2009 National FOCUS Convention
Bro. John, the Director of Vocation Ministry, speaks with
Brother Florian of the St. Augustine (Pittsburgh) province."
FOCUS had its beginnings in the Archdiocese of Denver under
the guidance of Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., shown
here presiding at one of the daily Masses. He delivered a
keynote address the following day.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM Cap. of
the Archdiocese of Boston celebrated
the final Mass at the convention
The Vocation Director as well as several other friars
from the Province of the Sacred Stigmata recently
attended the four day National FOCUS Convention in
Orlando, Florida.

FOCUS is an acronym for "Fellowship of Catholic
University Students"

This growing organization is active in both Catholic
and secular Universities around the country, and holds
a national convention every two years. This year the
conventions took place at the Marriott World Resort in
Orlando, Florida from December 30, 2009 until
January 3, 2010. The students desired to come
together at this time to bring in the New Year
prayerfully -- together as members of the Body of
Christ.   
Just under 5,000 college
students attended the event.
There were seminars on various
Catholic topics and issues,
keynote addresses each day, a
huge area of displays and
vocation booths, and of course
prayer, song, and Mass, featuring
a different Bishop as presider
each day.  

There were many religious orders
and congregations, priests,
bishops and other Catholic
organizations, vendors and
institutions in attendance as well.

Two popular Capuchin prelates celebrated Mass and delivered addresses at the conference:
Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap. and Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM Cap. Former
Capuchin, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR delivered a keynote address as well.

There were several other Capuchins in attendance as well. The Capuchin Vocation Directors
from across the USA, as well as many other friars from these provinces, including seven friars
from our own province came down to promote vocations at our vocation display table.

The Capuchins were a strong presence throughout the conference, interacting with
attendees, helping with prayer and activities, hearing confessions and, on the third night of
the convention, leading a Eucharistic Procession, Exposition and Benediction for the entire
assembly.
It was inspiring and very edifying to
see so many young Catholics take
their faith seriously and with such
conviction. At this gathering, there
were many opportunities for
learning, community building and
spiritual inspiration. We pray that
these young men and women take
to heart what they've received, and
become new instruments of grace
for the renewal of the Church here
in the USA and throughout the
world.

- Bro. John Paul Russo, OFM Cap.
Director of the Vocation Ministry