Last weekend in Mass, many of you listened to a call for action from our faithful parishioner, Kathleen Peek, a
full-time missionary with FOCUS (The Fellowship of Catholic University Students). She addressed our congregation on how God is working through FOCUS to build up our Catholic Church.
Here is Kathleen’s testimony on how she became involved in FOCUS and how you, our faithful parishioners, have the opportunity to invest in our youth:
“Growing up in this thriving parish and attending Our Lady of Mercy School and then St. Joseph’s gave me a solid foundation for my faith. However, after leaving this community and my family for college, my faith grew lukewarm. I went to Clemson University in South Carolina, but whether you’re 10 hours away like me or
10 minutes away from home like my co-worker, college is one of the most difficult times to maintain the faith.
During my junior year, I thankfully returned to the values and beliefs of my childhood. The witness of my younger sister Annie, who attended college on a FOCUS campus, impacted my faith tremendously. She encouraged me to dive deeper, to stop settling for only making it to Sunday Mass because I was told to all of my life.
I looked around me, and I saw so many of my friends and peers who were in the same situation as I was. Most of my generation doesn’t believe that the Catholic Church has anything to offer them. I wanted to reach out to them; to show them that there is a place for them in our beautiful Church. To see Jesus have the SAME IMPACT in their lives as He did in mine. God has given me so much Joy through both the foundation of my faith and the challenges faced on campus, and now He is calling all of us to share the abundant life that He has given us.
Fellowship of Catholic University Students seeks to do just that. FOCUS sends out recent graduates to campus to be the hands and feet of the Church, to meet students where they are and walk with them in their journey of faith. To help them understand and embrace the
Sacraments and our Church. Now it is the largest Catholic college outreach program in the U.S., with 490 missionaries reaching out to students on 113 college campuses.
The mission of FOCUS is to first know Christ Jesus and then fulfill his great commission (Matthew 28: 18-20). We do this by inviting college students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church; inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship, and friendship in which they lead others to do the same.
We want to set the world on fire for Christ. By being relatable and completely available to college students we can lovingly show them that the happiness that they are seeking is found in Jesus Christ and his Church. St. Therese once said “Some give by going to the missions. Some go by giving to the missions. Without both, there is no mission.”
First and foremost we are here today to ask for your prayers. Without your prayers, this ministry would not be possible. Secondly, Missionaries are responsible for fundraising 100% of our mission budget with the help of individuals like you. Without your partnership, we cannot fulfill the work that God has planned for us. Please consider joining a MONTHLY support team with a financial donation and your prayers. By supporting us, you’re not just donating money and prayers, you are actively building up the body of Christ by joining us in the mission to build up leaders, change the world for Christ, and save souls.
On behalf of not only us and the students we serve but also your children, grandchildren, neighbors, nieces, and nephews, Thank you for investing in our generation. Together, we can set the world on fire!”
For more information, contact:
Ms. Kathleen Peek