The Newman Community has worked with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) for the past four years to reach more students on campus. One such method to reach students where they are is through Small Groups.
Small Groups, led by students and missionaries, are faith sharing groups that meet on a weekly basis. They allow students to come together in community to recognize the presence of God in their daily lives and work on putting their faith into action. They are a great way to meet other members of the Newman Community and to discuss and contemplate your faith with other young Catholic adults.
“My freshman year I was very hesitant to join a small group, it sounded kind of boring, just another commitment that I would skip when it came time for exams. And while that is where I started, I won’t go into too much detail because I’ve since learned and experienced a lot more about small group. Through the study of the Bible and most importantly, the amazing men in my small group, I have truly come to experience my faith in a new way.
While our small groups do primarily focus on reading and discussing scripture, that is hardly the end. After all, we are all capable of reading on our own or at least I hope by this point in our lives. It’s the friendships that I’ve made that have truly been life changing. I’ve had a lot of great friendships in the past and I’m not discrediting any of them but over my past 2 years in small group, I’ve found a very different kind of friendship. I’ve built some of the most authentic friendships that I have ever experienced: Rooted in Christ and focused on helping each other to become the best men that we can be- THAT is an authentic friendship. There’s something really powerful about a group of guys (or any friends for that matter) all focused on the same goal, with the same values walking side by side, trusting each other and helping each other in any way needed. That’s what I’ve found in small group- a group of men that I know would do anything for me and know that I would do the same for them as we all strive to become saints together.” ~ Peter
The Catholic Campus Ministry partners with FOCUS, a Catholic collegiate outreach that pursues college students to grow in relationship with Jesus through Bible studies, retreats, outreach events, mission trips, and one-on-one discipleship. With the support of FOCUS, we are able to reach and educate students on the principles of our faith and what it means to be Catholic in the 21st century.
Through FOCUS missionaries’ continual evangelization, we are able to reach more students than ever before. Their efforts bring students to our ministry. More Catholic Hokies are participating in Bible study-groups and Mass. Our small groups are flourishing. So many students and community members now attend Sunday Masses that one typically finds “standing room only” in the War Memorial Chapel.
To have FOCUS on our campus means an annual cost of $68,000. Currently, we receive $25,000 through grant funds between the Diocese of Richmond and other grant monies to cover much of the expense of FOCUS. These funds are set to diminish incrementally, leaving our ministry with the responsibility of funding the entire cost.
For more information, please contact Michael Hynes email@example.com