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Elisa Torres and FOCUS

Dear Saint Monica’s Parish,

My name is Elisa Torres. My family and I have been parishioners at Saint Monica’s for 15 years. St. Monica has been an important place for me in my spiritual journey. Growing up in the parish, I had the opportunity to grow in my faith and learn about my identity as a daughter of God. Our Youth Ministry was a place that was especially important to me while I was in grade school and high school. This time of “being formed” in my spiritual life was crucial, because it allowed God to lead me to where I am today.

Now, I am currently a senior at Temple University.  I am majoring in K-12 Art Education with a minor in Art History. While at Temple, I became involved with the Temple Newman Center. The Newman Center has become a vibrant Catholic center in the midst of secular Temple campus. One special aspect of the Newman Center has been a group of young people involved in the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, also known as FOCUS. Studies have found that 80% of Catholics leave the church between the ages of 18 and 23. FOCUS is an organization of former Catholic college and university students. They dedicate two or more years of their lives as “campus missionaries” at colleges and universities across America. FOCUS’ mission is dedicated to meeting, walking with, evangelizing and sharing the Catholic faith on college campuses across the United States. FOCUS realizes that the young are the future of the church. Thus, over the past few years, the Temple Newman Center has emphasized the importance of reaching to this young demographic with significant investment in the formation of young Catholics with the assistance of FOCUS.

As members of Saint Monica’s, one of the three pillars of the parish is serving others. This includes the importance of sharing the faith with others who may not know their identity as sons and daughters of God. This has been an important part of my thoughts during my years at Temple. Thus, I am dedicating the next two years of my life as a FOCUS Missionary starting in May of 2020. As a start, this January, Temple students will learn how to serve others through faith at the Student Leadership Summit. SLS is a five day conference held by FOCUS to teach students how to share the Gospel on their campus.

I am fundraising $1,000 in order to attend the conference and would greatly appreciate the support of parishioners! However, I am not only asking for your financial support, but asking for you to walk in mission with me. I would love to connect with other members of the parish who are interested in a longer-term relationship with me and personally share in my missionary journey.

Moving forward, I would be happy to speak or meet with you personally. If you have any questions or would like to discuss our mission as disciples of Jesus, please email me at torrese@temple.edu or call 484-832-3703. If you are interested in donating, please write all checks out to Focus with Elisa Torres 10739 in the memo line and send them to 2129 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia PA 19122. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I will be praying for you all and look forward to sharing the mission with you moving forward!

In Christ, Elisa Torres

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