Hey! We are the Dunnigan Family. We live in Birmingham, Alabama serving the Lord in our mission with FOCUS. James is currently serving as the Director of Alumni Mission – working with student and missionary alumni in the city of Birmingham, AL and striving to create Catholic Culture in the city and diocese through Bible studies, Discipleship, events and retreats. The other half of the role is overseeing several other alumni missionaries and the cities they are operating in. Karly, after two years as an on campus missionary is currently staying at home with our daughter Edith as well as assisting in ministering to alumni in the city of Birmingham. We are excited to start our family here and serve the Church in every way we can.
James is currently serving as the Director of Alumni Mission.
As a cradle Catholic, I fell away from my faith in college, joined a fraternity and was quickly caught in the party lifestyle. This however left me unfulfilled and with an intense feeling of emptiness. A FOCUS missionary during this time told me; “When I see the alcoholism and sexual promiscuity on college campuses more than anything I see souls desperately searching for fulfillment that is only found in Jesus Christ.” That quote describes the majority of my four years in college. If it were not for the efforts and prayers of the FOCUS missionaries at my campus who knows where I’d be.
During my college years at Furman University, I was fortunate enough to meet friends through various Christian organizations and in my sorority who poured into me and challenged me in my faith. As I grew in my relationship with Jesus, I also experienced challenges in living out my Catholic faith on the college campus. I was discouraged by the lack of community and involvement I saw at the Catholic center, and there were many times I questioned the Catholic Church. My Senior year, by God’s grace, I experienced the fullness of the Catholic Church through a Focus bible study started on campus, and by encountering the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. My faith was also inspired through the SEEK conference and my twin sisters deeper conversion through Focus at Auburn University. While attending the SEEK conference, I saw so much hope in the Catholic Church by the thousands of students worshiping Jesus in adoration. I continued to have deep encounters with Jesus in the sacraments and in the Focus lead bibles studies I attended, which continued after I graduated. I moved to Austin, TX after college where I worked in the corporate world for three years and continued to see the Holy Spirit work in the Church and my community there. In Spring 2018 I felt a deeper call to go back on the college campus to serve students and invite them into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.
In College students are experiencing true freedom for the first time; they are faced with major decisions; choosing a major or career, maybe meeting their future husband or wife. This is also the time in people’s lives where they start asking important questions; who am I? What do I want to do with my life? What do I believe? We live in a culture that is feeding many of the wrongs answers to young people at such an impressionable time in their lives. Not only is FOCUS reaching people at their most pivotal time in life but these students will be our future CEO’s, politicians, teachers, lawyers, and leaders of our nation and society. The college campus is truly the battle ground for souls and no one is doing a better job of fighting this battle than FOCUS.
When we answered the call to join FOCUS and serve as full-time missionaries, we made the decision to rely fully on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help us through this mission. We fundraise our salary completely in order to be radically available to the missionaries and students in need and in my care. Because of that, we need people like you! We invite you to join us in the mission of empowering college students and alumni to live lifelong mission by supporting us with your generosity. If you are interested in partnering with us, please let us know of the best way to reach you and I will schedule an appointment. I’d be honored to share this mission with you!