SEEKing Jesus at FOCUS Conference

During the winter break, 60 Mount St. Mary’s University students traveled down to San Antonio, Texas for the bi-annual SEEK Conference that provides opportunities for college students from all across the country to grow in their faith and fellowship with their peers through bible studies and authentic friendships.

During the SEEK conference 13,000 college students from around the country and the world came together, discovered and dove deeper into their faith. Students spent the four days attending mass, listening to an incredible variety of speakers, enjoying downtown San Antonio, attending a live concert by The Oh Hellos, and growing together in faith and friendship.

“The whole conference itself was so awesome, just the sight of seeing 13,000 college students come together for things like mass, confession and adoration was unbelievable,” Michael Madura said.

Every day would start with morning mass, followed by a men’s and women’s talk complete with a battle of the sexes, which the ladies won! Students then had the opportunity to go to different talks by famous Catholic speakers like Fr. Mike Schmitz, Audrey Assad, Sarah Swafford, and many others. The topics of the talks ranged from the sacraments to the proof of God’s existence. Each talk provided an interesting take on a certain aspect of the faith and the Church, and engaged listeners to be more intentional and thoughtful in discovering and acting on their faith. On the third night of the conference after the keynote speaker for the evening finished, everyone gathered in the main area for Adoration.

“Thursday evening adoration was a spiritually moving experience. Never before have I witnessed and been a part of such a large number of people gathered to worship our Almighty God,” Joe Remaniak said.

The entire SEEK experience provided students with a new and deeper understanding of faith, guidance for the future, and the knowledge that no one is alone in their struggles.

“For me as a senior, SEEK was a great time to listen to several speakers to pray about and discern where God is calling me next. Not only that, several of my Mount friends were there and on that faith journey with me,” Lina Guerrero said.

Apart from all the fun activities included in the conference, students were able to explore the city of San Antonio. A few friends and I took one morning to go treat ourselves to a famous three-pound cinnamon roll (as seen on Buzzfeed) and it was delicious. Mount students were fortunate enough to stay in a hotel right on the famous river walk, filled with delicious restaurants and right across the way from the Alamo! San Antonio allowed for not only a great way for students to grow in their faith, but also their knowledge of US history.

In all, SEEK provided so much for the attendees, both from the Mount and those who traveled from all across the globe. It lit a fire in the hearts of those 13,000 students to live and grow with God by supporting each other and trusting in God’s unique plan for all of our lives.

“Before SEEK, I would’ve told you that I loved God. After SEEK, I still love God, know Him in Jesus, and I know that He loves me,” John O’Connor said.

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