Giulia Mazzarelli

“We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love… There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.” – Mother Teresa

Where I serve

I am so excited to accompany the students of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia as they continue to grow in their relationship with the Lord during my first year as a missionary!

My Story

Little did I know that committing to Harvard would mean that I would get to experience authentic friendship and really begin to understand my identity as a beloved daughter of God. The last thing I anticipated was to find the Harvard Catholic Center (HCC) and the FOCUS missionaries that so graciously served us there. I completed my entire Freshman year from my childhood bedroom in Poughkeepsie, NY, but the HCC welcomed me with open arms, even virtually! I was in a completely remote Bible study, where I met with two other freshmen girls, one living in South Africa, and the other in California, while I was in New York and our leader was in Cambridge. That’s what Jesus does: He brings people together, and shows us how to love one another!

Now, when sophomore year started I finally made it to campus. The love I felt from the HCC was even greater, as I was met by the Catholic Center community in full swing. I was able to go to events for the first time, including the Sunday evening student mass, where dinner for undergraduates would be served afterwards, and I joined a bible study for the sophomore girls. This is when I really began to see the beauty of God’s creation in my studies, especially since I studied molecular and cellular biology and learned many intricate processes that take place in our beautifully designed bodies. I also went to adoration for the first time, learned the power and importance of daily prayer, and was amazed by how quickly an hour of prayer passed by. 

Junior year I started to lead a Bible study, and this taught me that God doesn’t call the equipped, but He equips the called. This year I also went on a mission trip that changed my life. I fortunately had the opportunity to work with the Missionaries of Charity in San Francisco to serve the poorest of the poor. We did homeless outreach, where we would approach people living on the streets to offer them food, water, dry clothes, and more importantly, prayers and conversations. We also worked at a soup kitchen where people only spoke Spanish, and helped the Sisters around the convent wherever they needed. We painted their hallways, tended the garden, and took care of their hospice patients. I learned to see God in all of the people I encountered! Everyone deserves love, and who better to look at as an example of what it is to love than Jesus. This mission trip really opened my eyes up to what matters in life, and how important my relationship with the Lord really is. 

During my Senior year, I continued to grow through prayer and mentorship, and I will keep growing for the rest of my life here on Earth. This was the year I really started to say yes to Jesus, and put Him at the center of my life. It’s also wonderful that I have such a faithful example of a mom, who I have to thank for raising me in the Catholic Faith with my dad and three siblings whom I love dearly. It’s clear that God has worked in so many of the hearts of the people in my life, and I’m grateful for the HCC for clearly pointing His goodness out to me. I am honored that the Lord chose me to join my team in leading the students at UPenn closer to Him!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Your Impact

When I answered the call to join FOCUS, I made the decision to rely on the prayers and financial support of mission partners to join me on this mission, and enable me to serve full-time.

If you would like to join me on this wonderful mission to serve college students, please contact me at [email protected] or 845-625-8247 so that we can schedule an appointment to discuss more about the work I’ll be doing with FOCUS. Thank you!

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.

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