FOCUS Missions began with one small, grassroots trip to Peru in 2004. A few FOCUS staff members recognized the tremendous value in international missions of this nature and took the initiative to plan a trip with their students. In the years since, FOCUS Missions has expanded to 44 countries, over 130 trips, and almost 2,000 people on mission. Today, many mission trips are still established through the experiences and contacts of FOCUS missionaries.
FOCUS Missions believes that the Church has a unique opportunity to reach the world and be forces of good, both in uncharted territory and in our own familiar homelands. This outreach is completed by serving the physical and spiritual needs of the poor, meeting them where they are and embracing their community and dignity, and to bring college students into radical, life-changing encounters in which they are equipped to address the spiritual and physical needs of their own communities as well. FOCUS Missions seeks to accomplish every aspect of its’ missions in, for, and through the truth of the Catholic Faith. In sum, FOCUS Missions is essential for us as a Catholic missionary organization to authentically pursue and share the fullness of our Faith around the world.
FOCUS Missions seeks to have a universally positive impact on both the communities that they serve and the student missionaries that participate in our missions. When establishing new mission sites, FOCUS Missions strives to gain a particular sense for the authentic needs of the community. Furthermore, every effort is made to ensure that the on-the-ground programs and projects are sustainable and not just a one-time “slash and burn” effort.
The first way that FOCUS Missions ensures success is by plugging into existing Catholic ministries around the world. All programs and projects are established at the suggestion of local clergy or lay missionaries who have a keen, long-term familiarity with the on-the-ground reality and needs of a given community. The second way is by working to ensure these values by returning year after year to the same locations.