This is a syndicated post from Aggie Catholics. [Read the original article...]
St. Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A&M and the Fellowship Of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) are excited to announce a new partnership between two of the leading organizations within Catholic Campus Ministry.
St. Mary’s Catholic Center exists to minister to 15,000 Catholic students at Texas A&M University and Blinn College, and has a national reputation for a dynamic campus ministry. Although St. Mary’s serves thousands of students each year, there are many more whose faith is not an important part of their lives, yet. To fill the need for further outreach and evangelization, FOCUS will send St. Mary’s four full-time missionaries to serve on-campus, in order to reach even more students starting in the Fall of 2014.
FOCUS is a national outreach that invites college students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship and friendships in which they lead others to do the same. Each year, teams of FOCUS missionaries are sent to college campuses at the invitation of the local bishop and with the support of the local Catholic campus ministry.
During the summer of 2013, the Services Marketing Class, of Texas A&M University’s nationally ranked Mays Business School, used St. Mary’s as a case study. St. Mary’s staff asked the students to advise them on how to improve outreach. Three teams of students audited the operations of St. Mary’s. The students were told that St. Mary’s had two goals:
- Increase weekly Mass attendees twofold in the next five years;
- Increase the number of students participating in programs and activities threefold in the next three years.
The study yielded many useful recommendations, with an overriding theme that St. Mary’s must be willing to go beyond our boundaries to reach students whose faith is not an important part of their lives. One of the recommendations is the need for a more active, regular presence on campus through on-campus missionaries. The data from the study helped solidify the decision for St. Mary’s to partner with FOCUS.
Joe Hensler, Vice President of Collegiate Outreach for FOCUS, says,
“FOCUS is humbled and excited about the opportunity to work in partnership with St. Mary’s Catholic Center in its work to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the students at Texas A&M. The Catholic Center at A&M is a pre-eminent center of campus ministry in the Catholic Church, and we are grateful that Fr. Konderla and Bishop Vasquez have invited us to serve and support St. Mary’s starting this fall. With God’s help, we look forward to a fruitful partnership for many years to come, working with the Aggie Catholic Community.”
Please pray for this new endeavor as St. Mary’s Catholic Center strives to further St. Mary’s vision:
“Aggie Catholics: Forming Apostles for the Church and the World.” (494)
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