The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) has added 12 new universities to its campus outreach for the 2009-2010 school year, bringing its total number of campus missionary teams to 45.
FOCUS missionaries are sent in teams of four or more to college campuses at the invitation of the local bishop and with the support of the local Newman Center or campus ministry. The missionaries are all recent college graduates who devote at least two years of their lives to serve their peers.
According to FOCUS, the missionaries seek to build friendships and mentor younger students in the three “core areas” of sobriety, chastity and excellence. Their activities include Bible study, one-on-one discipleship and large group social events.
New campus outreach efforts have begun at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Drake University in Iowa; Eastern Illinois University, Charleston; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Missouri State University, Springfield; and New York University.
Other new outreach efforts are at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Montclair State University in New Jersey; University of Connecticut, Storrs; University of Florida, Gainesville; University of Kentucky, Lexington; and University of South Dakota, Vermillion.
"Though we continue to grow, our mission is still the same," FOCUS founder Curtis Martin said in a press release. "Student by student, we are calling young people back to God with an eye toward developing strong, faithful leaders who will turn our culture back to Jesus Christ and the Church He founded."
Founded in 1998 with four missionaries, FOCUS now has more than 200 missionaries in 25 states. The organization reports that since its founding 162 men and 44 women have entered the priesthood and/or religious life as a result of their involvement in FOCUS. In 2008-2009, 18 women and 18 men committed themselves to religious life or seminary.
The FOCUS website is at http://www.focusonline.org