In an age of increasing globalization, the world has never before experienced such a level of connection and inter-dependence. Growing internet access, transportation ease, and technological expansion has brought increased access to previously-unreachable regions of the globe, but not always to the benefit of those communities. Here at FOCUS Missions, we believe that we have a unique opportunity to reach the world and be forces of good, both in uncharted territory and in our own familiar homelands.
Ours is a two-fold mission: to serve the physical and spiritual needs of the poor, meeting them where they are and embracing their community and dignity, and to bring college students into radical, life-changing encounters in which we equip them to address the spiritual and physical needs of their own communities as well. We seek to accomplish every aspect of our missions in, for, and through the truth of the Catholic Faith. In sum, FOCUS Missions is essential for us as a Catholic missionary organization to authentically pursue and share the fullness of our Faith around the world.
FOCUS Missions began in one small, grassroots trip to Peru in 2004. A few FOCUS staff members recognized the tremendous value in international missions of this nature and took the initiative to plan a trip with their students. In the years since, FOCUS Missions has expanded to 44 countries, over 130 trips, and almost 2,000 people on mission. Today, many of our mission trips are still established through the experiences and contacts of our missionaries.
FOCUS Missions seeks to have a universally positive impact on both the communities that we serve and the student missionaries that participate in our missions. When establishing new mission sites, we strive to gain a particular sense for the authentic needs of the community. Furthermore, we make every effort to ensure that our on-the-ground programs and projects are sustainable and not just a one-time “slash and burn” effort.
The first way we ensure these values is by plugging into existing Catholic ministries around the world. All of our programs and projects are established at the suggestion of local clergy or lay missionaries who have a keen, long-term familiarity with the on-the-ground reality and needs of a given community. The second way that we work to ensure these values is by returning year after year to the same locations. Overall, we also strive to conform all of our action to the social teachings and truths of our Catholic Faith.
Join us on mission and embark on a journey that will transform your worldview, your capacity to serve, and your ability to truly encounter other people.
"We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is the greatest poverty." -Mother Teresa of Kolkata