Inspiration and Crossroads Follow-up

The weekend of September 25, 2004 was anointed. The Lord provided two excellent events for teens around the Archdiocese to attend - Inspiration and Crossroads. Both received excellent support, and those who went to either had a great time. Praise the Lord for His abundance!

**Inspiration 2004: Were you Inspired?**

When? September 25, 2004. Where? Six Flags Mid-America. The day began at ten o'clock when hundreds of Spirit-filled teens flooded the park. Riding roller-coasters such as the Batman, Mr. Freeze, the Boss, and the Ninja were youth groups from all over the Midwest, ready to re-ignite their fire for the Lord. The conference officially kicked off at two o'clock when teens, youth ministers, seminarians, and anyone with a ticket filed into the Empire Theatre. God laughed when the incense set off the fire alarms, forcing us all to evacuate and wait half an hour before proceeding. The Most Reverend Bishop Hermann, who was accompanied by several seminarians, celebrated the mass. Joining them on stage were Matt Maher (Yep, that's right... MATT MAHER!) and a group of musicians from the various Life Teen Bands around the St. Louis area. As the mass came to a close, everyone returned to the park with even more passion. By the time six-thirty rolled around, many people had been waiting outside the locked doors for front row seats at the concert. Matt Maher continued to put on a great show playing hit songs such as "Your Grace is Enough," "Just Like You," and the unreleased "As It Is in Heaven." Inspirational talks were given by Matt Smith, Kristy Allgeyer, and Mark Hart (Bible Geek) on issues such as putting complete trust in God, being extra-ordinary and not letting reality cloud our dreams. The night reached its climax when Jesus appeared in Adoration. Singing and praying with the praise and worship led by Matt and feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit topped off the night. So were you inspired? Get out there and continue to live for Him, giving everything to Him. He’s waiting...

- Justin Manion, Incarnate Word Catholic Parish

**Crossroads Music Festival a Success**

Wow, what a day! That sums up CrossRoads 2004 in a single sentence.

We kicked off the day with music by [Matthew Baute]( before lunch and followed it up with an afternoon of Catholic music by the [Chris Shepherd Band](, [Samedaykings](, and [Ryan Meyers]( The 'kings took the opportunity to premiere their new CD at the festival. And Ryan Meyers played a great set even though he and the band had arrived from Mississippi at three in the morning. As only dedicated young musicians could, they drove back that night and flew out to a gig in California on Sunday.

Dinner was slightly delayed which gave us an opportunity for 4:00 mass in the chapel with a standing room only crowd. Our thanks to Fr. Ralph of St. Louis Abbey for pitching in.

The [REAP Team]( kicked off the evening with some zaniness and personal testimony. Then [Danielle Rose]( took the stage for a solo set of beautiful acoustic, and sometime a cappella, music. Working mostly from her new CD, "Mysteries" Danielle led the crowd through reflections on some of the mysteries of the rosary.

[Greg Walton]( came on and rocked the house, beginning with Elvis Costello's "What's so funny bout Peace Love and Understanding." His set included "Won't Back Down," "La Bamba" and the theme from the Wizard of Oz, along with a raft of strong originals and Greg's personal testimony of how Jesus change him and his family.

After the concert the space was prepared for worship, what we called "the Main Event." [Karl Zimmerman]( and Band prepared the way with some driving worship music before Greg Robeson took the mic for a talk titled "the School of the Eucharist." His talk led into an extended reflection on key scriptures and benediction before the Sacrament. The area on all sides of the altar had been layed with carpet  and worshipers were invited to lay at Jesus feet in total submission. Hundreds of  people, mostly youth, took part in this annointed moment.

The day wrapped up with Karl  bringing the tempo back up for some rocking worship and praise, after which most of the crowd headed for the coffee house and a little open-mic style entertainment.

Sunday had breakfast for early risers followed by the Rosary in the chapel, praise music and outdoor Mass under God's own lights.

If you came to CrossRoads this year [and over 500 of you did] we're looking for feedback from you. Just hit the link from the homepage: []( And if you've got pictures, we need those too. Send them along to . Check out the webpage for developments on next year's event. Thanks to everyone for coming out and we hope to see you next year.


OYM Welcomes Two New Staff Members

The Office of Youth Ministry is proud to announce the addition of two dynamic women to our staff—Sister Mary George Brown and Susan Farrar.

Sister Mary George is from Perryville, MO, is a novice in the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George (just like Sister M. Consolata and Sr. M. Beata!), and joins the OYM working on the 'mission' part of her novitiate.

Susan Farrar is from St. Ann, MO, is married, and is the busy mother of six children. A member of Holy Trinity Parish, she is the new part-time employee for the REAP Team, which means that she will be spending a lot of time this school year being with teens on weekday retreats.

Read more about each of these women, in their own words, below.

*Sister Mary George*

I was raised in Perryville, Missouri. I have 2 brothers and 1 sister, and I am 20 years old. I joined the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George right after my senior year of high school at St. Vincent High School in Perryville. I am presently a novice in the congregation of the sisters, which means that at this time next year I will be taking my first vows in the community. I am working here at the OYM on what we call "mission"; it's a chance for the novices to go out into our apostolates and put into practice all that we have learned thus far. I am really excited to be working as an intern for the OYM staff and getting the chance to work in my diocese, as it's a chance to give back to the diocese all that it has given me. I will be here for 6 months and then return to Alton, IL to finish up preparing to make Vows! I enjoy music, art, theatre, reading and sports—softball is my favorite! I thank God for this wonderful opportunity to make his merciful love present to all I work with.

*Susan Farrar*

I am 42 years old, and I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. I have been happily married for almost 21 years. I have 6 children and one "unofficial" foster son. They range in age from 19 down to almost 2 years old. I have an Associate's degree in Human Services but hope to return back to school for my Bachelor's in Social Work. I am a biological/foster/adoptive mother and I can say this is where most of my education has come from. Kids are so cool and pre-teens and teenagers ROCK! I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part-time staff member of the REAP Team.


The OYM Goes Global

Ever heard of the Diocese of Roermond? Do you know which country this is actually in?

The Office of Youth Ministry has opened its doors to the people of Holland. We look forward to bulding relationships with them before we meet again next summer. Bishop DeJong of the Diocese of Roermond has graciously arranged for us to spend 5 days with the Dutch Catholic families of his diocese during our pilgrimage to [World Youth Day 2005](/worldyouthday/).

For the first two weeks of August (2004), teens, young adults, and seminarians from Holland will be staying with the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus and several host families around St. Louis. Impressed by the vibrant youth of our diocese, they are here to learn more about youth ministry. They will attend training seminars, participate in youth ministry events, and see the sights of St. Louis.

Please welcome and pray for Fr. Hugo, Bart, Suzan, Frederik, Britt, JJ, Monica, Nina, Stephie, Angela, Linda, Gwendolyn, Lawisa, Paula, Mieke, Marc, Guido, Geoffrey, Glenn, and Lars... and please greet them warmly if you meet them!


Youth Ministry - Who Gives a Hoot?

I knew that would get your attention! **The answer is that Jesus does.** So does Archbishop Raymond Burke. So does Sr. M. Consolata whom Archbishop Burke has asked to be the interim Director of the Office of Youth Ministry.

**So do you!** **Over two thousand** of you attended [Steubenville St. Louis Youth Conference](/steubenville/) in Springfield, Missouri. **Another 120** of you attended [Project Life](/projectlife/), and **135** of you have just come back from the Steubenville Youth Conference in Steubenville. **Many** of the parishes have signed up for [VITAL](/vital/), a parish support program. **Some** of you will be welcoming to St. Louis **twenty young visitors from Holland** during the first two weeks of August, and they, in turn, will return the favor during next year's World Youth Day. Many of you have already registered for [World Youth Day 2005](/worldyouthday/). **If you haven't registered, kindly check out the web page.**

**These are exciting times**, not only for you but for all the youth of the Archdiocese. Pope John Paul II keeps telling our youth: **"You belong to Christ and Christ belongs to you!"**

We will continue to lead you closer and closer to Jesus Christ, **to challenge you with His Gospel, to nurture you with the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation** and to invite you to serve others in need. **Jesus**, then, **will use you** to bring others to know Jesus Christ in such a way that their lives will also be changed. This will bring you great joy!

As you know, Father Bob Smoot has taken a leave of absence. Let us keep him in our prayers. He has served you and the Church very well.

**However, the Office of Youth Ministry will continue to make exciting programs available to you.** Joel Stein will continue to work with Sr. M. Consolata in carrying on the work of youth ministry. So will Paul Masek and Heather Gallagher who do an awesome job with the [Reap Team](! Rosanne Twellman will continue to work with us as a part time event coordinator.

Please call Sr. M. Consolata or Joel Stein with any questions you might have about the above programs. Don't forget to register for [World Youth Day 05](/worldyouthday/). I hope to see you at Inspiration 04 at Six Flags!

Meanwhile, pray for the Search Committee as it seeks a new Director of the Office of Youth Ministry. It is a joy to work with you!

*—Bishop Bob Hermann*


Year 6, come and gone!

With one of the most important weeks behind me, I want to take some time and sit back and reflect on what it really meant.

I spend about six months preparing for the Steubenville St. Louis Mid America conference. It all starts with the trip I take to Steubenville in September to meet with the hosts, other organizers and staff from Franciscan University. We meet and pray and talk about the last year and the upcoming year. It is a great time for us organizers to get together and hash out what was good that happened and what was not so good. We share ideas and pick each other's brains for an idea that might help us.

Then it is on to the many aspects of putting a conference together logistically. From reserving hotel rooms for the speakers to recruiting volunteers, from renting golf carts for staff to assigning seats for the main sessions, it all runs through our office. Sometimes I feel like I am meeting myself coming and going. Many times it takes me days if not weeks to return some phone calls or emails. As the weekend approaches, longer hours and little if no sleep happens as last minute things (name tags, room lists, liability forms) all have to be finished. But it all marches on, and the conference weekend approaches.

The conference takes on its own life when it starts. I let go and it just happens. The Lord is in our midst and it's all I can do just to stand in the shadow of the stage in awe of you, praising, clapping, singing, and loving the Lord. I stand backstage and listen and look out and see 2000 young people with the chaperones, praising the one God who is so, so very good to all of us.

In sitting here, thinking back to the weekend, I am trying to remember my favorite part of the weekend. It is hard, because I have so many favorite parts; it is hard to pinpoint one. So for you I will list what I can remember as my favorite parts:

* Sitting at registration and finally putting a face to the many people I have talked with throughout the year and welcoming them to the weekend.
* Seeing and welcoming those whom have been to our conference before.
* Seeing the thousands walking around campus, laughing and having a great time.
* Looking out and seeing 2000 people who love Christ and want more to be with Him.
* Riding in a golf cart with Ralph Poyo behind the wheel, and then again with Fr. Dave, as he races Steve Allgeyer to the destination.
* Sitting in the balcony, seeing the many different color conference shirts, hearing 2000 voices praising God, and then becoming silent in prayer as He enters.
* Watching teens playing Frisbee.
* Seeing my own daughter attending the conference, doing hand motions.
* Standing with my co-workers in prayer and worship.
* Being with all the wonderful volunteers, laughing with them, and praying with them.
* Watching Fr. Dave's water bottle disappear, not once but three times!
* Seeing the happy faces of those I came to serve.

This makes the lack of sleep and the long hours disappear. This pushes them so far away that I want to do it again and again and again. People come up to me and thank me, but they have it wrong, it is I who want to thank you. You strengthen my faith and you lift me up, you **get 'er done**!

*Rosanne Twellman*, Event Coordinator


Sr. M. Consolata Crews is Named Acting Director of the OYM

Sr. M. Consolata Crews has been appointed acting Director of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Fr. Bob Smoot, who has served as the Director of the Office of Youth Ministry since it was founded in 1999, is beginning a leave of absence which he requested and was given permission from Archbishop Burke. Fr. Smoot shares his reasons for this leave and his thoughts and prayers in his blog. Sr. M. Consolata and Joel Stein will maintain the full-time duties of the OYM. The [REAP Team]( will continue as usual. Rosanne Twellman is remaining with the OYM now part-time and will assist with some of Brian Niebrugge's former duties as well as coordinate Steubenville St. Louis. The many recent changes of the OYM present a variety of challenges. However, they also present many opportunities for growth and for the movement of the Holy Spirit. All OYM planned activities will continue, including [VITAL](, [Project Life](, [Steubenville St. Louis]( and [World Youth Day]( Meanwhile, the Archdiocese is prayerfully reviewing further staff for the OYM and how to best lead the OYM through this period of change. Please keep the OYM in your prayers and most importantly pray for the young people of the Church! May this be a blessed time that bears much fruit ahead!