FOCUS stands for Fellowship of Catholic University Students and includes nearly 600 missionaries on 125 campuses across the country. Their mission:
FOCUS is a Catholic collegiate outreach whose mission is to share the hope and joy of the gospel with college and university students. Trained in Church teaching, prayer, sacred Scripture, evangelization and discipleship, FOCUS missionaries encounter students in friendship where they are, inviting them into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and accompanying them as they pursue lives of virtue and excellence. Through Bible studies, outreach events, mission trips and one-on-one discipleship, missionaries inspire and build up students in the faith, sending them out to spread the good news and to live out the Great Commission: Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations (Mt. 28:19). www.FOCUS.org
We are really excited to have six incredible missionaries at DePauw University. Get to know them below:
Leah Nielson (Team Director)
Leah hails from the Mount Rushmore region of South Dakota where she grew up hiking, boating, fishing, rock climbing, and camping with her family. She graduated from the University of South Dakota with a BBA degree in Business Management before getting sent to the coldest city in America to tend to the students at the University of North Dakota as a FOCUS missionary. After two amazing years there, she accepted the role as Director of Team DePauw for this coming year. Besides all things outdoorsy, she loves to read, practice calligraphy, and make new Spotify playlists. She believes that, if canonized, she would be the patron saint of party go-ers and throwers, sorority women (particularly Alpha Phi’s), and brunch.
Jeannine Malinao is from Savage, Minnesota. She graduated from Drake University in 2016 with a BS in Health Sciences. Fun fact, she was born in the Philippines and her family moved to the United States when she was seven years old. She just has one younger brother who just graduated college (still getting used to that reality!) Some of the things that give her joy include playing with puppies/dogs, traveling to new places, and spending time with Jesus in Adoration. She is pretty open to trying new things unless it involves heights, but if it means spending time with people then she can try and overcome that fear! The reason that she became a missionary is because another missionary had an incredible impact on her life and she wants to, hopefully, have that same impact on the students’ life. This is her first year as a missionary and she cannot wait to see what God has in store for me and the students at DePauw University.
Martin Hanley has served as a missionary with FOCUS at DePauw University for the last two years and he’s excited to start his third year! Martin and his wife Emily both graduated from Purdue University in 2010. That summer he joined the Navy, married Emily, and moved to Pensacola, Florida where they lived for five years. Martin began his Naval career in flight school but following plenty of prayerful discernment he left the pilot program and was kept in the Reserves as a Human Resources Officer. Martin finds great enjoyment in teaching and discussing his Catholic faith, but when he’s not following those passions he is out enjoying sports, movies, great food, or time with his two boys Nathaniel and Jonathan. He is a huge fan of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, world renowned author and host of the TV program “Life is Worth Living” which aired in the 1950s. If that doesn’t tell you anything Martin is an old soul and a jack of all trades; he enjoys learning new things and getting to know new people.
“I don’t want my life to be mine, I want it to be Christ’s. The more ego there is the less there is of Christ.” Fulton Sheen
Hailing from the great mountainous state of Colorado, Seth is a graduate from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Psychology and an emphasis in pre-medicine. He has been married to his beautiful wife Chelsea (who is a Registered Nurse) for 4 years as of July 2017 and they met and grew up in the small city of Loveland, Colorado (which is totally a cliché city to meet your spouse…) Seth loves to be outdoors and get on his bicycle and is an avid lacrosse and soccer fan. He loves being lighthearted and enjoying the company of others, especially over a good craft beer or whiskey, just like any other Coloradoan would. His favorite scripture passage is pretty much all of John chapter 15, but especially verse 13 “No one has greater love than this, to lay down his life for his friends.” And his patron saints are St. Joseph and Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. Seth and Chelsea are so excited to come to DePauw!