Student’s Kansas City Star Letter Shows Power of 25 Year Benedictine-Focus Connection

Curtis Martin and Ted Sri launched Focus 25 years ago in February with 24 students at a conference at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

A quarter-century later, Quinn McCullough, a Sophomore at Benedictine College from Kansas City, Mo., was featured on the Letters page of the Kansas City Star with a testimonial about the SEEK 23 conference that Benedictine College sponsored in St. Louis.

“Seek was truly beautiful,” he said, and then shared a very personal experience from the trip.

“Before I went to Seek, I had doubts and felt like I had completely lost my faith in God,” McCullough revealed. “Now I know he does exist and we are his greatest creation. He died for us on the cross because he loves us. Thanks to everyone who told me about SEEK. It’s life changing.”

That’s quite a powerful message for a letter to the editor in a secular newspaper. Quinn said he felt drawn to share his experience, though.

“The reason why I wrote that story in the paper is because I wanted to bring a message of hope to people that God does exist and how trusting and having faith in God through prayer and understanding can bring people much needed peace and unity in the often divided world/country we live in now a days,” he said.

“The SEEK Conference really changed my life in terms of increasing my faith in God and growing as a Catholic and I wanted to bring that positive message to others who need something like that,” he said.

He said he was surprised that a secular paper published the letter, but grateful to God.

Edward Sri, one of the founders of Focus, remembered the original conference when he came to campus to visit his daughter.

Attendees included Benedictine College’s Dean of Students, Dr. Joseph Wurtz, who was one of the organization’s original missionaries, along with his wife Megan.

Wurtz fondly remembered the early days. “We were surrounded by peers who wanted to be radically generous with their lives, and we all possessed a common vision: sharing the gospel of Christ Jesus and His Church to college students and the world,” he said. The couple still hosts dinners for Focus missionaries, mentor couples, fund support teams, and serve the Benedictine College community.

The college is still a big presence at Focus, too.

“Benedictine had the most students from any college that went to SEEK which was cool to see,” McCullough posted on social media. “SEEK has been one of the most beautiful, eye-opening things I I’ve ever been too. … It’s changed my life.”

McCullough’s parting message? “Jesus loves you, you are his greatest creation — every single person male or female,” he said. “God loves you.”