Three of our parishioners are FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) missionaries. Rob Cargill (left) is at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Shannon Zurcher (right) is moving and David Cargill (center) at Arizona State University.
To know Christ Jesus, and to fulfill His great commission by first living and then communicating the fullness of life within the family of God, the Church.
Answering What Call?
While God has a unique purpose for each of our lives, He calls all of us to share His life and love with the world.
Who We Look For
Looking to take action? Click here to find out how you can apply for FOCUS staff.
Pray for Us
Join us in praying for the work of FOCUS, especially for our missionaries on campus and the thousands of students we serve!
FOCUS missionaries are self-supported. Please visit Shannon’s site to make a donation and sign her guest book.
Your gift will make an impact in the lives of young people, and in the future of our Church and society.
I decided to be a FOCUS missionary after the amazing college experience I had with the missionaries at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. They showed me that our Catholic Faith is living and that Jesus wanted to have an intimate relationship with me, deeper than anything I had ever experienced.2016 World Youth Day This summer I had the opportunity to go be with Pope Francis and 2-million other young people to World Youth Day (WYD) in Krakow, Poland. I was able to go with other FOCUS Missionaries and bring students all over the world. It was a wonderful experience to go on pilgrimage with so many. But, I would love to tell you about the pilgrimage that happened in my heart, because that is the one that is most important in each of our lives… (read more…)
FOCUS missionaries are self-supported. Please visit Rob’s site to make a donation and sign his guest book.Your gift will make an impact in the lives of young people, and in the future of our Church and society.
When I was growing up I learned a lot about man named Jesus Christ. I knew His story, I knew He was divine, but I didn’t know Him. I knew a lot about Jesus but I had never encountered Him as a person. Christianity was simply one idea among many, and up until I graduated high school it certainly seemed like the best one. But, as I entered my Freshman year of college my Christianity was tested like never before and I began to question the faith I thought I knew so well.
FOCUS missionaries are self-supported. Please visit David’s site to make a donation and sign his guest book. Your gift will make an impact in the lives of young people, and in the future of our Church and society.
After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Accounting and minors in Economics and Spanish, I headed out to Ave Maria, Florida to learn how to be the best possible missionary I can for the Lord. There is where I found that I would be a missionary at Arizona State University.I am very excited to be a witness to the thousands of students at ASU. Being a missionary is difficult, tiresome, wonderful, vibrant and well worth it. Everyone is called to know Jesus, and live with Him in eternity, but so few are introduced to Him! I am privileged to work full time to correct this injustice.
World Youth Day (WYD)
Published October 9, 2016
This summer I had the opportunity to go be with Pope Francis and 2-million other young people toWorld Youth Day (WYD) in Krakow, Poland. I was able to go with other FOCUS Missionaries and bring students all over the world. It was a wonderful experience to go on pilgrimage with so many. But, I would love to tell you about the pilgrimage that happened in my heart, because that is the one that is most important in each of our lives.
A priest in Ireland once asked me, “What is the most important pilgrimage you will ever make?” I responded hesitantly with, “the Holy Land? Rome?” He said, “No, the greatest pilgrimage you will ever make is the one from your head to your heart, because your heart is where God lives inside of you. It is there that you will meet Him. Don’t be afraid of that most important pilgrimage. Don’t be afraid of the desires of your heart.”
Krakow is the home of Pope Saint John Paul II. His life is one marked by great courage and conviction amidst very dark times. He lived through all of his immediate family ’s deaths at a young age, WWII taking away a great portion of his country, communism trying to steal his beloved Polish culture, and the philosophical agenda of the sexual revolution that tried to tell everyone a different story about who they are and what relationships are. In the midst o fall of this, he fell in love with God and this changed everything.
He made the pilgrimage to his heart and met the living God who told him who he was and what he was made for. He knew he and everyone else were made for great love, for a love that brought life and that required a total gift of self. He knew he had to proclaim this truth to us, especially the youth, and he had to call us to live in a way radically different than the culture was telling us to.
Many people called John Paul crazy for this. They said that we, the youth, would never respond. But he had made that pilgrimage to his heart and was convicted that we were made for greater things, for greater love. It was amazing to see 2-million young people come to his home city to this event, World Youth Day, which he started. It was beautiful to witness how someone’s conviction and courage to persevere, even when everyone around him thought him crazy, can change the world.
I felt him and Jesus giving me that courage and conviction to persevere in the call God has given me as a missionary and to continue to call everyone around me to a beautiful love. Sometimes in my life I am tempted to sell myself short and not have the courage to continue to live up to the greatness that God has called me to.
It is scary to continue following Jesus when He calls me to things that aren’t easy, like being a missionary, or sharing my faith, or calling people to more than they believe they can be, when those around me think that I might be crazy. But in meeting Jesus in my heart, he tells me that I should not be afraid to be convicted of these truths and to live them fully, so that I can be a light to others.
Coming back from World Youth Day, I am more convicted and full of courage to persevere in the call God has given me to be his missionary and to continue to make the pilgrimage to my heart where I will meet Him, the one I love, and who will continue to give me the mission to bring him to more people. Everything Pope Francis said at World Youth Day affirmed this call in me and in the lives of each of us.
Here is one of my favorite things he said:
“My friends, Jesus is the Lord of risk, he is the Lord of the eternal ‘more’. Jesus is not the Lord of comfort, security and ease. Following Jesus demands a good dose of courage, a readiness to trade in the sofa for a pair of walking shoes and to set out on new and uncharted paths. To blaze trails that open up new horizons capable of spreading joy, the joy that is born of God’s love…To take the path of the “craziness” of our God…In all the settings in which you find yourselves, God’s love invites you to bring the Good News, making of your own lives a gift to him and to others. This means being courageous, this means being free!”
Parishioner Shannon Zurcher is FOCUS missionary serving as Director of Collegiate Outreach for the Southern Plains Region. She works with the missionaries and students on campus at the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, Baylor, University of Texas – Tyler, CU-Boulder, and Southeast Missouri State. In the pictures, Shannon is holding the U.S. flag.