Aaron and Shanna Filzen

Hey! We are the Filzen’s. We are sixth year missionaries at North Dakota State University!

We are excited to meet you!

Where We serve

We are the Filzen’s. We are sixth year missionaries serving one of the greatest Catholic Campus Ministry Programs in America at NDSU! We have three children: Pia, Beckett and Augustus! Aaron serves as the Team Director. This role allows him to set the culture and cast vision to the team and work directly with college students! Shanna has the privilege to be a stay-at-home mom, while inviting college ladies into our home life. It is with great joy to be a missionary family and continue to make Christ known on the campus of NDSU!

Introducing team NDSU: Aaron, Benedict, Alexa, Shanna, Becca and Liz!

PXL 20240531 224123774NDSU’s Newman Center Chapel:

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Our Story

Aaron: 9 years ago I was in the process of making the biggest decision of my life, leaving my Catholic faith. I was leaving it for the simple reason that I didn’t get the gift that it is. Needless to say I was not expecting that my life would radically change in the ways it has. It was my first year at Minnesota State University, Mankato and a missionary introduced himself to me, he invited me to a conference that semester break called SEEK and that is where this journey began. At SEEK I discovered Holiness was possible and the most beautiful thing I could pursue. Through brotherhood and a deeper intellectual conversion I found myself seeing the beauty and the desperate need of our nation to revitalize the faith in young people through sending missionaries to them.

Shanna: After years of trying relentlessly to find happiness and validation in what the world says to do, I found myself crying in my dorm room as a freshman by myself, wondering why I was so unhappy and left searching for answers. I had done everything the world tells you to have a fulfilling life: good grades, relationships, career outlook, a social circle, etc.

I wasn’t going to mass at this point, but figured I would give God one last try. There was a missionary who made an announcement about a retreat at the end of Mass. A few weekends later, I found myself at the retreat and mustered up the courage to go to confession for the first time in years. The priest encountered me with the gaze of Jesus and spoke with such mercy. Jesus is truly present in the Sacraments!

Life after encountering Jesus was one of beauty, joy, purpose, passion and zeal for others to know the Gospel. Jesus graciously invited our family to make Him known on the college campus.

Together: After surrounding ourselves with beautiful friends and community, we started dating. We dated and then got married our senior year of college! After encountering the Lord at different moments in our college experience, we soon answered the call together: to invite others into the abundant life He promises!

Your Impact

Our family has said yes to being full-time missionaries to advance the Gospel on the college camps. When we answered the call to join FOCUS, we made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners. It is only through your generosity, we are able to serve Our Lord in this mission that is crucial for the Church. Through others generosity, we have been shown the Father’s providence for us and this mission. If you want to support us, please reach out to us! We would love to talk more.

[email protected] | 507-429-4919




Find other missionaries

FOCUS brings the joy of the Gospel to colleges and parishes across the United States (and beyond)!
FOCUS Find A Missionary Know Love Serve God Monstrance

Know, Love and Serve God

We encounter God in an intimate relationship through daily prayer, the sacraments and the Scriptures.

FOCUS Find A Missionary Build Virtuous Friendships Together

Build Virtuous Friendships

By building genuine friendships, we meet students on a deeper level.

FOCUS Find A Missionary Teach Others Share Christ Smiling

Teach Others to Share Christ

We teach students how to share the gospel, who in turn teach other students how to pass it on.

Want to learn more about Radiating Joy: The Michelle Duppong Story? CLICK HERE!
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