We are the Filzen’s. We are fifth year missionaries serving one of the greatest Catholic Campus Ministry Programs in America at NDSU! We have two children, Pia and Beckett! It is with great joy to be living our first five years of marriage serving the Church. It is a privilege to be on mission together and invite students into life as a young family.
Introducing team NDSU: Aaron, Shanna, Megan, Fabiola, Dani + Michael
Aaron: 8 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 and I met on a cold fall night praying outside of the local Planned Parenthood. Our friendship took root through prayer and virtuous living. It was not long until I knew that the Lord’s will for my life was to lay down my life in love and service for this woman.
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.
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. If you want to support us, please reach out to us! We would love to talk more.