Leanne Jarvis

Hi, I'm Leanne! I'm a FOCUS missionary.

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Where I serve

This year I am serving as the Team Director at the University of Northern Iowa.  As a FOCUS expansion campus, we are working alongside the existing campus ministry to broaden efforts on campus to bring souls to Christ. It is with great joy that I have said yes to live the missionary vocation of the Church. Read the story of how God led me here below!

"Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ's sacrifice in the Mass." EVANGELII NUNTIANDI 14

My Story

I entered college at UC Berkeley seeking to live a great story of success, academically on the path toward medical school, and athletically on Cal's cross country and track teams.  As I poured myself into these pursuits, I began to recognize a growing dissatisfaction and unrest inside myself. I started asking the questions "Who am I?" and "For what purpose have I been made?" These questions were not being answered through the channels of school and running. Rather, they moved me to see the Catholic faith in which I was raised in a different light. It was not just about the prayers and teachings I learned as a child, but it was where I could find my true identity. I was drawn to the humble joy and loving friendship I encountered in the FOCUS missionaries present at the Berkeley Newman Center. They knew who they were and for what they were living, and it was so attractive. I wanted what they had. Through their friendship and deep investment in me, I began to see who I was in God's eyes rather than through the lens of the world's empty promises. 

When my identity as a Division 1 athlete came crumbling down due to repetitive injuries, I was embraced by our loving Father who showed me that the only true identity I had was in relationship with him as a beloved daughter. 

During my senior year of college, as I discerned the next steps in my life, I was once again invited by the Lord to let go of an area I had been placing my identity: as a pre-med student. After much discernment, God made it clear that He was not asking me to spend the years immediately after college providing physical healing through a career in medicine. Rather, He was inviting me to recognize the great need on college campuses for the spiritual healing that only He can provide. It is my greatest desire to lead students to our true healer, the source of love himself, and because of this desire, I became a FOCUS missionary. 

I spend my time on campus investing deeply in students in order to lead them to live freely in their true identities as beloved sons and daughters of the Father. I witnessed hearts beautifully transformed last year while serving at the University of Colorado, and I'm so excited for the radical plans the Lord has in store this year for UNI.

Your Impact

When I answered the call to join FOCUS, 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.


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 …