By Ashley Loomis
and Former FOCUS Missionary
It is not every day that you see 1,500 young people kneeling in adoration and seeking reconciliation. The FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) conference held in Denver on the weekend of January 14th-16th was a powerful way to witness the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of college students. The FOCUS missionaries radically dedicate their lives to minister to college students and bring them to Christ and His Church. The annual FOCUS conferences are a great opportunity for college students to come and experience the Catholic faith on a larger scale alongside their peers. The talks throughout the weekend focused on pure relationships, discernment of religious life, prayer, and integrating the Catholic faith into the students’ everyday lives.
Hundreds of religious sisters and priests were striking up conversations with young people over the entire weekend. The exhibit table of the Little Sisters of the Poor was a popular attraction at the conference, providing the opportunity to meet dozens of young people discerning the religious life. Additionally, the raffle prizes that the Little Sisters offered attracted more than 50 participants for the drawing. Our very own Sr. Dara Catherine was a presenter in the vocation discernment panel that was offered to young adults at the conference. It was a very special highlight that Sr. Dara could share her own vocation story about hearing the call to religious life at a FOCUS Conference in Denver six years ago in 2005!
“Answering the Call” was the national theme of this year’s FOCUS conferences, and it is our hope that many of these vibrant young people—so enthusiastic in their love for Our Lord and His Church—will indeed do so.