Over 300 Missionaries Gather for 16th Annual Training This Month

FOCUS is excited to announce a new location for summer training: Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, Fla. Every year, hundreds of FOCUS missionaries gather for New Staff Training (NST), which consists of five weeks of intensive formation often described as “one part boot camp, one part grad school, and one part retreat.”

For the last four years, FOCUS has been privileged to hold NST at St. John’s Catholic Newman Center at the University of Illinois-Champaign, but we recognized a need for a new location to adapt to our growing numbers. This year, FOCUS is welcoming almost 150 new missionaries, in addition to hundreds of returning staff.

“With the rapid growth we’re experiencing, we’re excited to work toward new and scalable solutions for our training,” said Christine Westerlin, Manager of Events for FOCUS. “With a large chapel and more Catholic facilities, Ave Maria’s campus will provide a great opportunity for our missionaries to experience life-giving relationships with each other and develop true fellowship.”

New Staff Training will begin on June 1 and conclude on July 6. Missionaries begin each day with a holy hour, followed by classes and workshops covering a wide range of topics, including Scripture, cultural apologetics, evangelization and mission partner development. Each day of classes concludes with Mass, and the evenings provide opportunities for fellowship, including Bible studies, men’s and women’s nights, and recreation. In the first couple weeks of training, missionaries will receive their campus assignments, so there is time set aside for team members to form relationships and plan for the year before their work on campus begins.

Students from colleges across the country will also have the opportunity to join missionaries at Ave Maria University for FOCUS Equip Student Training (FEST) from June 13-17. FEST offers five days of workshops, talks and collaboration among students and missionaries, designed as a condensed version of missionary training for students who want to make a difference for Jesus Christ and His Church on their campuses and in the world.

Each year during NST, FOCUS also opens its doors to family, friends, and mission partners who want to experience some of what happens at training. This year, Visitors Days will be held on June 10, June 17th, and July 1st. Visit the New Staff Training website for more information and to register for Visitors Day.

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