SEEK21 Will Spark a Renewal in Faith, Community and Zeal for Evangelization
#1 Apple podcaster Fr. Mike Schmitz, Immaculée Ilibagiza, Bishop Robert Barron, Francis Chan, Hilary Draftz, Curtis Martin, Sister Miriam Heidland and other dynamic speakers slated for inspiring, interactive event focused on the Gospel
DENVER, Jan. 14, 2021 — SEEK21 will spark a renewal in the faith and a stronger sense of community so desperately needed in today’s disconnected and anxious world. FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) projects that more than 100,000 people will attend a FOCUS conference in the next five years, igniting the faith of college students, parishioners, clergy, FOCUS alumni, benefactors and many others, drawing them into a deeper encounter with Christ and increased zeal for evangelization. SEEK21, Feb. 4 – 7, 2021, will be an interactive, immersive event that brings thousands together in small groups to encounter the heart of the Gospel and share it with others. Registration is open at seek.focus.org. The SEEK21 live schedule will be updated on a regular basis.
“Over the past four years, I have had the privilege to attend national FOCUS events with priests and lay leaders from the diocese,” said Brian Kraut, director of the Office of Evangelization for the Diocese of Spokane. “At these events, I have experienced and witnessed God’s transforming love. Through participation in these events, the Holy Spirit has stirred a local effort in which the Diocese of Spokane has partnered with FOCUS to develop a parish evangelization model that has more than 100 people signed up for SEEK21 small groups. Our local SEEK21 small group conference will be highlighted by Mass with Bishop Thomas Daly.”
College students, missionaries, FOCUS alumni, parishioners, young adults, benefactors, clergy, religious and more will gather in Catholic centers, parishes, living rooms, outdoor tents and wherever they can safely congregate to journey together and ask the big questions about joy, peace, hope and salvation.
As the early disciples modeled in the Acts of the Apostles, SEEK21 is built on a foundation of in-person, small group experiences among friends and family members who will listen to the talks together and dive into deep conversations about faith, the Gospel and missionary discipleship. Designed to be experienced in community, SEEK21 discussions and activities will facilitate opportunities for the Holy Spirit to stir hearts in unique ways, whether though robust conversation, shared meals or fun activities between sessions. Prayer and participation in the sacraments are integral parts of SEEK21 and will encourage people to reflect on God’s will in their lives.
Renowned speakers and some of the foremost catechetical teachers and evangelization experts in the Church will travel to live audiences in different cities during SEEK21, following local and state regulations. Keynote speakers include Fr. Mike Schmitz, whose new podcast with Ascension, “Bible in a Year,” is the #1 Show on Apple Podcasts. His keynote will encourage people to ask, “How is God calling me?”
Additional keynote speakers who will challenge and inspire participants include Bishop Robert Barron, Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, Sr. Bethany Madonna, S.V., Francis Chan, Immaculée Ilibagiza, Curtis Martin, Hilary Draftz, Dr. Jonathan Reyes and Dr. Edward Sri. Impact session speakers include Jeff Cavins, Leah Darrow, Jason Evert, John Zimmer, Jennifer Fulwiler, Tim Gray, Scott Hahn, Trent Horn, Damon Owens, Oscar Rivera Jr., Lila Rose, Chris Stefanick, Sarah Swafford and several others.
“Having attended seven national FOCUS events, I know how transformational they can be for all ages,” said Summer Martinez, a FOCUS alumna leading one of the small groups at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Parish in Denver. “I cannot wait for our group of friends to come together in my living room to watch the inspiring speakers, reflect on the topics and discuss how they relate to our everyday lives — and how God is calling us to grow deeper in faith. I know these experiences will ignite our faith even more and equip us to share the Gospel with others. It will be a blast to simply share meals, laughter and great conversation while we immerse ourselves in the most important questions about life.”
Texas A&M University has 350 students signed up so far. FOCUS Team Director Spencer Purdy said, “We are stoked to experience SEEK21 with students who will be accompanied by special guests Fr. Gabriel Bakkar, C.F.R., and Fr. Angelus Montgomery, C.F.R., and the campus ministry team led by Fr. Will Straten, Fr. Chris Smith and Fr. Paul-Michael Piega. In addition to small group discussions about topics covered by keynote speakers, students will have opportunities to deepen their faith and relationship with Jesus Christ through Mass, adoration and confession. In between these events, students will grow in friendship playing games, visiting with religious members and participating in a live podcast.”
The Worldwide Prayer Vigil Saturday, Feb. 6, at 10:30 p.m. ET will join thousands of people together to ask God for an outpouring of His Spirit, for healing in today’s culture and our Church, and for the evangelization of all nations. Attendees will rally together as a universal Church to experience Eucharistic adoration in unprecedented ways, which includes live adoration happening simultaneously across the globe.
SEEK21 builds upon the best of live conferences and virtual gatherings, and it can be scaled up or scaled down depending on specific group or parish needs, restrictions and local guidelines, giving each host site flexibility to meet according to state and local regulations.
The cost is $60 for students at FOCUS campuses through Jan. 29, 2021. The registration price for non-students is $129 for individuals and a special group price of $469 for up to 10 participants. Special group pricing for parishes is likewise available. Every attendee who registers by Jan. 15, 2021, will receive a physical companion box to guide them along the journey both during and after the event. SEEK21 excitement and momentum will continue through an exclusive FOCUS Lenten Bible Study for SEEK21 attendees hosted by Martin and Sri.
Premier Level Sponsors for SEEK21 include Hallow App, Knights of Columbus, Seton Teaching Fellows, Vagabond Missions, Divine Mercy University, The University of Mary, Relevant Radio, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Our Sunday Visitor, The Vigil Project / Papercastle Records, Biking for Babies, Catholic Medical Association, FrancisCorps, Action, My Saint My Hero, The Catholic University of America, The Culture Project, The John Paul II Project, VidAngel – The Chosen and Visually Linked Bible. Organizations interested in learning more about sponsorships can email [email protected].
More information and registration for SEEK21 are at seek.focus.org.
FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) is a Catholic apostolate whose mission is to share the hope and joy of the Gospel. FOCUS missionaries encounter people in friendship, inviting them into a personal relationship with Christ and accompanying them as they pursue lives of virtue and excellence. Through Bible studies, outreach events, mission trips and discipleship, missionaries inspire and build up others in the faith, sending them out to live out lifelong Catholic mission wherever they are. For the 2020 – 2021 academic year, nearly 800 FOCUS missionaries are serving on 171 campuses and nine parishes across the U.S. and Europe. Tens of thousands of students have been involved with FOCUS, who after graduation have the opportunity to move into parish life to continue their missionary work. An important blessing of a fruitful partnership between the local campus ministry and FOCUS has been the pursuit of religious vocations. Over the past 20 years, 959 people have entered the seminary or a religious house of formation after involvement with FOCUS on college campuses. FOCUS missionaries are typically recent college graduates who devote two or more years of their post-collegiate lives to reach out to peers on campus. focus.org