On college campuses across the country, parents drop off their sons and daughters for their freshman year at college. For most, this is their first time living away from home. Move-in week is also one of the most exciting times for FOCUS missionaries. As thousands of college students return to school, over 100 FOCUS missionaries are also joining them on college campuses across the nation. As minivans and SUVs loaded with clothes, electronics and bathroom caddies are pulling up to the residence halls, FOCUS missionaries are right there with the other residence life staff to help lug “stuff” up the stairs and into dorm rooms. During this first month on campus, in addition to helping with move-in, FOCUS missionaries can be found at club fairs and sporting events, in the dining halls and hosting barbecues on campus.
Now present at 27 campuses in 15 different states, FOCUS, the Fellowship Of Catholic University Students, takes recent college graduates, trains them in the teachings of the Church, Scripture and practical aspects of ministry, and sends them out typically in teams of four to work with students on campus. This fall, the FOCUS missionaries are busy starting Bible studies, doing outreach on campus and training student leaders.
Students are responding to the work of FOCUS. At Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, FOCUS recently hosted author and speaker, Matthew Kelly. Over 1400 students and members of the community attended the talks held over a three night period. At Benedictine College, Atchison, KS, over 40 Bible studies have started on campus. Nearly 600 students at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL, signed up for more information about joining a FOCUS Bible study. And over 100 cadets attended a FOCUS sponsored talk at the United States Air Force Academy about chastity, sobriety and academic excellence.
FOCUS staff members and student leaders around the country reach out to their friends and peers. Their hope is to share what they have been given; the fullness of life and truth within the Catholic Church. FOCUS staff members initially dedicate two years of their life to this full-time work on college campuses. FOCUS teams are invited to a school by the local Newman Center or other Catholic ministry, with the blessing of the bishop, to bring the good news of Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church to college students.
FOCUS exists on campuses in Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Alabama, Florida, Virginia, Massachusetts, Maryland and New Jersey. For a complete listing of schools with FOCUS, please contact FOCUS at 970-336-9881. For more information about FOCUS, visit our website at FOCUSonline.org.