Parish Presentation – July 11 & 12, 2015

Brenna O’Hara

Thank you so much for this opportunity, Father Glenn! As Father said, my name is Brenna O’Hara and I am the daughter of Deacon Jim and Bella O’Hara. I have been raised here in Los Alamos, I was a part of our youth ministry as teen but also as a core leader, and it was such a great adventure with our young people. In the spring of 2014, I graduated from the University of New Mexico and since then I had been looking for “the next chapter” of my life whether that was law school, graduate school, or something else.

This past November I made the decision to postpone my drive for law school and do something radical for Jesus; so, I became a missionary with an organization called FOCUS – Fellowship of Catholic University Students.

For the past 5 weeks, I have been in Ave Maria, Florida training to be the best missionary that, God willing, I may be. Training was intense, beautiful, exhausting, and beyond anything that I have ever done. My world was rocked everyday. The staff that was teaching us was beyond incredible; the other missionaries were inspiring to me, and our mission as Catholics truly came to life! Everyday I was asked to step out of my own comfort zone and do something profound for Jesus Christ. Looking back now I was okay with all of it because what I slowly learned was, it isn’t about me, it is about Jesus and bringing His sons and daughters to Him.

As a FOCUS missionary we walk with college students, first, by creating true and virtuous friendships that are centered on Christ and His Church. Then we BUILD up our students through prayer, Bible Studies, and one-on-one mentorship while maintaining that true and virtuous friendship. Finally, after they have accepted the Church as truth, we SEND them out to live a lifelong Catholic mission in their parishes, families, and even their jobs. Our focus is college students because they are the next foot soldiers of the Church.

There is a great urgency on our campuses today. As our young Catholics leave home, they will be entering a hostile environment towards our faith. I have lived through this battle and I know how hard it is to come back from the darkness and loneliness of our secular world. Thankfully, FOCUS is addressing this difficult challenge and strengthening our young people to go out and become real disciples for Christ and His Church.

As a Catholic family we are all called to same mission, which is to go out and make disciples of all nations, as it says in the Gospel of Matthew. I have been assigned by FOCUS to The University of Louisiana at Lafayette; I want to invite each of you to join me in this mission through your encouragement, monthly monetary gifts, and prayers. I’ll be in the back of the church if you would like to come talk, if you have any questions, or if you want to learn more about this mission. As Mother Teresa once said, “Some give by going and others go by giving.” So, come with me on this mission and together, lets set the world on fire. Thank you.