February 10, 2021 Sisters All In for SEEK21! Each year FOCUS hosts their “SEEK” conference for their missionaries, students, and those who wish to experience FOCUS’ work in person. This year, due to COVID, the keynotes and impact sessions were virtual. However, numerous college campuses hosted their own live gathering, organized by their local FOCUS missionaries, to provide students with a opportunity to experience together the amazing talks, small group discussions, and celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, which make SEEK such a life-changing experience. One opportunity SEEK provides is the chance for students to meet priests and Religious from across the country and the world. We happily responded to a series of invitations for our Sisters to attend these smaller campus gatherings: Georgia College & State University: Sister Rita Marie and Sister Madeleine Marie traveled to Milledgeville, GA, to join the FOCUS missionaries and students of Georgia College & State University for their SEEK21 venue. Sister Rita Marie shares with the students in a small group discussion “We brought books, medals, and other items from our bookstore, and we joined the students in their small groups as they discussed the content from the many talks we heard together. The missionaries had encountered several roadblocks as they planned the conference (from a car crashing through the original venue to extremely wet and cold weather), but everything came together beautifully and it bore much fruit in the lives of all whose who attended.” ~ Sister Madeleine Marie Adoration on Saturday night at the Georgia College SEEK21 venue University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa): Sister Joseph Marie joins in a small group discussion Over the weekend, Sister Joseph Marie and Sister Mary Faustina traveled to both the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and at Birmingham. “I was very edified by the zeal of the students at the University of Alabama. What I took away from SEEK21 was a great hope for the future of the Church.” ~ Sister Joseph Marie University of Alabama at Birmingham: The Sisters listen in on the students’ reflections Louisiana State University: Sister Marie Therese and Sister Margaret Mary took the longest haul of all to Baton Rouge, LA to join the students from LSU. The Sisters’ booth at LSU “We had a wonderful time at LSU’s SEEK21 venue! The students were impressive in their spiritual insights, their openness to share with each other, and their love for Catholicism. We were happy to see 200 students join in for the weekend. The FOCUS missionaries did an excellent job at planning and providing for everyone’s needs. They created an environment as close as you can get to the feel of a real SEEK conference experience.” ~Sister Margaret Mary Sister Marie Therese plays a game with some students on Friday night Sister Margaret Mary joins in tossing a football with a FOCUS missionary, two Mercedarian Sisters, and a few students (after a good throw, one bystander said, “from Alabama – of course!”) Saturday night Eucharistic Adoration and Procession in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Baton Rouge Sister Marie Therese and Sister Margaret Mary bid farewell to two of the LSU FOCUS missionaries And Back at Home: Sister Mary Michael watched over our “Virtual Booth” for the entire SEEK conference and was able to engage with several people who checked-in via Zoom. A Screenshot of our “Virtual Booth” and the times for “ZOOMing-in” with us “It was a blessing to be available during the weekend for so many fruitful Zoom conversations with students and sponsors alike. Although we’re not together in-person, our intentionality, accompaniment, and prayers are just as present for all who reach out to us. We can’t wait to see you all in person in Salt Lake City next year!” ~ Sister Mary Michael Photo Gallery on our Virtual Booth Sister Mary Philomena participated in the SEEK21 online platform, including the Christlife small group. A view outside Sister Mary Philomena’s office… A view inside Sister Mary Philomena’s office! “I was very impressed with FOCUS’ excellent virtual platform. Their emphasis on small group participation throughout the weekend allowed this virtual conference to impact us personally. I hope that future SEEK conferences provide virtual participation for those unable to attend in person.” ~ Sister Mary Philomena What about the other Sisters at home? They “held down the fort”! And, many had the opportunity to watch some of the keynotes and impact sessions over the weekend and benefit from the amazing speakers of SEEK21. We are delighted to be friends of FOCUS and to be able to support them with our presence and our prayers!