Marie Volcko

Hello! My name's Marie. I'm a FOCUS missionary.

"I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a natural heart. I will put my spirit within you so that you walk in my statues, observe my ordinances, and keep them." -Ezekiel 36:26-27

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Where I serve

God has called me to serve college students at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts for a second year! I love inviting students to grab a bite to eat at Chuck's on campus, go on hikes near our neighborhood, explore the many coffee shops of the city, and pray at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. As St. John Paul II said, "Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure!" I'm so grateful to continue the adventure with returning students who have truly become my dear friends, and I can't wait to encounter Christ with new friends!

Please pray for our FOCUS team at Assumption! Kevin, Alexine, Paul, and myself.

My Story

In the simplest words: I went to Benedictine College as a freshman going through the motions of Sunday Mass while believing that God did not really exist. Then five short years later, I found myself graduating from Iowa State University, leading a small group of college women in a Bible study and desiring to give my life to the Lord and those around me more and more each day. 

On paper, it really doesn't add up. I had every wall up against Jesus. I didn't want anything to do with Him, even to the point of cringing when I heard His name. I've tried to pinpoint one moment where I first let Jesus enter into my heart and change my life, but there are countless first moments of His Love and Mercy that speak to the extravagant way He pours out everything for us.

One of the vital firsts was encountering Christ in virtuous friendships. At Benedictine and later ISU, my friends did not tell me they were praying for me to find the Lord or get my act together. They were just real friends: loving me in my brokenness, inviting me to everything they loved, especially to spend time together with the most important person in their lives: Jesus. I got curious about His Mercy and decided to finally have my first 100% honest Confession. Christ spoke to the deepest desires of my hearts in the words I heard from the priest, "You are made as gift to live in community." I cannot tell you the healing that began with those words. My prayer became “Lord, where I give you an inch, take a mile.” And He keeps His promises. The next three semesters were a whirlwind of daily Mass, service, retreats, and credits for an elementary education degree.

Then I found myself at another crossroads, transferring to ISU and changing my major as a senior. I decided I would go to a Bible study one time, and if I didn’t like it, I never had to go again. My faith was struggling, I wasn’t sure what the Lord had for me on this new path so far away from my friends, and I needed community more than ever. Through the FOCUS Bible study I joined, Christ strengthened my faith, invited me to mission with FOCUS, and blessed me with authentic friends who invited me to live out service as a student. Mission was not for a later date, it had to begin now!

Friends, the Lord has truly given me a new heart and a new spirit to walk in His statutes and observe His ordinances, namely, “to love one another as I love you” (John 15:12). I feel called to live life with Christ in His extravagant Love and be a virtuous friend to college students seeking more than the world offers. Will you join me in this mission?

I'm so grateful for these people who inspire me on mission! Top left: Erin, Erica, and Lindsay who were virtuous friends to me at ISU and Benedictine. Top middle: Wanda, Teresa, Julie, and Emily from our Monday night Bible study. Top right: my teammate Alexine. Bottom right: Claire and Natalie in discipleship. Bottom left: men and women striving to live out the Catholic faith at Assumption University! (Not pictured at this time: so many wonderful people who have prepared me for mission. Thank you for everything!) :)

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, as Christ called his disciples to do during their years of full-time ministry:

"Afterward He journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Accompanying Him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susannna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources." -Luke 8:1-3

I would be honored if you would partner with me in this mission to know Christ and make Him known, as Jesus calls all disciples to do: "Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations!" -Matthew 28:19

I would love to meet with you! Feel free to contact me at [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 …