Denver, Colo., Jul 20, 2021 / 16:19 pm (CNA).
The Fellowship of Catholic University Students is sending nearly 800 missionaries to eight additional locations this academic year in order to bring the Gospel to university students.
In a July 15 statement, the pastor of the St. Paul Catholic Center at Indiana University said his campus’ “FOCUS missionaries bring the love of Jesus and the joy of the Good News to the men and women on our campus through a joyful witness and deep, personal investment.”
A campus outreach ministry, FOCUS works to inspire and equip college students to know, love, and share their faith through intentional,virtue-based friendships.
Missionaries stationed at campuses throughout the country and internationally invite students to grow in their faith through Bible studies, small groups, events, mission trips, and one-on-one discipleships.
This coming school year, FOCUS missionaries will serve at 205 locations, which includes 22 parish venues across the U.S. and seven international campuses.
The eight new locations for 2021-2022 are Bowling Green University; California State University, Northridge; Clemson University; Mississippi State University; the University of Central Oklahoma; the University of Georgia; the University of Miami; and the University of Krems, Austria.
Since its founding in 1998, FOCUS has had nearly 40,000 men and women have served on college campuses as missionaries.
FOCUS has a goal of sending 1,300 missionaries to more than 250 campuses and multiple parishes by 2026. By then, the non-profit organization will have nearly 70,000 people who have served with them.
A former Focus missionary and current director of Evangelization and Discipleship for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Brian Miller called FOCUS missionaries a “gift to the Church,” in the statement.
“My time as a missionary with FOCUS developed in me an evangelical zeal that has driven not only my career, but my entire life,” Miller said. “I don’t know where I’d be without my FOCUS experience.”
Since the founding of FOCUS, more than 1,000 missionaries have entered the seminary or a religious house of formation. The organization expects the number to be around 2000 within the next five years.
To expand their ministry, FOCUS has missionaries who exclusively focus on digital outreach to college campuses without FOCUS missionaries in order to share the Gospel virtually. Through their digital outreach, FOCUS missionaries bring in over 270 students from 164 campuses with their virtual Bible studies and group conversations.
The Digital Outreach missionaries will be serving four new locations this year: the University of Hawaii; San Francisco State University; St. Raymond Catholic Church in Menlo Park, California; and Mary, Seat of Wisdom Catholic Church in Park Ridge, Illinois.
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