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College is an exciting thing to think about. The opportunities for studies, friendships, sports, and more are on many young people’s minds, but another consideration should be as well: how will I remain strong in my faith? The secularism that is rampant in our culture exists on secular college campuses as well. Lucky for today’s college students, there is a solution: FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) missionaries, who now count 2018 graduate Mary Schneider among their ranks.

FOCUS was founded in order to share the hope and joy of the gospel with college and university students, including those who were brought up Catholic, and those who many have no religious affiliation. Schneider, a philosophy major and classics minor, first heard of FOCUS thanks to the college’s director of student affairs, Amanda Graf, who was a FOCUS missionary before being hired by Christendom. After talking about it with Graf, Schneider discerned whether she should become a missionary, too.

Schneider is moving on from Christendom to FOCUS.

“FOCUS appealed to me because I knew that I wanted to pursue some kind of mission work immediately following graduation,” says Schneider. “When I found out more about FOCUS, I saw the beauty of being a witness to Catholic Faith through human relationships, something we do every day at Christendom. I knew that God was calling me to be this kind of missionary to college students who are starving for Truth.

Schneider was busy during her time at Christendom. When she wasn’t involved with her studies, she was working hard as a resident assistant, as a member of the senior philanthropy board, and as an assistant in the college’s advancement office. She also served as a student ambassador, an academic success mentor, the president of the college’s pro-life group, Shield of Roses, and as a member of the classics honor society Eta Sigma Phi. The skills she learned in every role she held helped build her resume and aid her throughout the interview process for FOCUS, leading to her landing the position.

FOCUS was founded in order to share the hope and joy of the gospel with college and university students, including those who were brought up Catholic, and those who many have no religious affiliation.

“Everything about my time at Christendom has prepared me to be a FOCUS missionary. The Liberal Arts gave me a foundation for a philosophical habit of pursuing truth. The friendships I’ve gained here have taught me what it means to be in a true friendship, a relationship based on virtue. I’ve grown in my spiritual life because of those friendships, but most of all because of the graces from the frequent sacraments here. I could go on and on. I’m ready to bring what I’ve learned at Christendom to my peers at other colleges. My hope is that I will play a part in helping others to see and experience the Truth as I have at Christendom,” concludes Schenider.

Schneider will begin her training this summer to be a missionary, and then will be assigned to a college this fall. She will join a long line of Christendom alumni who have served in FOCUS, including its current director of philanthropy, alumnus Andy Day (’06).

Schneider was busy at Christendom, and will be taking the skills she learned in each of her roles at the college to FOCUS.

Every Christendom student hears the call to “restore all things in Christ” throughout their four years at the college. What better place to accomplish such a goal then with the next generation of leaders, at places that do not have the blessings of Christendom’s robust Catholic faith, focus on virtue, and fully integrated Catholic liberal arts education? Thanks to graduates like Schneider, there is hope for the future of our nation in this troubled world.

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