Hello fellow parishioners! I’ve had a wonderful semester working on campus at George Washington University with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). I’ve been leading three weekly Bible studies on campus with sophomore women, who have continued to inspire me. I’m also leading three girls, Olivia (junior), Isabella (sophomore), and Ashley (sophomore) in one-on-one discipleship relationships as they seek to grow in their faith and share it with others on campus. Both Olivia and Isabella started their own freshmen women’s Bible studies this semester, and Ashley will start her own this spring. Olivia also just invited Kerry (freshmen) into a discipleship relationship and will work with her to start a Bible study in the future!

We held a great retreat in November called “The Father’s House.” Nearly 40 students attended, and we encouraged them to explore their identity as sons and daughters of God more deeply, and challenged them to put their worth in God alone, rather than their grades, success, or relationships. The retreat encouraged many students to live out their faith more fully, and many who attended were inspired to join the Newman Center student leadership board, join a Bible study, and deepen their personal prayer life. Because of retreat and Bible studies, we were also able to encourage 12 of our students to attend FOCUS’ national conference the first week of January called Student Leadership Summit (SLS). About 8,000 people from all over the country attended SLS in Chicago, and our students were among the many who had truly transformative experiences through the sacraments, presentations, small groups, and fellowship. I’m so excited to see what fruit will be born on campus as these student leaders bring back what they learned and share their experiences with their peers. I’m also thrilled that three girls in my Bible studies, two of whom I invited into the Newman Center just this semester, are accompanying me on my mission trip to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico in March. We’ll be joined by three other FOCUS missionaries, 14 other students, and a chaplain as we strive to love and serve the people of a Yucatán village. Please pray for us all!

I am blown away by what a fruitful semester it was, and I am enthusiastic to go back to campus to continue the beautiful work. I cannot thank Christ the King and you all enough for your continued generosity and prayer – I literally could not be doing this work without you. God is doing incredible things through FOCUS on college campuses all across the country, and I am so grateful that you are all a part of this world-changing work. You are in my prayers always, and if you have any specific prayer requests or questions for me, please do not hesitate to reach out at eliza.decubellis@focus.org or 401-258-5852. God bless and Happy New Year!

-Eliza DeCubellis

A photo of our George Washington group at SLS.