More than 7,600 attendees are signed up for SLS18: Inspire & Equip, hosted by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) Jan. 2 – 6, 2018, in Chicago. SLS18 will be a one-of-a-kind leadership experience for those ready to take the next step in their relationship with Christ and the mission of evangelization.
The conference will include three tracks; a Collegiate Track for college students, a Campus Ministry Track for chaplains and campus ministers and a Lifelong Mission Track for lay ministers, parishioners and others wishing to transform their parishes, communities and workplaces. Commuter and Day Passes are available.
Keynote speakers for SLS18 include Bishop Robert Barron, Sr. Bethany Madonna, Fr. Mike Schmitz, Lisa Brenninkmeyer, Jason Evert, Curtis Martin, Dr. Edward Sri, Kelsey Skoch, Sarah Swafford and Mike Sweeney. Father Burke Masters, the Diocese of Joliet’s director of vocations, will also be a speaker.
Training sessions will offer insights and tools for sharing the Gospel and inviting others into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Power sessions will give attendees the unique opportunity to practice what they learned by teaching fellow leaders the skills for evangelization.
SLS18 will also include daily opportunities for Mass, adoration, confession, reflection and discernment. Entertainment slated for the event includes singer and songwriter Matt Maher, illusionist Mark Cook and performance painter Mike Debus.
“The SLS conference is an amazing tool to help equip disciples for mission,” said Jim Jansen, director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Omaha. The archdiocese plans to bring more than 20 people to SLS18. “It provides the ‘on the ground’ tools people need to share their faith in their neighborhoods, families, parishes and professions. People who attend SLS come away with the confidence and practical skills to share their faith in a natural and loving way.”
Many other world-renowned Catholic speakers will share perspectives on current faith issues, including experts such as Helen Alvaré, Fr. Philip Bochanski, Barbara (Nicolosi) Harrington, Dr. Mary Healy, Fr. John Kartje, Fr. Sean Kilcawley, Harry Kraemer, Jr., Fr. Brian Mullady, Dr. Jonathan Reyes and Fr. Larry Richards. Bios on speakers can be found online at sls18.com/speakers.
FOCUS events have welcomed more than 53,000 attendees since the inaugural National Conference held in 1999, where 25 students came together to pray, deepen their Catholic faith and learn how to share Christ with others. Nearly 13,000 attendees came to the previous FOCUS national conference, SEEK2017, including students and chaplains from more than 500 campuses. Close to 300 priests concelebrated daily Mass, and priests heard more than 5,000 confessions over the course of the five-day event.
The event website includes a Sponsor a Student page to provide an opportunity to invest in the future of young adult Catholics. Tax-deductible donations help FOCUS missionaries to be successful with their invitations to students who may object due to budget restraints.
Sponsors include the Augustine Institute (Partner Sponsor), Benedictine College (Partner Sponsor), Catholic University of America (Official Sponsor) and the Liturgical Institute (Official Sponsor).
The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) was founded in 1998 and invites college students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church, inspiring and equipping them for a lifetime of Christ-centered evangelization, discipleship and friendships in which they lead others to do the same. During the 2017 – 2018 academic year, more than 660 missionaries are serving full-time on 137 college campuses, located across 38 U.S. states and at four international locations (two campuses in Austria, one in England and one in Ireland). More than 24,000 students have been involved with FOCUS, who after graduation have the opportunity to move into parish life to continue their missionary work. Within this number, 674 have made decisions to pursue Catholic religious vocations. By 2022, FOCUS expects — God willing — to have 75,000 students transitioned into many of America’s 17,000+ Catholic parishes. FOCUS missionaries are typically recent college graduates who devote two or more years of their post-collegiate lives to reach out to peers on campus. To learn more, visit us at www.focus.org.