‘Follow Christ and Mother Mary’: Here’s Everything You Missed at Seek22

Fellowship of Catholic University Students-sponsored talks included reminders of who we are and whose we are.

Prayer, including adoration, anchored the Feb. 4-6 event that included live and remote talks by such speakers as Father Josh Johnson, Father Mike Schmitz, Sister of Life Bethany Madonna and Sister Miriam James of SOLT.
Prayer, including adoration, anchored the Feb. 4-6 event that included live and remote talks by such speakers as Father Josh Johnson, Father Mike Schmitz, Sister of Life Bethany Madonna and Sister Miriam James of SOLT. (photo: Courtesy of FOCUS; Instagram.com/FocusCatholic)

Did you catch some of the Seek22 talks this weekend?

There were lovely reminders of who we are and whose we are.


Father Josh Johnson

Father Josh Johnson reminded listeners, “The Father looks at us … and says, ‘You are my beloved,’” adding that the love of the Father motivated Jesus in all things. 

Father Johnson asked the audience, “Do we allow the love of God … to dictate all of the choices we make in our walk toward eternity? 


Sister of Life Bethany Madonna

Sister Bethany Madonna of the Sisters of Life spoke about Mother Mary, saying, “She is our model, our guide, our refuge. She is woman.” She discussed how everything Our Lady stands for is the opposite of toxic femininity and how the fruits of the Spirit illustrate what true womanhood is.

“We are beloved daughters. The time has come for a radical restoration of innocence through Mary, our mother,” Sister Bethany also told women in the audience. “Our presence … attentiveness is a real gift.”

She encouraged, “Let’s usher in a new era of authentic Catholic femininity, in all of its beauty …. and influence.”

“Help us, Blessed Mother, to imitate your love and your virtue,” she prayed.

In a concluding remark, she underscored: “Mary shares the secret of her life: ‘Do whatever he tells you.’”


Edward Sri

Theologian Edward Sri reminded the audience, “Virtue gives us the freedom to love.” 

As he encouraged listeners to stand up for the truth in society, he underlined:

“We need to stand with Jesus, who is the truth,” he encouraged.

“We want to love people and bring them to Jesus,” he said. “We need to stand with Jesus and be there with the truth.”


Sister Miriam James Heidland

Sister Miriam James, of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, spoke of Jesus Christ, who is the Light in the darkness, and proceeded to quote from a 2015 homily from Pope Francis for the feast of the Presentation:

“We can picture Mother Mary as she walks, carrying the Baby Jesus in her arms. She brings him to the Temple; she presents him to the people; she brings him to meet his people. The arms of Mother Mary are like the ‘ladder’ on which the Son of God comes down to us. … In our heart we can contemplate this double movement by imagining the Gospel scene of Mary, who enters the Temple holding the Child in her arms. The Mother walks, yet it is the Child who goes before her. She carries him, yet he is leading her along the path of the God who comes to us so that we might go to him. Jesus walked the same path as we do and shows us the new way, the ‘new and living way’ (Hebrews 10:20), which is he himself.”

She went on to discuss how Jesus is always ready to show us the way, to welcome us home, and how we must perceive the “gentle movements of our hearts … to receive Jesus and be received by him.”

“He invites us,” she emphasized.

Father Mike Schmitz

Father Mike Schmitz began by quoting John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.

“Realize: Here’s all that God has done for me,” he said.

He urged listeners to consider: “I don’t want what Jesus did to go to waste in me. I want it to make a difference in my life.”

“Jesus is who he says he is,” The Bible in a Year podcasting priest added, explaining that the next step involves considering: “Is what Jesus did going to stop with me?”

Jesus gives us the grace we need to share the Good News, he said.

He underscored how Christians aren’t just supposed to help people — our mission is more than helping people: “Our call is to save lives.”

“Tell people about Jesus,” he said. “People are worth saving … even if they reject us.”

He added: “If you’re a Christian, that’s your job: to save people.”


Lila Rose 

Lila Rose of the Live Action pro-life organization began by saying, “Encouraging young people in the faith is so important.”

She spoke of how our concern for the most vulnerable — including children in the womb — stems from Christ himself: “Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’” (Matthew 19:14).

Rose went on to explain, how, amid a pagan world, “The early Christians were passionately pro-life.”

And she connected the pro-life mission to Christ himself:

“Jesus himself came into the world as a child in the womb — he came as an embryo — to show the humanity and sacredness of every single life. Our Catholic faith gives us a strong command to go out to spread the message of the sanctity of life — the gift and the beauty of life and to fight for the vulnerable.”

More Information:

Watch highlights via YouTube: SEEK22 Day 1 and SEEK22 Day 2.

Also learn more about the FOCUS Lenten Bible study with Curtis Martin and Edward Sri.