Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Next Major Catholic Campus Ministry At State Colleges Success ? - Texas State

The Catholic student Center at Texas A & M gets a lot of well deserved national praise for being a widely successful model for Campus Ministry that produces Faith Filled Catholic and beaucoup vocation However I have noticed that across Texas there are some other gems of Texas Ministry. This one involves perhaps American Catholicism' best kept secret . That is FOCUS.

Let me introduce you to the Bobcat Catholics of Texas State. in beautiful San Marcos Texas. Texas State is located in the Diocese of Austin. According to latest figures Texas State has an enrollement of 34113 students with around 8000 of them being Catholic.

I should note this is the second instance where I have seen a FOCUS presence in the Diocese of Austin. It appears they are moving on to the Univ of Texas campus which could be huge.

To get a sense how dynamic this student center is and the seeds being planted take a look at this fall newsletter PDF they just produced. I get excited just looking at it. A

As you can see there is group there also involved called St Paul's outreach.

These groups play a critical role it appears. By the way look at last year's FOCUS annual report as to the activities at the Texas State campus. As you can see they are now just in their second year in the DIOCESE OF AUSTIN!

It has long been my contention , having lived it, that a major reason for the crisis in Catholic Faith and the drop in vocation numbers was self made. A large part of that dealt with campus ministry where often the more "interesting" theology wise of campus minister were had combined with horrific funding problem and lack of direction. As we see at places like Texas A & M had their example been taken early enough nationwide perhaps that problem could have been mitigated to a large degree. THE SECULAR CAMPUS is where it is out and the battle for souls is being fought.

Now not every school is Texas A & M with 20,000 Catholics . But I think at Texas Tech we are seeing how an aggressive ( and well funded) approach is going to produce major results at Colleges accross the nation. Imagine what fruit from this we might see in just 4 to 5 years.

Returning to Focus I saw this:
Since 1998, God has changed the lives of tens of thousands of college students through the work of FOCUS missionaries on campus and national conferences. In just fourteen years, 336 young adults have entered the seminary and/or religious life after being involved with FOCUS. In addition, hundreds of strong, Christ-centered couples credit FOCUS as having helped them establish and build their marriages on a solid foundation. Thousands more have graduated from college and been launched into the arts, sciences and marketplace to continue to live out their lifelong Catholic mission.

Yet 99 percent of American Catholics don't know what FOCUS is. Hopefully we are not dealing with that percentage when talking about the Bishops.

If FOCUS and dynamic campus ministry like this is not happening in our Diocese perhaps we should ask questions.


Anonymous said...

They just opened up shop at UL in the Diocese of Lafayette.

James H said...

WOW awesome. I did not know that. Thanks

new pentecost said...

Hey I think you missed an equally great development at Texas State! Saint Paul's Outreach (SPO) just opened a new Chapter there. SPO is an emerging National Catholic Mission to college students. Check them out at

James H said...

New Pentecost,

I saw that group and its the first time I have seen them. I have researched them and they seem great too. I ntend to blog on them