Tuesday, January 17, 2006

FOCUSed on God

click on the link above for more information

I have had 101 people asking how my weekend at the FOCUS Conference went, so here's the brief scoop with a couple common questions answered:

What is FOCUS?
Focus is a group of about 130 missionaries who commit for at least two years to join teams in various universities (mostly big secular ones) throughout America. They cooperate with the campus ministry programs (if there are any) to provide fellowship, worship, and teaching to the Catholic students on campus. They also lead Bible studies and similar groups. The missionaries immerse themselves in the college life by joining sports teams, hanging out at meals, etc. to get to know students and begin to draw (both Catholic and non-Catholic) students towards a Catholic community on campus. They especially emphasize chastity, sobriety, and excellence. They also develop mentoring friendships one on one with student leaders. The missionaries themselves include prayer and spiritual reading as part of their daily routine to make sure that they will be personally strong in order to better serve others.

How was the Conference?
Amazing! I attended lots of inspiring talks on Christian life, chastity and marriage in the modern world, the interior life, friendship, generosity etc. [I hope to borrow tapes on the DaVinci Code, Theology of the Body, how to run a Bible study and other great talks I couldn't fit in.] We had praise & worship one night, beautiful hour of silent adoration and confession the next night, a perpetual adoration chapel for any free time you wanted to spend there, and daily Mass. I loved meeting and speaking to the other students that attended. Some were strong, enthusiastic student leaders in the ministry programs on their campus and others were struggling Catholics who were trying to find out more about the higher standard that they had seen the missionaries on their campus joyfully living out. I also enjoyed speaking to the missionaries themselves about the joys and struggles of their jobs. I love that FOCUS forms them to be responsible adults spiritually, intellectually, financially, and habitually before they thrust them on a campus environment. The FOCUS staff was incredibly enthusiastic and welcoming. I was constantly impressed by their joyful confidence and self-less humility. The conference as a whole gave me an intense desire to live out every day of my life with joyful service for the Lord and the furthering of His Kingdom. There is so much even here on campus that I can do and improve to better live out my Catholic faith and to reach out to the many wonderful people on campus.

Am I considering joining FOCUS?
Initially I considered FOCUS a year ago because a couple people mentioned that they thought that my talents were really suited to that ministry. Since then, my close friends and people who know FOCUS well have only reaffirmed that strain of encouragement. As I've considered my talents and the things I really love doing, I'm beginning to agree with them. I love people. I love God. I love finding creative ways to do things. And I always feel most fulfilled when I'm giving of myself until it hurts, when I'm serving others with every bit of strength I have and then some (namely God's strength). At this point, I'm at least going to apply and leave the door open for the workings of the Holy Spirit. Pray that God will guide me and show me the way I can best use the talents He's given me to serve Him after college (and now for that matter).


Blogger Skyminder said...

Kelly Jo,
You would ROCK at FOCUS. It will be SO good for you have experience like that. My vote: go for it, girl.

p.s. I'm off to Washington state. Fill you in later.

1/18/2006 11:43 AM  
Blogger Donna-Katie said...

Wow - that would be totally your thing. Love you, babes. I'll be praying.

1/18/2006 11:54 AM  
Blogger coiledrose said...

Hey, glad to hear you had an awesome time. Whatever path God has chosen for you, I know you'll succeed. You're in my prayers, luv, and I can't wait to see you and the rest of the gang in February!

1/19/2006 12:49 PM  

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