What is FOCUS Anyway?

Ever since the FOCUS Missionaries arrived at St. Casimir in August people have been wondering - just what is FOCUS? To help answer some of these questions, we have gathered some of your questions and put them to Mark Loidolt, the team director of the group in Winona. In addition, we have made a page on this website labeled FOCUS where you can keep up with our cluster-related FOCUS news. 

Mark took on our most popular FOCUS-related questions:
  • What do they do? Ex. What is an average day like for them?
  • Where are they "headquartered"?
  • What are the benefits from the program for our area?
  • How do they pay their bills? Ex. What kind of fundraising do they do?

Below are Mark's answers.

            "FOCUS, the Fellowship Of Catholic University Students, is a national Catholic outreach organization located by Denver, CO and presently serving on over 50 different campuses across the United State.  FOCUS is one of the responses to Pope John Paul II’s call for a ‘New Evangelization’.  This is FOCUS’ first year in Winona with four missionaries: Mark Loidolt, Mary Grode, Emily Weber, and Aaron Lofy.
An average day as FOCUS missionary centers around three main things: Prayer, Evangelization, and Discipleship.  Each day they pray a holy hour, attend mass, and pray a rosary. Besides prayer, almost their entire day is invested in the areas of evangelization and discipleship by reaching students on campus, sharing the Gospel, leading Bible studies, and engaging students on their level to build their leadership skills and eventually challenge them to reach their friends and others on campus.  You will find them eating on campus in the Cafeteria’s, playing sports/games, throwing a spontaneous BBQ, just to name a few of many activities.  The FOCUS missionaries also set aside some time each day for fundraising, meetings, and administrative tasks.  FOCUS' overall goal is to launch students into Catholic Life-Long Mission so they have the tools and skills to evangelize wherever the Lord may lead them after graduation.
It is estimated that there are over 3,000 Catholic students that attend WSU.  But many of them do not practice their faith, let alone believe in God.  From the students FOCUS have been reaching and investing, they have seen a great number of students become active in their faith.  In just FOCUS' first year in Winona, they have over 55 students attending their 6 Bible studies, 2 students are starting to lead their own Bible studies, and 9 students are being mentored by the missionaries to start their own Bible studies.  From the relationship they have developed with Jesus, more are attending daily mass and committed to daily prayer.  The tremendous fruit being made by Jesus is only benefitting the Winona community and that of the Catholic Church.  Our goal is to send them out so they can do the same outside of college, God willing even here in Winona.  Join the FOCUS missionaries in praying that many students may answer the call to the priesthood or religious life.
Each FOCUS missionary is responsible to raise 100% of the funds needed for their part in this mission.  This includes expenses a normal person would need to pay such as rent, health care insurance, food, gas, etc.  Interested families and individual’s join them on campus as mission partners through financial support and prayers.  Each missionary has anywhere from 30-60 families and individuals who support them monthly and some annual."

Have a question that didn't get answered? Interested in getting involved with FOCUS? Email us!