Recent Blog Posts

The most recent blog posts from OYM Bloggers.

The Young Church – Alive and Well!

Paul Masek's picture

Not too long ago, I spent an evening watching The Shawshank Redemption, a movie that I’ve seen at least once every year for as long as I can remember. What I love most about that movie is the focus on hope. As Andy so eloquently wrote to Red in the letter he left for him under the oak tree, “Hope is a good thing; Maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.”

As a youth minister here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, where I am the coordinator of the REAP Team, I am full of hope for the young church. Not only as a father to four awesome teenagers, but in the retreat work I do, it’s my daily privilege to see teenagers at their best – laughing, having fun, sharing faith, being respectful, and praying. Read more »

A Lot Can Change in a Year

Gretchen Pacheco's picture

This past year has been both the most challenging and amazing of my life (so far ;)  Mimi has been an incredible blessing and our family overflows with joy.  While we’ve made lots of memories here, something has been missing.  So after nearly 10 years in St. Louis, 7 working for the REAP Team, we have decided to move to southern Arizona to be near our family.  We are planning to leave at the end of July, although we don’t have an exact date yet. Read more »

It's So Messy!

Paul Masek's picture


Life, in general, is messy.

I’ll readily confess to you that my life is a mess.  And I suspect yours is, too. Now, I'm not going to give you all of the details of the messiness of my life, and I don't need to know yours either. After all, there are some things that are best shared with only our closest friends and family members and don't need to be published in blogs, tweets, and status updates (no, my friend, all of the Internet doesn’t need to see a close-up photo of the tonsils you are having removed later today, but thanks anyway??).

Since much of life can be quite messy, why should we be surprised when ministry gets messy, too? When bunches of messy people get together anywhere – including parishes and in youth ministry programs - things can get messy real quick. Read more »

Happy Easter!

Rachel Allen's picture


That’s right, I said it: Happy Easter! Weird title for a blog post in May? Maybe, if you’re not Catholic. But I am… so, Happy Easter!

I’m sure that by now your stash of Easter candy is long gone – and if it’s not… keep those Peeps far, far, far away from me. They’re probably so stale that they could be used as weapons in an emergency situation. And yes, Easter Sunday was over a month ago, so for most of the world, Easter is a distant memory. They’re ready for the next holiday. There are surely some retailers already plotting for next Christmas.

But for us – Easter is still in full swing. It seems hard to believe, but today is Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter in the liturgical year. That means that we’ve still got some time left to celebrate, to feast, to bask in the joy of the Resurrection before we officially move into Ordinary Time after Pentecost at the end of the month. Read more »

For Women Only!

Kathleen McGovern's picture

Sweat is pouring down your face, you’re grasping for breath & running like a fool. It might look like you’re escaping from zombies but these are all activities that are usually required for a great workout.Image As women we know getting in a good workout is important but also that there’s added pressure to the workout because we want to look good inside the gym and outside of it. So sometimes working out becomes much less about being healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually but more about how good you can look in those yoga pants. Read more »


Inviting Sponsors to Confirmation Retreats

Paul Masek's picture


There is a relatively new trend developing in the retreat ministry of the REAP Team, and some church leaders are pretty enthusiastic about it.

More and more, whenever possible, parishes are inviting sponsors to attend Confirmation retreats with their students - and if the sponsor cannot attend, a “sponsor substitute” like a parent or older sibling is asked to attend in their stead.

There are several reasons why many of us think this is a great idea: Read more »

Until Abortion Ends

Greg Robeson's picture


I find Lent to be a powerful liturgical season because of the emphasis on sacrifice. If I give up chocolate, I can relate better to a child in poverty who has never tasted chocolate. Sacrifice connects us to the suffering of others. It is easy to forget about the way babies suffer in the womb at the hands of an abortionist, or the way women and their families suffer as a result of the death of her child. We forget because this harm is hidden. Abortion is marketed in a crafty way, targeting the youth in particular, but the abortion industry goes to great lengths to hide the suffering they cause. Abortion often gets treated like an issue for debate or an argument with two sides, and the suffering fades from our view. We must remember. Our pro-life advocacy is a function of our willingness to suffer with dying babies. Read more »

Pro-life? Pro-Grey's Anatomy!

Rachel Allen's picture


It’s March for Life weekend. Hundreds of thousands pilgrims are flooding into Washington, D.C. right now, traveling by bus, plane, car – whatever it takes, however long it takes, for the 39th annual march protesting Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States. While it’s hard to get a concrete number, last year’s March had an estimated 400,000 participants. And some reports believe that half those marchers are under the age of 30. Our own Office of Youth Ministry’s The Way, The Truth, and The Life pilgrimage is taking around 500 people. Read more »


Fr. Brian Fallon's picture

10! 9! 8! 7! 6! .....

Another year is winding down and another year is about to begin! It doesn’t seem like too long ago that we all gathered together with friends and family and watched that shimmering crystal ball in Times Square lower onto a fresh set of 365 days for us to live, hope, and dream. But now as 2011 is worn out and tired, and 2012 is fresh and ready to begin, we have an opportunity to reflect, be thankful, celebrate, and prepare.