John Ortega

Hello! My name is John, and I am a 1st year FOCUS missionary serving at MIT!

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Where I serve

God has called me to serve college students at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). You'll typically find me hanging out with students in W11 during the Tech Catholic Community's weekly Friday Spaghetti Dinners, praying at the MIT chapel, or walking around MIT's beautiful campus! Check out the video below from the Tech Catholic Community to learn more about the amazing people who help support the Catholic ministry at MIT.

My Story

St. John Henry Cardinal Newman once said that "to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often."

I grew up in a Filipino Catholic family and received a wonderful Jesuit education in high school. Going to school at the University of Pennsylvania, however, brought many challenges to my personal faith. Penn students face a lot of academic and social stress because of the nature of its rigorous academic environment. Fortunately, I was lucky to have an amazing Newman Center and FOCUS missionaries to guide me through that period of my life and challenged me to grow in my own personal relationship with God while infusing a fervor to make missionary disciples at Penn.

One of the teachings that I have taken away from my experience at Penn is the importance of "heart-to-heart" relationships. "Heart Speaks to Heart" is the motto that St. John Henry Cardinal Newman used for his coat of arms. And the message is simple: the most essential aspect of our Catholic faith is authentic friendships between each other and with God.

As a missionary, my greatest desire is to lead all students to Christ. My life has been transformed by Jesus and I want nothing more than to bring this joy to others and introduce them to the life-changing message of the Gospel. In His ministry on earth, Jesus humbled Himself to meet us on our level, taking on our humanity, and spent most of His time investing deeply in a few. I look to Jesus’ own example to find the best method of reaching the world.

FOCUS has a major impact at college campuses throughout the United States. Through the prayers and support of the people at MIT and my friends and family from home, God has graced me with the opportunity to partake in this beautiful apostolate!

Your Impact

When I answered the call to be a FOCUS missionary, I made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help me through this mission. I've been blessed with the most amazing people who have journeyed with me as I serve on campus. If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know of the best way to reach you and I will schedule an appointment. I'd be honored to share this mission with you! Contact me anytime at (216) 926-0916 or [email protected].

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 …