So, I just got back home from attending the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) national conference known as SEEK2017. Where to begin?
Well for starters, it was a providential blessing, as my plan was to be in Rome during this time, as you may remember from an earlier blog. My original plan of a three-week return turned into three months: from returning to celebrate a best friend getting married, obtaining my study Visa, and an invitation from my director of studies to return in January 2017.
Now that you are caught up, you have seen me take a trip to Kansas City, my home away from home, for development and networking. The Holy Spirit blessed me with fruits from conversations with fellow laborers in the kingdom, giving me time with the brothers and sisters in Christ who sacrificially support our mission and also providing an opportunity to share this mission to heal the family over the radio waves.
Like I said, "it was blessed beyond measure." Our future looks bright, no pun intended.
The main conversation that came up in all my interactions was how I would attend the SEEK conference in San Antonio through the support of the FOCUS Alumni department. Once again, a massive thank you for their encouragement and support. If you are not aware, I served with FOCUS at Benedictine College from 2012-2014.
I am a part of the launched Alumni commissioned, just like you, to live lifelong Catholic mission. Hence, an aspect of our Project Illuminate mission from our founding has been inspired from this beautiful mission on the college campus.
Something that came clear to me while staring into a crowd of 12,000 students was that this is the legacy of many's "Yes!" to the Lord. From these initial "yes" to the Lord's calling, a snowball effect begins to happen in that somehow wherever He leads you; you are a part of His kingdom's legacy.
It is very easy in a sound bite to say the work you do is in big part a fruit of one man's vision, which is very true. Without Curtis Martin saying yes, there would be no conference experience to reflect on. However, it is ultimately the legacy of Jesus Christ that each and every one of us are created to share in His life, death, and resurrection that counts. I was reminded of this on the night of adoration at SEEK.
Now, my time at SEEK this year was filled by recruitment meetings, Alumni specific gatherings, and getting coffee with other Lay apostolates; my eyelids had never felt so heavy. As I knelt down for Jesus's entrance into the ballroom for adoration, my mind was taken back seven years, when my first radical encounter occurred. Now for those of you who have not attended, the night of adoration is a huge moment of transformation for many.
Why? For many, this could be the first time they encounter our Lord and Savior in the Eucharist and to heal their souls in Confession. It did for me. It had a life-altering impact on my mind, body, and soul that put me on a trajectory I never thought I'd be on.
I attended this conference in 2010 as a sophomore in college who needed to solidify my reversion back to my faith. Back then, a whopping 2,000 college students came across the country to encounter Jesus Christ and His Church in a radical way. It was the beginning of something beautiful. In my reminiscing, the lights were all on Jesus procession through the darkness, young people singing in unison praises to God, and the massive line wrapping around for confession. Yup, this was it.
My heart was filled again with a message from our Lord that he communicated seven years ago. My relationship with Jesus has always been seen as a "Fire of Love," and he clearly spoke to my heart in saying,
"My son, let the fire of my love that burns within you be set free into this world of darkness and never let the world extinguish this light."
In a moment my past and present were united in a way that led me to shed tears of joy, basking in the goodness of our Lord. However, it was apparent that the Lord has given me a new encounter in a new season of life in which to thrive. A gift of a season to build something new and beautiful for Him. To build in His legacy.
I am so grateful for the opportunity that this conference gave to our apostolate in courage and solidarity to labor in the New Evangelization. Many future partnerships are now in development--from religious orders, to Those Catholic Men, Inc., and recruitment for future leadership from SEEK.
If you would like to know more about the Fellowship of Catholic University Students,
Click The Link Below.