NCR Podcast: FOCUS and the new evangelization

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Students from the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, look up Scripture passages on their cellphones during a group discussion Jan. 3 at a conference sponsored by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students in Chicago. (CNS/Karen Callaway, Chicago Catholic)
Students from the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, look up Scripture passages on their cellphones during a group discussion Jan. 3 at a conference sponsored by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students in Chicago. (CNS/Karen Callaway, Chicago Catholic)

In the run-up to the Synod of Bishops on young people in October, there has been plenty of talk about young Catholics and their connections — or lack of connections — to the Catholic faith.

One national ministry has had massive success reaching out to college-age Catholics: the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, or FOCUS.

On the show today:

  • Heidi Schlumpf, NCR national correspondent based in Chicago
  • Kevin Ahern, assistant professor of religious studies at Manhattan College and editor of the forthcoming God's Quad: Small Faith Communities on Campus and Beyond

Background reading:

  • Part One: The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) is "in a war for the hearts, minds and souls of a generation."
  • Part Two: FOCUS' financial model of ministry sponsorship has helped the organization achieve extraordinary financial success and facilitated massive growth in its 20-year history.
  • Part Three: Through a model called "spiritual multiplication," FOCUS sees itself as a vital tool of the "new evangelization" as it prepares to take its campus ministry to parishes.

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