How one couple reclaimed their faith and found FOCUS
David and Laetitia (Tish) Offutt have supported FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, since its founding in 1998. As David describes, "I liked the idea of getting to the youth of our country, and Curtis Martin, founder and CEO of FOCUS, was doing so in the right way." He adds, "The most important area in evangelism is the youth."
Indeed, David and Tish each experienced the loss of faith in their young adult years, despite being raised by strong Catholic families. Their conversion back to Catholicism came through an unexpected trial. In the late '80s, David and Tish faced a devastating financial loss in their family business and were on the verge of bankruptcy. A friend invited them to dinner—a treat they could not afford at the time—and there they received an invitation to a service at an evangelical church. They attended and sat in the back pew, hoping to make a quick escape at the end. During the service that morning, however, they both felt inspired to recommit themselves to the Lord.
The couple frequently met with small groups from that church to study the Scriptures. An avid learner at heart, David began to dig deep into Church history. It was in that search that he discovered the true beauty of the Eucharist and the traditions of Catholicism. As he describes, "The Eucharist is such a simple yet historical teaching. It is the most fantastic thing any person could ever participate in. You, a human person, are receiving God."
A Gift for Our Mission
David and Tish soon joined their local Catholic church and were active members. They started hosting an apologetics group called Cookies and Catholicism, where David shared what he had learned in his journey back to the faith. "I attribute leaving the Church to a lack of understanding of the depth of Catholicism and the importance of your faith," he says.
David and Tish hope that organizations like FOCUS can continue to spread the rich tradition of the Catholic Church. "College students," Tish notes, "are especially vulnerable. They are at an age that so many young Catholics—just as we did—lose touch."
To combat loss of faith on college campuses, David and Tish wanted to continue their support of FOCUS for many years to come. This past spring, they decided to make a gift in their estate irrevocable, ensuring its permanency to help fund a cause they care deeply about.
As David jokingly notes, they didn't join the Lisieux Legacy Society to get a silver watch, a gift that all Lisieux Legacy Society members receive. Rather, they believed in the mission of FOCUS and wanted to see it last.
What Can You Do?
Many college students fall away from faith during their college years, so FOCUS reaches out to bring them closer to Christ and the Church. Your generosity ensures our work continues. Contact Phil Purcell, J.D. at 765-730-4321 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about giving options.