Brynn (Carlson) & Erik Janss

When we give up things of this world, we receive them back hundredfold. . . and life everlasting.

Where We serve

God has called us to serve college students at Minnesota State University Mankato—Go Mavericks! We are excited to call Mankato home!


Our Story

Erik’s Story: When I first arrived at La Salle University to play DI baseball and study math and computer science, if something didn’t help with baseball or school, I didn’t do it. But after a few semesters of school, without a strong community in the faith, I fell into living the stereotypical athlete lifestyle. It looked fun but it turned out to be empty and lonely.

Two of my teammates lived differently. They had something I didn’t: a real relationship with Jesus Christ. We quickly became friends, and started talking about their faith. I realized that I wanted what they had. I lived a double life but the Lord was tugging at my heart. Then, I met Brynn, who truly and deeply loved the Lord. After many late-night FaceTime calls and discussions about the Catholic Church and Faith, I finally decided to respond to the call God was placing on my heart.

I Joined RICA right when I moved to Des Moines for law school at Drake University and became Catholic on Easter 2021. Since then, I have been committed to introducing an empty and lonely world to the Light of Christ.

After I joined the Church, I met the FOCUS missionaries at Drake. They invited me into bible study and spent time investing in me. When the end of law school approached, I realized that by being a missionary I can be like those two teammates to others—introducing them to Christ and his Church through genuine friendship and living an appealing life.

Brynn’s Story: 

Jesus personally transformed my life through FOCUS while I was a student at Kansas State and Missouri through authentic friendship with FOCUS missionaries. It was through their willingness to share the gospel with me, build me up in the sacraments, and teach me how to pray that propelled me into mission. It has given me great joy to be able to do the same with the students I served at Drake University, and now at Minnesota State University Mankato!

As FOCUS missionaries we are trained in outreach and evangelization to bring Christ into a student’s world. When students go off to college, they leave behind their family and its support. FOCUS sends out missionaries to meet students where they are – in the gym, the cafeteria and coffee shops, and athletic events.

We all know someone who’s fallen away from their faith in college. It has been privilege for me to help students recommit to their faith through authentic friendships, leading bible studies, and serving as a faith mentor. Some of my favorite moments have included presenting the gospel to women who have never heard it before, teaching them how to pray, and watching their relationship with Jesus grow.

Your Impact

Colleges are filled with far too many lost souls who, just like we did, are looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places. By joining us on mission, you will be able to walk with students to help them become the husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, men and women that God is calling them to be. Together, we can break the cycle of the world’s empty promises and passing pleasures and introduce them to the Love of the Father. Your gift is more than a contribution to us. It is an investment in souls. And for that, we thank you.

Please feel free to contact us at any time with questions or prayer intentions!

Erik: (301) 452-8029 | [email protected]

Brynn: (651) 747-6456 | [email protected]

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.

This is default text for notification bar