More than 150 university students from around the world will gather at the Kartause Carthusian monastery in Gaming, Austria, July 17 – 22 for the In Via International Conference, presented by FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students) in conjunction with CCO (Catholic Christian Outreach) of Canada. In Via will foster fellowship and feature pilgrimage, prayer, leisure and dynamic talks by Curtis Martin (FOCUS founder and CEO), John Zimmer (FOCUS vice president of apostolic development), Andre Regnier (CCO founder), Jeff Lockert (CCO president) and several other FOCUS and CCO missionaries.
Following In Via, the group will travel to Katowice-Zory, Poland, for the Youth Arise Festival, July 22 – 24. The festival will include talks from Curtis Martin, who will speak about university ministry at a workshop on Saturday, July 23, 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
From July 25 – 31, the group will then travel to World Youth Day in Kraków, Poland, where millions will gather in fellowship to welcome Pope Francis. Curtis Martin will speak to a crowd of 15,000 at a Catechesis site run by the Sisters of Life.
FOCUS Missions is organizing the trip and conference. Since 2004, nearly 3,500 college students and FOCUS staff have traveled the world on hundreds of FOCUS mission trips. During the 2015 – 2016 academic year, FOCUS Missions hosted nearly 100 trips in 41 countries.
The first FOCUS International Conference brought together 150 university students from over 12 nations in Samos, Spain, on August 8, 2011. The 2012 FOCUS International Conference was held in County Limerick, Ireland. An abundance of fruit has come from these conferences: dozens of new FOCUS missionaries; Austrian youth starting their own mission apostolate; and at least eight men entering the seminary, both in the United States and the United Kingdom.
FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) is a national outreach founded in 1998 that invites college students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship and friendships in which they lead others to do the same. During the 2015 – 2016 academic year, more than 500 missionaries served full-time on 113 college campuses in 36 states and Washington, D.C. More than 20,000 FOCUS alumni have been prepared to evangelize parishes throughout the U.S. Within this number, 547 have made decisions to pursue Catholic religious vocations. By 2022, FOCUS expects to launch 75,000 alumni into America’s 17,000+ Catholic parishes. FOCUS missionaries are typically recent college graduates who devote two or more years of their post-collegiate lives to reach out to peers on campus. To learn more, visit us at www.focus.org.