Founder of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, a prominent New Evangelization effort
A true mentor for those of us at work in the mission field of the New Evangelization, Curtis Martin likely could never imagine where God would lead him when he founded a pilot program in 1998 on the campus at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. What began back then with Pope John Paul II’s blessing and encouragement to “be soldiers” has blossomed into a dynamic apostolate aimed at inviting college students into an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church.
At the helm of FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, in his role as president and founder, Martin has expanded the ministry to more than 80 colleges in 34 states, including such diverse campuses as Harvard University, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the University of Southern California. In explaining the critical role of the New Evangelization in today’s world, Martin says of FOCUS: “We live in a time of spiritual crisis, and that’s fantastic news for those of us who have been called to greatness. When things break down, greatness is needed to rebuild. It’s a dark culture, but light shines farther in the darkness. FOCUS is about helping young people ‘glow in the dark,’ to shine with the light of Christ and transform poverty in whatever form.”
In recognition of his service to the Church, Martin was named a consulter to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization and as such attended the 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization convened by Pope Benedict XVI. His remarks at the synod convey a challenge to each of us to accept our part in sharing the Faith with our loved ones: “I find it helpful to understand the New Evangelization as a means to fulfilling the central theme of Vatican II, the universal call to holiness. The Catholic laity must accept their co-responsibility to evangelize.”
A prolific author and dynamic speaker, Curtis Martin is a frequent guest on Catholic Answers and a host of the EWTN program “Crossing the Goal.” In partnership with his wife and fellow Benemerenti Medal winner Michaelann, the couple and their children are true witnesses to the joy of a faith-filled life and are expecting a ninth child to join their domestic church in 2014.
Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of www.CatholicMom.com and the author of “A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms” (Ave Maria Press, $16.95).