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FOCUS Parish Ministry

By Staff Reports

FOCUS Parish Ministry

Many have heard of FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. This magazine has featured missionaries who have worked on campuses in Eastern Washington and beyond. Many have seen in these pages or in their parishes—maybe even from college students—the impact of FOCUS on campus. Some of you may have even wondered if FOCUS could do in our parishes what it has been able to do in our Newman Centers.

Over the last two years, FOCUS has quietly been piloting a new parish program here in the Diocese of Spokane. In many ways, the collaboration between FOCUS and the diocese is breaking new ground as FOCUS’ local and national leadership look to adapt their model to support parish ministry.

You won’t see recent college graduates working as missionaries in the vestibule after church. The plan here in Spokane is not to bring in outside missionaries, but to train priests and lay people in the parishes to be missionaries.

This discipling process is happening through small groups led among families at parishes. A priest is involved in helping the organizing couple get things up and running. From there, the small group works somewhat independently.

FOCUS supports the parish ministry groups in a variety of ways. One of the most prominent of these is the Upper Room. This gathering happens in a parish setting and welcomes those already involved in small groups to spend a day in prayer and to participate in retreat-style conferences offered by clergy or FOCUS missionaries.

FOCUS is currently partnering with clergy, families, and individuals at St. Mary in Spokane Valley, Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, and St. Francis Xavier. It is exploring connections with additional parishes.

To learn more about FOCUS Parish Life efforts, keep an eye on upcoming issues of the Inland Catholic for interviews with families and clergy involved in this exciting new collaboration between the diocese and FOCUS.

Small group discussions at Upper Room.

Small group discussions at Upper Room.

Adoration during an Upper Room event.

Adoration during an Upper Room event.


Main Photo Caption: FOCUS Parish groups gather after Upper Room event at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral