Molly Bent

Hey! My name's Molly. You might see it as "Mary" in some places...that's my name, too :) But everyone calls me Molly! 

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Where I serve

God has called me to serve the students at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA! 

My Story

Though unaware of it at the time, I entered college with a superficial understanding of my Catholic faith. I was in the habit of daily scripture reading and frequented daily Mass, but I had absolutely no concept of a prayer life or what it meant to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. To me, God was a distant God somewhere out there awaiting my requests. My faith - this interest in being a “good” person and this vague belief that God had a plan for my life - was important to me, but it took a backseat to what was undoubtedly my passion: basketball. 

Throughout high school and the first three years of my college career, every decision I made was motivated by my desire to be a successful athlete and a high-achieving student. This desire was fed by a deep-rooted sense of pride that left me equating my worth with my level of success on the basketball court and in the classroom. I neglected relationships and avoided any deeper pursuit of my faith, blinded by the belief that any time not spent in the gym or in the library was time wasted. As a result, I spent three years crushed under the weight of constant failure in a UConn Women’s Basketball uniform. I felt embarrassed, worthless, and alone. Most of all, I was broken-hearted by the fact that God had allowed me to fail at the one thing I loved and to which I dedicated my whole life.

During this time, my heart was intentionally and fearlessly being pursued by a FOCUS missionary named Katie, the most joyful person I had ever encountered. Regardless of how many excuses I gave her, she continued to invest in me and delight in me. She sat with me in my suffering and spoke into the relationship Jesus desired to have with me: one of deep intimacy. Yes, God allowed basketball to break my heart, but He sent the Holy Spirit to work tirelessly through Katie to mold it and prepare it for my senior year, because let me tell you...Jesus had some crazy plans in store!

Starting with that first weekend back on campus, my senior year was a time of radical grace and conversion for me as a daughter of Christ. For the first time in my career, I said yes to a Saturday of fellowship, which led to a yes to attending Catholic Underground, and then a yes to entering into discipleship with the new VC FOCUS missionary named Erinn. Through their authentic friendship and their witness to a Christ-centered and Christ-driven life, Erinn and the rest of the UConn FOCUS team revealed to me the love and joy of Jesus Christ. Jesus became a person to me, and that changed everything - my heart, my desires, my actions, my relationships, my hope - and it’s what continues to change me and mold me every day into the person God created me to be. 

By the grace of God, I now know the peace and joy that depends only on our Lord, who has promised never to abandon us. College athletes are in dire need of this one true joy. I said yes to FOCUS because Jesus has made it so clear that the next step in His perfect plan for me is to be His hands and feet in His pursuit of more young souls like mine. 

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.

"Some give by going to the missions; some go by giving to the missions. Without both, there is no mission." - St. Therese of Lisieux (Patron Saint of Missions)

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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 …