To join FOCUS at U.W. Platteville

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Jaderial Staebler of Guttenberg will join FOCUS at the UW-Platteville campus this fall as a missionary. (Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

In 1998, Curtis Martin founded the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) at Benedictine College, a Catholic liberal arts institution located in Atchison, Kan., after recognizing the significant impact the college years have on a young person's future. 

Martin would later share his vision for FOCUS: a chance for every student to know and feel known, loved and cared for by Jesus Christ, with Pope St. John Paul II. 

Since that time the organization has grown from two missionaries on one campus to more than 860 missionaries serving full-time at 216 locations, which include 193 college campuses, eight international campuses, ten Digital Outreach campuses, and 23 parishes. 

Jaderial Staebler

Former Clayton Ridge student/athlete, and Wartburg College graduate Jaderial Staebler recently answered the call to join FOCUS as a missionary. "God has given me a vision to help reach the college population," Staebler told The Press. "He wants me to reach student athletes who believe their identity comes from their sport."

Staebler's faith foundation began at St. Mary's Immaculate Conception School in Guttenberg and was carried out at home. "We were encouraged to have a relationship with Jesus and follow the Catholic faith," she noted. 

Life changing event

Staebler's own identity was shaken following the cancelation of the Indoor National Track and Field Meet 24-hours prior to competing during the Covid-19 pandemic. "In college I turned to worldly things to fulfill me such as athletics, organizations at Wartburg College, and academics," she pointed out. "When the goal I was striving for my whole collegiate career was canceled, I realized that worldly things are temporary and only Jesus can fulfill and last forever."

Staebler continued practicing her faith as a young adult and is excited to join the FOCUS team at UW-Platteville in Platteville, Wis. "So many college students are lured by outside influences and leave the church," she shared. 

Nearly 80% of those who were raised Catholic but are now unaffiliated with any religion left the faith by the age of 23. "I want to be a friend to individuals that are struggling with their true purpose and self-worth — the kind of person I could have used when I was experiencing challenges at that point in my life," she said.  

College students who seek meaning and purpose at this critical point in their lives can reach out to FOCUS missionaries who will bring them the light of truth, and lead them on the path to a strong adult faith.

Staebler's fully-fundraised position creates an opportunity for others to join her on her mission through monthly financial support. "I am excited to be a friend to students and walk with them in faith and lead them to Jesus who is the ultimate friend and problem solver," she concluded with a smile.  

For additional information contact Jaderial at 563-880-9553 or

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