FOCUS is the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. Through Bible studies, outreach events, mission trips and everyday accompaniment, FOCUS missionaries inspire and build up others in faith, sending them out to spread the good news and live out the Great Commission: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

The Catholic Center welcomed FOCUS missionaries in 2021! Meet our missionaries below!

Marisa Nieto

Marisa has been serving at UGA since fall of 2022.

About me

My life up until high school consisted of going to Catholic school and Church on Sundays, but I still felt like I was missing something important. I asked God to show me more of Himself because I was curious about how saints, priests, and sisters, could give their whole life to the God that I barely knew. He showed Himself to me as someone that wanted a personal relationship with me. And He wanted me to bring other people to Him to show them the joy and light that comes with knowing Him.

When I got to college, I wandered into daily Mass as a freshman and saw the FOCUS missionaries pray and worship throughout it. I saw they were fully convinced that this was their source of life and meaning. They were living out of what I had been seeking without realizing it, a true relationship with Jesus that doesn’t stop after Mass but is lived throughout every day. I wanted to follow Jesus the way they did, and knew I wanted to be able to lead other people to worship Christ as they led me.

The personal vision I have been given by God is to lead college-aged students to have a personal relationship with Christ. I hope for them to live in this relationship allowing it to transform their lives so they are willing to go out and teach and lead other people to know Christ too.

Rachel Casey

Rachel has been serving at UGA since fall of 2023.

About me

From a young age the Holy Spirit entered my heart but I felt alone in my pursuit of the faith. My desire to experience deep friendship led me to separate my faith from other areas of my life and look to fulfilling relationships outside the Lord.

At the end of my freshman year at the University of Texas at Austin, I was exhausted from juggling the expectations of others, the incessant pressure to achieve, and my attempts to architect an abundant life for myself. Underneath my performance and self-dependence, I feared rejection from others and how my life would change if I listened to the Holy Spirit stirring in my heart.

Through the ministry of FOCUS on campus, I was encouraged to center my life on daily prayer and the Sacraments. Jesus encountered me anew with His perfect love that casts out all fear (1 John 4:18) and grounded my heart in the Truth that He had never stopped pursuing and thirsting for me. I began to experience how the Lord delighted in me particularly and the freedom to be myself.

As a missionary, I desire for every person to live in the Truth that they are loved and known completely. The unconditional love of Jesus Christ defines our life and invites us to the heights of love through His grace.

Calista Beverly

Calista has been serving at UGA since fall of 2023. Calista is serving her first year as a missionary at UGA. Calista is from Louisiana.

About me

From a young age, I was immersed in the beauty of the Catholic faith. I attended Catholic school for a few years, was blessed with a good family, and given a solid faith foundation. For most of my life, I knew a lot about Christ, but I didn’t truly know him. So when I stepped onto campus as a little freshman at the University of Louisiana Lafayette, I didn’t know who I was, I had a deep thirst for more, and I wasn’t sure what to do with it.

I began to get involved with the Ragin’ Cajun Catholics at my Newman center on campus, and it was the start of a major transformation the Lord was working in my life. I began attending retreats, small groups, and—for the first time—had good Catholic friendships. Through prayer, formative community, and walking in discipleship with the FOCUS missionaries, the Lord gave—and is continuing to give—me a new heart.

I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36: 26

This past year, I’ve had the privilege of serving at retreats and on mission trips and walking with some incredible women in discipleship. The Lord is continuing to transform my heart through these encounters and has invited me to take part in his plan for at least the next two years as a FOCUS missionary!

Kelvin Gothman

Kelvin has been serving at UGA since fall of 2022. He and his wife, Kelly, have welcomed their daughter Mia into the world during their time in Athens.

About me

When I went off to college I thought I had it figured out. I believed to the depth of my being that if I had a romantic relationship and was well liked by the people around me, then I would be happy. With these two things on the altar of my heart, I found myself falling further and further away from Jesus. Eventually when I got what I wanted I found it to be not enough. I was filled with fear and hopelessness as I asked the question,”what, then, will make me happy?” This question lead me to dive into my faith like never before with the help of a few friends God put in my path. What I found transformed my life. I found that Jesus was better than anything I could dream of. I didn’t know that life could be so rich with love and meaning. My heart began to break for the men in my life who were as lost as I was. I committed my life to sharing what I had found and this lead me to serve as a missionary with FOCUS!

Benjamin DeLaughter

Benjamin started at UGA in January of 2024 just in time to ring in the new year with all of the students.

About me

In December, I went to the Holy Land and Seek (Focus’s National Conference) in a 20-day period.  In both places, I had an encounter with the Lord and realized His genuine love for me.  After realizing His love and what it means to be a Son of the Father, all I’ve wanted to do is spread the joy and love he showed me to others! I hope to make a difference in as many lives as I can through the Holy Spirit!