Young adults from the Diocese of Superior, many of them attending college in other regions, gathered in Indianapolis Jan. 3-7 for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students’ SEEK 2019 conference. A campus ministry, FOCUS is in campuses across the country; students can train to be missionaries to their peers. Speakers included Dr. Scott Hahn, Fr. Mike Schmitz, Chris Stefanick and other well-known Catholic evangelists. (Submitted photos)

Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald Staff

Over 17,000 people, including 12,000 college students, descended upon Indianapolis from Jan. 3-7 for the 2019 SEEK Conference. The bi-annual event is sponsored and organized by FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students) with the main goal of offering college students an opportunity to deeper their relationship with God and learn more about their faith.

Approximately 35 Diocese of Superior natives attended; most of them students at universities outside of the Superior Diocese in Wisconsin, Minnesota and neighboring states. Some of those attending were recent graduates as well as seminarian Isaiah Schick and Capuchin Friar Nathan Linton.

Schick commented, “To be to worship in a crowd of more than 17,000 people from my generation with is so commonly seen as ‘lost’… Wow! A humbling and moving experience.”

The conference offered talks by world-renowned speakers and workshops on topics such as prayer in the 21st century, understanding the Mass and Sacraments, navigating friendship and relationships, vocations and discernment. Specific tracks were also offered for lay ministers, adults and consecrated persons in attendance.

Bryn Rademaker of Rice Lake, a senior at Winona State University, was attending her fourth FOCUS conference and knew to expect the busyness and hustle of trying to hear each talk, “while being surrounded by thousands of other thirsting college students.”

She said, “The Lord knows my heart and totally blew away any expectations I had.

“Although every talk spoke to my heart in a powerful way thought the message of utter trust in Christ’s love and mercy, I found myself itching to go and silently pray in the perpetual adoration chapel that was available to us… I so badly wanted to process and reflect on the graces God was showering me with.”

Her greatest takeaway, “a new peace in my soul. The time I spent sacrificing social time to be with Our Lord in silence reminded me of the great power and need for silent meditative prayer in our diocese.”

Rademaker also shared that the time of fellowship with others from the Diocese of Superior was a “special treat.” She believes making and maintaining those connections “will continue to exponentially grow throughout our diocesan youth.”