“The primary reason for evangelizing is the love of Jesus which we have received, the experience of salvation which urges us to ever greater love of him. What kind of love would not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point him out, to make him known?” -Evangelii Gaudium
Claire and I are entering into our seventh year on staff and second year working at the Denver Support Center on the Summer Projects team! It has been the joy of our lives to experience campus mission at West Point, the Naval Academy and Mount Saint Mary’s University prior to embarking on this new adventure. My role is that of a Regional Manager for Summer Projects, helping to oversee and to develop this program which has done so much to form our students for lifelong Catholic mission.
Summer Projects is a 10-week program run by FOCUS that offers students from our campuses the opportunity for secular seasonal employment as well as participation in a world class Catholic formation curriculum. We partner with third parties such as summer camps or resorts who can offer gainful employment to our students while giving our teams the resources that they need to spend a summer alongside the students. Each student in Summer Projects will work a full-time job and then use their personal time to participate in daily Mass and prayer, bible studies, a discipleship group, a reading plan, a speaker series and spiritual direction while living in a vibrant community of other college students deeply invested in forming themselves in the faith. Over the last few years, this has been one of the most successful programs in FOCUS for deeply rooting students in prayer and the sacraments while also equipping them for their own apostolate back on campus or in life after college.
Above: Eucharistic Adoration held at one of the outdoor chapels at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado
Above: Pete at the top of Long’s Peak with the John Bishop (left, his new boss) and a group of Summer Projects students
Above: The Summer Projects team and students at Snow Mountain Ranch 2019
The Lord prepared us both during our senior year of college to attend an interview weekend and say yes to this call of serving as a FOCUS missionary for, at least, the next two years. Praise God both Claire and I said yes because the first time we met was on placement day during training when we found out we would serve on campus together at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Those next two years were incredibly formative for us in our personal lives as we lived out a dating fast our first year, and learned to serve together on a challenging but deeply rewarding campus. Through life as teammates and our growth as friends, the Lord showed us that we live our missionary call to share the Gospel in very similar ways. We both have a great love of opening up our home to welcome any and all people to share life and have serious fun encountering the joy of the Gospel. Fast-forward to today and we have spent three years on mission as a family, together with our daughter Rose and and her little brother Dominic! It has been the greatest blessing to live this mission through our vocation of marriage and family life and we could not be more excited to continue this in our role with Summer Projects. We are beyond blessed and cannot wait to see where the Lord continues to call us and sanctify our family for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
While we know that God has called us to serve Him in this mission, I also know that we are only a small piece of the greater puzzle. Taking on the call to be FOCUS missionaries means giving completely of our time and talents to the students on campus or the programs that we serve. This giving of time necessitates that we have a team of supporters on board with the mission who want to go with us by giving support – both spiritual and financial. It has been a huge blessing to share this mission with our supporters, and to receive their great generosity. We are deeply honored by each of you, and would love to talk to anyone interested in joining our team! We can be contacted anytime by email or phone: