friendships

By building genuine friendships, we meet students on a deeper level.

Teach Others to Share Christ

We teach students how to share the gospel, who in turn teach other students how to pass it on …