Press Release

Faith and Film Night

Join the sisters in viewing this movie that is based on a play written by Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), who as a student of literature, then priest and bishop, acted, directed and wrote plays.  Love is "one of the greatest dramas of human existence", wrote John Paul II.  In this drama, he explores the relationships between men and women, the theme of fidelity, and the joys and pain of love, and marriage.  This movie reveals the integrated understanding behind the late Pope's teaching on Matrimony.  The film will be followed with a Faith discusion and refreshments.

St. Paul Lecture Series- Vocational Awareness with Fr. Michael Butler

Everyone has a vocation.  Fostering and promoting voactional awareness is the responsibility of every Catholic.  Join us for an evening with the Vocation Director for the Archdiocese Fr. Michael Butler.   Learn what you can do to help cultivate the vocations of young people today and in particular how to encourage those who may be called to the ordained or consecrated life. 

REAP Podcast Featured

On August 1, the REAP Team 's podcast was listed as "Catholic Podcast of the Day" by Isidore's Corner

Congratulations REAP Team!

Check out their podcast...

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OYM To Offer A New Service to Parishes: VITAL

ST. LOUIS, MO - The Archdiocese of St. Louis Office of Youth Ministry is currently seeking pilot parishes that wish to be "Vital" parishes. Youth ministry that is "Vital" has VISION rooted in Jesus Christ, is INCLUSIVE, has the necessary TOOLS, uses an ACCOUNTABILITY structure, and is LIFE GIVING for the whole parish. "Vital" is designed to support and help any parish, starting a new program or with one already in place, such as Life Teen. It is not a "youth ministry" program, but a strategy to provide the most comprehensive and effective youth ministry possible with definable and measurable outcomes. The OYM will help achieve this goal in cooperating parishes through a two year training program, consultation for the development of a two year strategic youth ministry plan, tools for monitoring progress, an accountability structure, and youth ministry resources.

Teams from parishes including at least the present youth minister or youth ministry volunteer and pastor, plus any other parish leaders are invited to attend a 3 hour seminar on creating more effective youth ministry in parishes. Part of the seminar will include a presentation on Vital and how a parish can utilize this program. The seminars will be offered twice on April 28, 2004 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. or from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. held at Blessed John XXIII Center at 8300 Morganford Rd.

Please go to our [web site](http://www.stlyouth.org/vital.html) to read more about the Vital program or call 314-633-2500 if you have any questions.

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OYM to Restructure in Light of Financial Challenges

Changes in Staff and Services to Take Effect July 1, 2004.

ST. LOUIS, MO - Responding to funding cuts and increased costs, the Office of Youth Ministry will restructure by reducing expenses and some services. The reduction in expenses will come primarily through the elimination of 5 full-time staff positions. The Office of Youth Ministry will continue several core services, including the REAP Team, parish consultation and youth ministry development, Steubenville St. Louis, the web site, E-man, and others. The OYM is proceeding with its plans for a new support program for parish youth ministry called VITAL. The OYM will also offer two junior high camps this summer. Plans to offer new retreats, other camps, and other projects such as a new teen spirituality program will need to be reevaluated in light of reduced staffing. The OYM will eliminate some services, including the annual Life Matters trip, which brought 1100 young people to D.C. this past January for the pro-life march. The OYM's magazine, which went to over 5,000 people quarterly, will be eliminated as well. There are many other less high pro-file activities, such as days of prayer, speaking engagements, and networking and collaboration with other organizations, that will be dropped as the OYM narrows its focus to only the programs and services it retains.

While funding forced the OYM re-structuring, several priorities guided the decisions regarding what to cut and what to retain. Supporting youth ministry at the parish level was the first priority. Another priority was to advocate for youth and young adult ministry to a broad audience that includes parents, grandparents, clergy, religious, educators, youth ministers and donors. Fr. Robert Smoot, Director of the Office of Youth Ministry, reflected that "It is sad that finances have forced these changes, yet I am hopeful that with the resources we have and the grace of God we will continue to serve youth and young adults effectively. More than ever we need the support of our donors and we need Catholics to strongly support the Archdiocesan Development Appeal. We still have great things to offer and I hope for the sake of our Church and the spiritual good of young people that we are able to continue." Fr. Smoot went on, "I am so grateful to our dedicated staff. They have been a blessing to me and to the Archdiocese. I know they will continue to serve the Church either through their employment or in other ways." Beginning July 1, 2004 the positions held by Rosanne Twellman, Elliott Krejci, Mary Roach, Sr. M. Consolata Crews, Greg Barker and Stacey Chik will be eliminated. Rosanne Twellman will continue to coordinate Steubenville St. Louis and Greg Barker will work for Catholic Camps of America in Dutzow, Missouri, which the OYM will work with closely. Fr. Bob Smoot is continuing as Director of the OYM. Brian Niebrugge will continue as Business Manager/Development Director, as well as serve as a youth ministry consultant to parishes. Keith Deisner will continue to coordinate some of the programs of the OYM as well as serve as a youth ministry consultant. Joel Stein serves as the OYM web developer, will take on sound production for OYM events, and will assist with other projects and needs. Paul Masek, Heather Gallagher, and Brian Altenhoeffen will continue their roles in the REAP Team, who provide retreats and days of prayer to 12,000 young people annually.

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Groups from Around the Midwest Plan to Participate in Steubenville St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MO - Registration is now open for the Steubenville St. Louis High School Youth Conference. Since registration opened a month ago over 1100 have already signed up. Fr. Bob Smoot noted, "The conference so effectively communicates the Gospel to young people that we sell out every year. Franciscan University of Steubenville keeps adding more conference sites around the country to meet the demand. Until the St. Louis conference finds a larger venue to hold the conference, we have to close registration at 2000 participants. I wish everyone could experience the level of faith expressed by the young people who attend our conference – it really is extraordinary and uplifting." Held on the campus of Southwestern Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, the Office of Youth Ministry will offer the conference July 9-11, 2004. The conference fee of $145 covers the full cost of the conference, along with all meals and housing. See [www.stlyouth.org](http://www.stlyouth.org/) for complete details about registration and the conference or call 314-633-2500.

This year's conference theme is "Rise Up: A Catholic Revolution." The 2004 Steubenville St. Louis Conference Team includes: Brad and Gene of Apex, Mr. Adam Bitter, Ms. Heather Gallagher, Mr. Paul George, Fr. Dave Pivonka, Mr. Ralph Poyo, Ms. Karen Reynolds, and Fr. Bob Smoot. Over 20,000 teens across the U.S. participate in Steubenville High School Youth Conferences in cities from coast to coast. Young people leave the conference knowing they are loved by God and the Church and challenged to live authentic lives of faith. Some leave renewed in faith and some leave truly believing for the first time. Steubenville St. Louis Youth Conferences are moments of grace that truly bless our young people.

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