Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Darnell Miller, University of St.Thomas

11/6/2012 (1 year ago)

University of St. Thomas (stthom.edu)

UST Celts FOCUS on Spiritual Life

The Fellowship of Catholic University Students, or FOCUS, is beginning its sixth year of service at the University of St. Thomas. Aiding in the spiritual growth and development of students, FOCUS has become an integral resource in UST's mission to educate leaders of faith and character.

Highlights

By Darnell Miller, University of St.Thomas

University of St. Thomas (stthom.edu)

11/6/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in College & University

Keywords: Fellowship of Catholic University Students, FOCUS, University of St. Thomas, Catholic faith in colleges and universities, college Bible study,


FOCUS is a national campus outreach organization that invites college students to share the Catholic faith and spread God's good news. Founded in 1998, the missionary program is currently working with more than 75 college and university campuses in 30 states.

The six-person team is directed by Lee Vigil who, along with his wife Paula and their six children, is beginning his fourth year at UST. Vigil served at UST during the 2011-2012 school year with Greg Johnson and Ana Lejia and they welcome three first-year missionaries to the team: Veronica Ybarra and Meghan and Zach Krueger.

Team members minister to students at St. Thomas events by creating relationships and living by example. Working with Campus Ministry, FOCUS offers more than 25 small-group Bible studies per week and assist with retreats. The missionaries give students the opportunity to engage and actively participate in their spiritual life.

"Putting Christ at the center made my college career," said Ybarra. "I think we need to convey that to the students because it is really easy to be too busy for Christ. We should make time because it is worth it."

Ybarra, a Texas State University graduate, said she credits FOCUS with giving her the opportunity and resources to develop her faith, and the missionaries on her campus inspired her to serve college students.

"At a Catholic university, it is really easy to have the knowledge in your head but not have the faith in your heart," said Krueger. "Having the knowledge does not make your faith any easier to live out. The mission of the Catholic Church is to have the knowledge and the heart to act on it."

The Kruegers met while attending South Dakota State University and married in summer 2012. When FOCUS was on their college campus, the missionaries fostered a desire to pursue a life of ministry and service. Both rely on their majors to maximize their efforts on campus. Zach, a music major, utilizes his talents in praise and worship, while Meghan, an event planning major, uses her organizational skills to plan events for the students.

Several UST students have also become missionaries on other campuses. Sheena Byrne '09 is serving at Arizona State University. Jonathon Sanchez-Hidalgo '09 is serving at the University of Maryland. Jennifer Wade '12 is serving at South Dakota State University. Mayra Morales '12 is serving at Colorado State University.

FOCUS missionaries are funded solely by donations from their mission partners, who can be individuals, families or organizations. These donations go toward their living expenses such as rent, food and health insurance.

FOCUS will attend the conference "Seek 2013: What Moves You" on Jan. 2-6 in Orlando, Fla. with a group of UST students. Interested groups can find out more information on the event website.

For more information about FOCUS at UST and the conference, contact Lee Vigil at 720-514-0583 or lvigil@focusonline.org.

---
Pictured from left to right:
Top Row:
Greg Johnson, Lee Vigil
Middle Row:
Zach Krueger, Ana Lejia
Bottom Row:
Meghan Krueger, Paula Vigil, Veronica Ybarra

---

The University of St. Thomas, dedicated to educating leaders of faith and character, is a private institution committed to the liberal arts and to the religious, ethical and intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education. St. Thomas is Houstonís only Catholic University and was founded by the Basilian Fathers.



Comments


More College & University

Franciscan nun becomes first woman head of a pontifical university Watch

Image of Sister Melone is an alumnus of the university set up in 1890 in honor of St Anthony, a 13th century saint from Spain known for his forceful preaching and expert knowledge of the Bible.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education made history last week when it nominated a Franciscan nun as the first woman head of a pontifical university. In a position held usually by priests, Sister Mary Melone will become the rector of the Pontifical ... continue reading


University of St. Thomas Graduates First Nursing Cohort in 25 Years

Image of University of St. Thomas Nursing Graduate, Elizabeth Ciocco

By Darnell Miller - University of St. Thomas

This May 27 nursing students, including Elizabeth Ciocco, will be the first nursing students to graduate from the University of St. Thomas in nearly 25 years.  Ciocco joins 298 undergraduates and 739 graduates at the University's 64th Commencement ... continue reading


University of St. Thomas Honors Research Goes 6 Feet Under

Image of Honors Program students consider the issues of death and mortality in the Contemporary Seminar research presented at UST's Research symposium.

By Brenda Cooper, University of St. Thomas

A few hundred people have undergone cryopreservation procedures since 1962, having their bodies cooled to sub-zero temperatures, with the hope that one day they may be brought back to life using highly advanced technology. It's the kind of issue-along with assisted ... continue reading


What the devil?! Bill Gates wants your college info so he can tell you what classes to take Watch

Image of Bill Gates could do so much more if only he had your privacy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It might be easier to compose a short list of people and agencies that don't want to spy on you. Adding his name to the long list, Bill Gates has proposed tracking the lives and careers of college graduates as an ongoing means to assess college value. Of course, they'd ... continue reading


Two Cardinals, a Theologian and a Historian to Lecture at the University of St. Thomas

Image of N.T. Wright, one of the world's leading Bible scholar.

By Darnell Miller, University of St. Thomas

The University of St. Thomas is fortunate to have four outstanding speakers giving lectures on campus in the month of March. These speakers include N.T. Wright, one of the world's leading Bible scholars; Thomas Cardinal Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto; Dr. Andrew ... continue reading


Women Succeed in UST Engineering, CUA is New Partner

Image of Kendall Niemann is a UST cooperative engineering student studying at the University of Notre Dame.

By Brenda Cooper, University of St. Thomas

In the male-dominated field of engineering, it can be difficult for women to succeed, but last year, all four graduates of the University of St. Thomas cooperative engineering program were women, and three of them were Hispanic. Dr. Sheila Waggoner said she is proud of ... continue reading


Mardi Gras King, Queen Exemplify UST Mission

Image of University of St. Thomas Mardi Gras King and Queen, C.J. Miller and Meredith Smith.

By Vivian Cabrera - University of St. Thomas

The ideal Mardi Gras king and queen should embody the University's mission to educate leaders of faith and character. With the crowning of C.J. Miller and Meredith Smith The ideal Mardi Gras king and queen should embody the University's mission to educate leaders of ... continue reading


40 Celts March for Life in Washington

Image of Students from the University of St. Thomas - Houston, brave the cold weather as they march with nearly half a million others from across the country, declaring their pro-life stance.

By Brenda Cooper, University of St. Thomas

It didn't matter that when 40 college students boarded a bus in Washington, D.C., the temperature was in the teens. It also didn't matter that they had spent the night on blankets and in sleeping bags in cold elementary school classrooms, sans showers, at a parish ... continue reading


GRACE Goes International With Irish Teachers

Image of Pictured from L to R: Colm Supple, Mary Buckley and Sarah Tighe.

By Darnell Miller

In May 2013, merely two weeks after completing final exams, Mary Buckley, Colm Supple and Sarah Tighe, graduates from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland, packed their bags and said goodbye to their friends, family and homeland as they journeyed 4,479 miles to ... continue reading


Seven in 10 college students graduate with loan debt Watch

Image of An independent analysis of federal data has revealed that more than 70 percent of college graduates in 2012 had student loans.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There was a time in America when graduating from college meant freedom and unlimited vistas. A sheepskin in the hand was the ticket to new challenges and rewarding careers. That's not true for seven out of 10 college students, who now are burdened with student ... continue reading


All College & University News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:17-19
17 'As for you, prepare yourself for action. Stand up ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:17-29
17 Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 29th, 2014 Image

St. Sabina
August 29: St. Sabina's feast day is August 29th. We know St. Sabina only ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter