Summer 2007 Newsletter

Summer 2007 Newsletter

Trivia: friend of Adam Sandler, REAP seeking volunteers, teeth cleaning game online, kickin' vocation videos galore, why it's funny to be Catholic, popular blogs and questions, pornography exposed, and…
SNEAK PREVIEW of Paul's book, Stirring It Up!
and much more, of course.

REAP Team Newsletter
Read It and REAP!

GIVEAWAY #21 – Name this man who journeyed from MTV, Sandler and Romano to the Priesthood…

There's a priest out there who publishes a sweet website for young Catholics called "Busted Halo." He started his adult years by working for MTV. He became good friends with and a promoter of Adam Sandler, before Mr. Sandler was a "big hit". Sandler would ask this now-priest to sit in the audience and laugh when he was first doing comedy on SNL because this guy has such a great laugh and it was contagious. This man also worked with comedians like Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld and David Spade when they were first trying to get into the comedy business. God eventually led him to becoming a priest, although he always lived his faith, even through college and in his friendships with these famous comedians. Be the first to email paul@reapteam.org with the correct name of this priest and you'll win a copy of the book, Dateable: Are you? Are they? (a new REAP favorite).

News from our last giveaway!!! AND THE WINNERS ARE…
Congratulations to Tammi from St. Ann who was the first to respond that Bono from U2 was the "world's biggest rock star" who both believes that Jesus is the Son of God and has been faithful to his wife of 25 years. To read the entire article "God, Sex & Bono", visit Christopher West's website. Another great article: Bono: Grace over Karma. Tammi received a Penn Station gift certificate.


Seeking New Volunteers – If you're interested in joining REAP as a volunteer, check out the application and don't forget the NEW July 24th deadline which is a slight extension from the previously published July 20th deadline.  This give an extra weekend to all procrastinators who need a little more time to complete our application materials.

REAP Benefit Concert 2007 – REAP Team has booked Karl Zimmerman has the headliner for this year's upcoming REAP Benefit Concert. Opening for Karl will be the Chris Shepherd's Band. This enormously popular event among St. Louis area Catholic teens and adults will take place at the DeSmet High School Auditorium on Saturday night, December 15, 2007. Mark your calendar NOW!

Romantic Revolution Moved Up – Back by popular demand, the Romantic Revolution for 7th & 8th grade girls, as well as moms, has been moved from February 9, 2008 to November 3, 2007. To find out what teens and moms had to say about the first ever RR, check out the feedback.

Stirring It Up (Paul's book) Sneak Preview

As many of you may or may not know, REAP's very own Paul Masek has finished writing the long-anticipated book, "Stirring It Up!" He's currently just waiting for a few finishing touches to be done and then he will be publishing. It should be released very soon! For a sneak preview, check out the chapter called…

"An Indian Named Tonto" which offers some great insight into how spiritual accountability can enhance your life.

Also, in the book, Paul mentions a wonderful resource – an examination of conscience. We posted it on the web so everyone can benefit from this great practice every night and especially just before receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Check it out!


For mindless fun, test your teeth-cleaning skills. Can you brush away all the germs? Try your luck on the Smilestones Teeth Cleaning Game

Pro-Life Ponderings

Don't miss the movie "Bella"! This Toronto Film Festival award winner stars a gorgeous former Mexican soap opera star and beautifully shows the hope and freedom in considering life over abortion. Since the movie celebrates life so profoundly, few Hollywood promotional companies will even consider this movie. So, look for it in small theatres and ask for it when you can. Here's a great article on the movie.

Robert George, Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, wrote a powerful article on Embryonic Stem Cell research.

"A friend once told me that God wanted him to smoke weed. ‘God created it for that purpose. He wants me to smoke it because it makes me happy.' With total love I said, ‘You're listening to the WRONG burning bush, bro'."
-Mark Hart, The Bible Geek, http://www.lifeteen.com/

Coming Soon…

Life Teen and the Edge Program begins in the North County! The Parishes of St. Norbert, St. Sabina and St. Angela Merici are starting the Edge and Life Teen Youth Program. The program will officially begin in the fall. For the summer months, there will be Youth Masses on the Second and Fourth Sunday of the month at 7p.m. at St. Norbert Church in Florissant, Mo. They will also be having teen social events throughout the summer. The Edge program is for Junior High Students ages 6th grade through 8th grade. The Life Teen Program is for all high school students. All youth are invited throughout the Archdiocese. For more information, please contact Deacon Bill Twellman at 314-831-3874 or at stndeaconbill@charterinternet.com

Ignite 2007 Catholic Youth Conference, July 26-29! Given by Project of Catholics United for Life in Kentucky, the mission of Ignite Your Torch is to ignite the faith of high school age Catholic youth so that they may live completely for Christ and together conquer the world for Christ. Eucharistically-centered, devoted to Our Blessed Mother and catechetical in nature, this conference aims to build up the culture of life, foster vocations, and provide fellowship among Catholic youth. For more information, call (800) 764 8444 or email cul@igniteyourtorch.org 

Seeking Teenage Models:
Pure Fashion is a faith-based program that encourages teen girls to live, act, and dress in accordance with their dignity as children of God. Pure Fashion focuses on guiding young women ages 14 to 18 to become confident, competent leaders who live the virtues of modesty and purity in their schools and communities. The eight month Model Training Program covers: public speaking, manners and social graces, hair and makeup artistry, personal presentation and much more. The Pure Fashion program culminates in a city-wide fashion show (April 18, 2008) featuring clothing that is pretty but not provocative, trendy but still tasteful. St. Louis area applications for models, age 14-18, will be accepted during the month of August 2007. The application is online at http://www.purefashion.com/. Click on the link for St. Louis, and follow the instructions under "Become a Model." Models will be notified in early September, and monthly formation activities will begin in September. stlouis@purefashion.com

Holy Cow, indeed! The CrossRoads Catholic Music Festival turns FIVE this year. Can you believe it? September 28, 29 and 30. At only $35 a person for the entire weekend, including camping and meals, it's still the best deal going! The official announcement of this year's bands coming soon. You can always check out what's new and get more info at http://www.crossroadsfestival.com/.

BLOG Babblings

Paul's recent ramblings: The Best Advice I Can Possibly Give, 420, Why I Think Uranus is Important, Responding to Social Suicide

Heather's recent ramblings: Porn and a Sword Exposed, American "Idol Gives Back" Funds Abortions, Save a Horse?

And now…introducing: Gretchen's first rambling: The Full Impact

Most popular blogs: Paul's "Squirt, Squirt"; Heather's "I'm in Love" (and it's actually not at all about Michael)

The View on Vocations
More Videos than EVER! Check it out…

Nuns on MTV? YEP! Watch the video, "Young Nuns Getting Into The Habit". Sisters of Life is an incredible, young community in NYC (Heather visited there while discerning) highlighted on the one and only MTV!

Fishers of Men – The awesome short video for young Catholic men at all open to God's call is finally easily accessible online in two parts:
Fishers of Men Part One on YouTube
Fishers of Men Part Two on YouTube

Ask the Nuns! Part I – The Daughters of St. Paul answer questions in this video interview that many teens often ask about religious life.

Young Nun Takes Her Vows – Marjorie Bax of Manchester, MO, formerly was involved in a Catholic youth group at St. Joseph's Church. Now, she is taking her first vows in religious life. Out of the ordinary for their community, the Dominican Monastery of the Heart of Jesus in Louisiana allowed a local news station to film this beautiful ceremony.

Sister M. Beata of the Franciscan Sisters of the Martry St. George has an email list through which she periodically sends out inspirational tidbits to those who might be considering a vocation to the religious life. To be added to this list, contact Sr. Beata directly at vocations@altonfranciscans.org


How did Pope Benedict and our friends at the Vatican hear about Heather's struggles with road rage? Well, apparently they did, as the Vatican has issued a statement on The Ten Commandments for Drivers

"Obviously, sex can have a dark side. When I finally got a computer, I discovered this limitless world of pornography. And I recognized the feeling that I was having was like the feeling that I used to get when I'd score drugs. I actually had to make a commitment to myself to stop." – Red Hot Chili Pepper's Anthony Kiedis, Blender, March 2007, pg. 86

Behind the Scenes…Porn

Former porn star, Shelley Lubben, talks openly and honestly about the horror of being a porn start on her website and especially in her articles. Knowing exactly what happens to women in the porn industry is extremely shocking and enlightening. You may never guess what she has to say.

Heather's recent blog, "Porn and a Sword Exposed", highlights some of the many secrets of pornography.

Some teenagers are getting sick of the damage of porn and has started the website Teens Against Pornography.

To be free from pornography, use X3 Watch accountability software on your computer – free program at XXXChurch.com

Prayer over a new computer by Bishop Finn (from his pastoral letter on pornography)
Loving God and Father, source of all good and knowledge, we praise you for your loving kindness shown to us through your Son Jesus Christ who became flesh and dwelt among us and through your Holy Spirit poured forth into our hearts. Grant that this new computer may be used in service to you and all truth. May it be an instrument that serves to lift up and not to tear down. May pornography, hatred or any other such evil never appear on this screen. May I and all who use this computer do so with purity of heart and free from all evil. May my work on this computer serve to glorify your name and build up your Kingdom. Lead us through this life to share in the perfect love and joy you share with Jesus Christ your Son our Lord and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

"Pornography addicts have a more difficult time recovering from their addiction than cocaine addicts, since coke users can get the drug out of their system, but pornographic images stay in the brain forever." – Mary Anne Layden, co-director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program, stated before a US Senate Committee. The full article

For Parents/Teachers/Adults

Parent Network of Catholic High Schools – There are 20 area Catholic high schools that are members of our organization. However, parents from around St. Louis are welcome to attend the presentations provided (only three each year) to help parents raise good Catholics.
1) "Internet Safety – What Every Parent Needs to Know," Lt. Joe Laramie, Director of the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Thursday, October 4, 2007, 7:00 PM, St. Joseph's Academy
2) "You're a Better Parent Than You Think," Dr. Ray Guarendi, clinical psychologist, father of ten, noted radio personality, Thursday, February 7, 2008, 7:00 PM, CBC.
3) "Teen Sexuality, Sexually Transmitted Infections, and the Importance of Chastity," Dr. Bob Bergamini, pediatric oncologist and Heather Gallagher Vento, co-author of A Case for Chastity, Tuesday, March 4, 7:00 PM, Vianney High School.
For information, contact Michele Forshaw at michele@forshaws.com or 314-993-9194

Helping Your Kids Steer Clear from Porn
The Porn Talk is a new website devoted to helping parents keep their children free from porn. Here's an article about The Porn Talk, an interview with the founder and parent, Mike Foster. They even have a newsletter you can subscribe to, with great tips for parents on how to talk to teens about this topic. Check out the Panic Button, which includes tips on what to do if for the following scenarios…you find porn sites on your kid's computer history; you and your spouse don't see eye to eye on the issue of pornography; your kids found your porn stash, etc.

Seeking Pillars of Prayer for the Youth of St. Louis
We are inviting you to join St. Joseph in intercession for us here at the Catholic Youth Apostolate – Scouts, Sports and Youth Ministry! Will you consider making a commitment to pray for us, young people, and those who serve them in the Archdiocese? If so, check out more details on the OYM Website: Pillars of Prayer.

The Year of Paul (not Paul MASEK, Paul the Apostle, SAINT Paul!!!)
Pope Benedict XVI has declared June 2008-June 2009 the year of St. Paul in celebration of the 2,000th anniversary of the saint's birth. Read this article for more details. 

Recent and Popular Questions from Teens

Dear Paul,
Is it a sin to listen to music with bad lyrics?
Paul answers: As far listening to such music being a sin, let's start by defining sin. While there are many ways to define sin, I want to share with you a couple definitions that can offer some guidance in answering your question…

Other questions Paul has recently answered:
I'm dating a weird guy – what should I do? 
Can I change my Confirmation name?

Dear Heather,
We're in love – Why not go further? My girlfriend and I have gotten very close physically lately and it's really great. We're in love in a deeper way than I've ever been with other girls. I don't understand why people or God think this is wrong – for us to go further physically. The chastity message isn't making sense to me right now.

Dear Carolyn,
I've been sexually abused – what should I do? Carolyn answers: Let me begin by first expressing my sorrow for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of this abuse. It is a very painful experience and often hard to explain to someone who has not been abused. I also want to tell you how awesome it is that you are reaching out for help and guidance in dealing with your abuse! I too was sexually abused by two different men in my childhood…

Most Popular Questions from Teens…
How can I stop thinking about my ex?
Freak dancing is okay, right?
How do I know if he likes me?

REAP Staff's Current Top Choices…
Don't drugs broaden your horizons?
Sex is a natural desire, right?

DEEP THOUGHTS…(because life it's funny to be Catholic at times)

You know you're a hardcore Catholic if…
(Name of the authors written behind specific points attributed to him or her)

-You've accidentally genuflected at a place other than church ex. the movie theatre, school auditorium.

-You have a nativity set at your house during Christmas, and have also played with it.

-You have 20+ cousins.

-When you hear the word Madonna, you think of the Blessed Virgin, not the song "Like a Virgin." (CA McCauley)

-You and friend friends ever played "Mass" instead of House, or Cops and Bad Guys. (Jamie Klemmer)

-When watching star wars and hear "may the force be with you" you respond with "and also with you". (Josh Donohue)

-You know at least five people named Mary.

-You have at one point had to stop a younger sibling from playing in the holy water font. (Devin K.T. McIntyre)

-You know that Father Stan could take on Eminem any day.

-Instead of change, you find a rosary under your couch cushions. (Casey Karbowski)

-You have participated in sword fights using Palms on Passion Sunday. (Jim Benedick)

"With prayer we ask God that a reflection of eternity penetrate our brief life and our actions. With the presence of divine grace in us, a light will shine on the passing of the days, misery will be turned into glory, that which seems deprived of sense will acquire meaning." – Pope John Paul II

Cool Websites…

New studies show an increase in cases of throat cancer from HPV, a sexually transmitted disease. This means, yes, oral sex is killing people.

Lifeteen launched a BRAND NEW VIDEO SECTION on YOUTUBE. It's amazing and includes tons of videos, such as Keeping the High (after retreats), the Blasphemy Challenge (the "unforgiveable sin"), Overcoming Insecurities, Are You Ready to Date? and much more.

Local Musicians
Matthew Baute
released his new CD "Hold Me, Lord In addition to quiet prayer songs and classic favorites, you'll also find several upbeat, joyful tunes. Visit his music page to listen to audio samples and read the lyrics.
Sally Bolderson, musician at Holy Trinity in St. Ann, the home of the REAP Team, also has a website of her own.

To be removed from this e-mail list at any time, simply send a message to paul@reapteam.org with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line, and your e-mail address in the body of the note.

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