By Troy Lirette
Special to The Texas Catholic
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Thousands of young Catholics filled the seats of The Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis, Mo., after spending their New Year’s Day traveling to SEEK24. Held Jan. 1-5, SEEK is a five-day Catholic conference hosted by FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) for college students and young adults to encounter Jesus Christ and draw deeper into relationship with Him and His Church.
A contingent of SEEK attendees this year were invited to attend the conference by FOCUS missionaries in the Diocese of Dallas. FOCUS missionaries encounter people in friendship, invite them into a personal relationship with Christ, and accompany them as they pursue lives of virtue and excellence. These missionaries exist on three university campuses in our diocese: Southern Methodist University, University of Dallas, and The University of Texas at Dallas.
“It has been incredible hearing Catholic speakers from all over the world,” said Michael Vu, FOCUS missionary and team director at the University of Dallas. “And being able to hear about their beautiful conviction and relationship with God and have our lives transformed by that is such a great gift.”
SEEK24’s attendees heard presentations from Father Mike Schmitz, Emily Wilson, Chris Stefanick, Sister Mary Grace, SV, and many other speakers. The most impactful moment of the conference, however, came on Jan. 3 as an estimated 23,000 people participated in eucharistic adoration, with more than 4,000 confessions heard.
“In confession, Jesus will heal you. In adoration, Jesus will hold you,” Father Schmitz said as he prepared the faithful for the sacraments.
Bishop Edward J. Burns of the Diocese of Dallas also attended SEEK24. While at the conference, Bishop Burns had the opportunity to concelebrate Mass on Jan. 4 with his brother bishops and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York, in addition to spending time with college students and parishioners from the diocese.
Leaving the conference, all were encouraged to live out the theme of the week, “Be the Light,” by being the presence of Christ at their parishes, on their college campuses, and in their communities.
As the conference wrapped up, FOCUS announced SEEK25 will be held Jan. 1-5, 2025, in Salt Lake City, Utah.