Recent Blog Posts

The most recent blog posts from OYM Bloggers.

Gospel of Mark: The Beginning

Fr. Thomas Pastorius's picture

I have been looking for a topic to write about for my youth ministry blog that would be different from other things that I have been doing and the thought came to me the other day to just take one of the Gospels and reflect on it from start to finish and since I am stationed at St. Mark’s Parish I thought I would start with the Gospel of Mark. Read more »

Why I HATE (and love) Letters from Parents on Retreats

Paul Masek's picture

ImageWhen we include letters from parents as part of a retreat or other ministry event, we have the best intentions. We love to see teens touched by love, especially the love of their parents. It is powerful when teens cry, and there are always some tears when we hand out these letters. Some who work with teens even believe that teen’s tears are a sign God’s presence – and a sign that we have done our job well.

It’s supposed to be a love letter and an affirmation letter. Many good people involved in youth ministry believe that it’s an essential part of retreats. In some places, it is a sacred tradition. Read more »


Rachel Allen's picture


Take just a second, and think about everything you have to drink in the course of any given day. How does it start out? Milk in your cereal? A glass of orange juice, or a few cups of coffee? Skip ahead to lunch time, where that Diet Coke or Dr. Pepper perfectly compliments your turkey sandwich/grilled chicken wrap/cheeseburger and fries (super-sized!). How about in the afternoon? A Gatorade after practice, another soda for a caffeine boost? And you know that no trip to the mall is complete without a stop at Starbucks. Don’t forget dinner time – what beverage goes best with your last meal of the day? And you know what sounds great for dessert? A gigantic, creamy milkshake. With whipped cream and a cherry.

Are you drooling yet? Maybe, maybe not. But are you thirsty? Read more »

My Trip to the Dentist

Fr. Brian Fallon's picture


Recently I made a trip to the dentist. Yeah, it’s not on my list of favorite things, for sure. I’ve been putting it off and putting it off until—finally—I called and made an appointment. It took my mom reminding me nearly every day to give the dentist a call.

As I was driving to the dentist’s office, I was thinking about why it had been so long since I had been for a cleaning and a checkup. (I’m kind of embarrassed to say this, but I realized it had almost been two years since I had plopped down in that chair and flashed my chompers.) Why? I’m not even afraid of the dentist! I like getting a new toothbrush and talking with the hygienist (a good Catholic), so what’s with the delay? Read more »

Should auld acquaintance be forgot?

Rachel Allen's picture


I'm not really big on celebrating the New Year. I mean, I enjoy the party, but I really think it’s the weirdest occasion on the calendar: “Hey, everybody, let’s get together to celebrate… the passing of time!” The hands of the clock move each second, the calendar flips a page every month, and once every 365 days (give or take) you blow out the candles on your birthday cake. Time passes constantly, but when December 31st rolls around, suddenly it’s a big deal? For some reason, though, this year, the New Year and all its hubbub has gotten to me (I’m pretty sure I can blame Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest for that – they brought the Backstreet Boys back into my life and got me feeling nostalgic). Read more »

'Twas the Night before Christmas

Fr. Brian Fallon's picture

And all through the land
The people were watching
Their "Dish on Demand."
On their couches they sat
Eyes fixed on T.V.
Their presents lay nestled
Aglow near the tree.

Mom turned to pop
She said with a plea:
"Something's amiss.
But what could it be?"
The gifts, the cooking
It's all said and done
But I've lost all my joy
Its void weighs a ton!

A man driving off
Tears fill his eyes
"Can no one free me
From this life of lies?"
The homeless, they gather
In cardboard box
No presents, no hope
And holes fill their socks.

On Facebook, on iPhone
The teens go and chatter
But moms see their faces:
"Is something the matter?"
This blogger he frets
About his next post
But has he forgotten
Who matters the most? Read more »

Podcasts Are Fly, Like a G12!

Paul Masek's picture

ImageOne of the best-kept secrets in St. Louis area Catholic youth ministry circles (and that's quite a demographic!) just might be the REAP Team's podcasts

In case you didn't know, a podcast is an audio or video file that you can access through the Internet.

Most of the REAP Team's podcasts are audio files; they are recordings of talks that have been given either on retreats or at other ministry events that we have been a part of.

Since the awesomeness of our podcasts has been kept secret for far too long, I wanted to share with you several reasons why our podcasts are fly like a G12 - which is obviously twice as fly as a G6… Read more »

Oh patience, where are you?

Greg Robeson's picture


I am easily impressed with knowledge. I often find that the moment I learn principles of the faith or new insight into moral living, I am not only quick to share them, which is good, I am also quick to expect others to live up to these newly acquired standards of mine. Here is an example. Read more »

Lost in Anguished Grief

Gretchen Pacheco's picture

There are few things more challenging than coping with the loss of someone you love and care about.  That loss is often times magnified by factors like, age, relationship, cause of death.  I once again find myself lost in anguished grief over a young person who ended their own life.  Over the past few days I have read (and re-read) something that has been very helpful.  It’s a flier we put out on REAP retreats that touches on the healing process after the tragedy of suicide.  I’m including an excerpt in hopes that it will be helpful to others.
  Read more »

Happy New Year!

Fr. Brian Fallon's picture

It’s that time of year again: Advent, the season of preparation for Jesus’ coming! We’re all trying our best to remember this New Year in the midst of the closing of our secular one, but it’s often hard with all the papers, tests, parties and decorations that always occupy our Decembers.

As busy as we may be, we need to take time amidst the hustle and bustle to allow Jesus to enter more fully into our lives! The Church gives us this time at the beginning of its New Year—Advent, or adventus, “coming,”–to prepare for the coming of Jesus, born into the world to save us from our sins and show us the way to salvation.

What a thing to prepare for! One thing’s for sure, we can’t do it alone!

How can we better prepare our hearts to meet our Lord? Here are just a few thoughts for your consideration: Read more »