Mayra Banuelos-Moriel

Until you know how deep inside Jesus thirsts for you-you can t begin to know who he wants to be for you or who he wants you to be for Him. -Mother Teresa

Where I serve

Hi hi! My name is Cristina and I am a second-year FOCUS missionary! I am honored to serve the students at New York University! You will be able to find me hanging at our beautiful Catholic Center right next to Washington Square Park. 

NYU Team 2022! We are excited to have John, Kaler, and Noah join us for another year of mission in the city.

My Story

I became a missionary with a great desire to walk with others towards Christ. I grew up in a faithful and loving Catholic household and went to Catholic school up until college. I knew a lot about Christ but didn’t have a relationship with Him, therefore my faith was very lukewarm. I had a void in my heart and a deep desire to be known. In the spring semester of my freshman year at Iowa State University, I had an encounter with Christ through the Eucharist at a retreat. I have never felt as known as I did in front of the tabernacle. I knew I couldn’t keep living my life seeking validation outside of Him and the Lord was calling me to more.

I began to get involved at our Catholic Student Center and made authentic friendships who taught me how to pursue a relationship with God. I got more and more involved and started to strengthen my faith by joining a bible study and learning to pray with scripture. Eventually, I started leading one of my own. I kept myself busy by being involved on our retreat teams and communications committees. I worked hard at having Christ be a part of my everyday life. 

I was blessed to have many people help me in my faith journey. My senior year my friend Kate, who was also a FOCUS missionary, pushed me to open my heart and let myself surrender to Him. She helped me see how personal and deep Christ’s love was for me and see that I was called to more than just having Him be a part of my life, I was called to have Him be the center of my life. I saw how in love with Christ she was and knew that I wanted that too. It was through this joy, freedom, and love that I grew the desire to bring this to others. Through being a FOCUS missionary, I would have the privilege of sharing the Catholic faith with college women, so that they may know of the abundance of Jesus Christ. My hope is that they may know of the greatest Love, and know that they are deeply known and loved by Him.

These are the girls I had the privilege of leading in growing discipleship this year. We would meet weekly and learn on how to make Christ the center of our lives and how to live like a Christian disciple, growing in prayer, fellowship, formation, and seeking out the sacraments. 

Your Impact

When I answered the call to join FOCUS, I made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help me through this mission. It’s through your abundant prayers and generosity that my mission is possible, so thank you! I’ve been blessed with the most amazing people who have journeyed with me as I serve on campus.

If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know of the best way to reach you and I will schedule an appointment. I am always available at [email protected] or 515-318-1973. I’d be honored to share this mission with you!


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FOCUS brings the joy of the Gospel to colleges and parishes across the United States (and beyond)!
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Teach Others to Share Christ

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

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