This past year, I have had the incredible opportunity to serve with FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. FOCUS exists as a response to Pope St. John Paul II’s call for a new evangelization, a call to reach out to those who have fallen away from the faith. We send out teams of missionaries onto over 130 college campuses with the mission of leading college students to an encounter with Christ and walking with them in their journey of discipleship with Him and His Church. I have just finished my first year of serving with FOCUS at Florida Atlantic University and am beyond excited to return there.
Serving as a missionary with FOCUS means that we serve on the front lines. A vast majority of those who leave the Church do so by their early 20s, and only a small percentage of my generation regularly attends Mass. FOCUS’ mission – and ours here at FAU – is to change these statistics by strengthening the faith on college campuses. To put it very simply, what we as missionaries seek to do is: win the hearts of college students by helping lead them to an encounter with Christ, build them in the faith that He Himself taught, and send them to the world to begin their own work of evangelization.
I myself am a missionary today because a FOCUS missionary on my college campus reached out to me and invited me to an encounter with Jesus Christ. She reached out to me when I was most in need of the love and mercy of the Lord and she helped me to realize how beautiful a relationship with Christ could be. After having that experience myself, I felt called to share it with others, to help them experience the love of Christ themselves. Pope Francis once said: “if we received the love which restores meaning to our lives, how can we fail to share that love with others?”
While serving as a FOCUS missionary is far from easy, it is a blessing to be called to this specific work in the new evangelization. It is an essential mission and I am looking forward to seeing how the Lord will use me to lead others to Him over the next few years!
By: Sarah Freddino
FOCUS Missionary at Florida Atlantic University
Our Lady of Peace Parish, Stratford
For more information about Sarah’s work with FOCUS and how you can support this mission, please visit: focus.org/missionaries/sarah-freddino