On Saturday the 26th of January, Curtin Martin, the founder and president of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) spoke to the Mount seminarians in a series of talks. Each year, the Mount hosts an outside visitor to offer spring workshops on various areas of pastoral ministry. This year, Martin, who founded FOCUS (www.focus.org) in 1997 spoke to the community on how best to incorporate the New Evangelization into the life of parishes. FOCUS, a highly successful Catholic outreach program on American college campuses seeks to aid students in their growth in the Catholic faith while giving them the appropriate skill set to continue living a Catholic life after college. In addition to his work with FOCUS, Martin has served for the past year as a consultor to the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. As the leader of FOCUS, he has quickly become one of the key figures promoting the new evangelization among the youth and young adults in the United States. During his visit to the Mount, he spoke to the seminarians in two sessions from 9-11 in the morning and 1-2:30 in the afternoon. A wide variety of issues were discussed, and he allowed for a lengthy Q&A session in the afternoon. The main theme of the entire workshop centered on the need to develop greater fervor in the American Church, particularly as the seminarians go out as priests to shepherd the vast flocks in the parishes they will one day serve. Martin’s gracious agreement to speak to the Mount was much appreciated, especially by the many seminarians who previously served as FOCUS missionaries on college campuses as well as those who were actively involved in FOCUS while in college.

Curtis Martin