FOCUS Leadership Conference 2020 - Phoenix AZ

By Sister Therese Maria Touma, MSCL

Sr. Therese Maria along with a few  Maronites attended the SLS20 Leadership Conference in Phoenix Arizona, December 30 to January 3. There were more than 8,500 Catholics from across the world present at this conference hosted by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, (FOCUS). The SLS20 conference which brings out amazing speakers to talk on discipleship, mission and evangelization is geared to college students, FOCUS missionaries and catholic leaders from parishes. Training and small group sessions are provided throughout the conference to impart tools and formation in discipleship and accompaniment. 

Our Maronite group participated in the Making Missionary Disciples track. As I reflect over my notes my ten biggest take aways are: 
  • Getting the fire and zeal to share the faith for the salvation of souls and the glory of God. 
  • The importance of cultivating a daily relationship with God in prayer and in frequenting the sacraments. 
  • Knowing your core identity as a beloved son and daughter of God and sharing your testimony with others. 
  • We are all made for mission. To give of oneself like Jesus without holding anything back. 
  • The importance of caring for others and intercessory prayer, and being present to the moment in discipleship. 
  • Developing good and virtuous friendships that help one to live out their faith. 
  • Not being afraid to go out and share Jesus‘s hope and mercy by getting involved in people’s lives in order to earn their trust.
  • Praying in small groups the Scriptures and allowing the Word of God to transform and inspire your journey of faith. 
  • In sharing the Gospel we need two vital convictions:
    • The Gospel is my story and part of my life. 
    • The Gospel is everyone’s story. We are made for life-giving relationship with the Trinity. We break that relationship in sin. Jesus comes to restore us through his life, death and resurrection, and invites us into a relationship with Him. He wants each one of us to participate in sharing this good news. 
  • Being spirit-filled evangelizers in sharing Jesus and not ourselves... this is our mission! 

We were so blessed to have participated in this awesome FOCUS conference. Next year’s SEEK conference will be from December 30- January 3 in St. Louis MO. For those who are interested you can see some of the live talks from this past conference at this link: https://sls20.org/
I pray that more of our Maronite Young adults and leaders from our parishes can experience this week of transformation and training.