Fall 2004 Newsletter

REAP Team Newsletter
Read It and REAP!

GIVEAWAY #13 – Name this Catholic actor...

He has two sons acting in Hollywood – one kept his last name, one did not. His character was a lawyer in "Catch Me if You Can" . Be one of the first 5 people to email paul@reapteam.org and correctly name this character to win a free LifeMatters scarf (we'll mail it to you).

News from our last giveaway!!! AND THE WINNERS ARE...

Cecilia W. of St. Louis MO, Emily M. of St. Louis, MO, Jamie K. of St. Louis, MO, Kyra G. of St. Ann, MO, and Lauren G. of Hazelwood, MO all received a free copy of the "Live in the Light" New Testament Bible.


BLOG Babblings

FYI: Blog is a derivative of two words... web log

Paul's recent ramblings: I Don't Trust the God Thing; Deer Hunting with God; Squirt, Squirt; My Favorite Poem; Thank You, Larry Walker.

Heather's recent ramblings: Hardee's Responds & Your Letters; Dear Hardee's: Enough with the Bull; A Pro-Life Experience; Slackers at Mass.


Music and Media Madness:

  • Our website now holds downloads of famous and talented, local Catholic musicians, including the group Exodus Two Zero. Every song of theirs is available on our site... worth a listen!
  • If you want to see two incredible bands in concert and support The REAP Team at the same time... read below in REAP Team News.
  • Survey for Teens ONLY on Music and Media. A great parent organization is looking to find out what teens REALLY think.
  • REAP Recommends Media and Movies

The best thing that anybody ever said to me is that you're only as good as the people you associate with. Look at the five friends that you spend the most time with—that's who you are. - Will Smith

FUN STUFF :)

THINGS TO DO TO LIVEN UP THANKSGIVING DINNER

1. When everyone goes around to say what they are thankful for, say, "I'm thankful I didn't get caught," and refuse to say anything more.
2. Bring a date that only talks about the tragic and abusive conditions known to exist at turkey farms.
3. During mid-meal turn to mom and say, "See mom, I told you they wouldn't notice that the turkey was way past the expiration date. You were worried for nothing."


REAP TEAM NEWS:

  • First-Ever REAP Benefit Concert... 2 Bands, lots of desserts, prizes and even a couple REAP skits and testimonies for only $5.00 Bring your friends, parents, relatives Friday night, December 10th to DeSmet's Theatre.
  • REAP volunteer and Hazelwood West senior Jon Givens was made famous in a North County Journal article about the huge alcohol-free, Root Beer Kegger Party he threw with some friends.
  • REAP was recently mentioned in a St. Louis Review Article titled, Youth ministry holds promise of our future.

Ask Heather

If you have a random question about LOVE, SEX, or RELATIONSHIPS, please send it my way (heather@reapteam.org). You might see your question published in future editions of this nifty little newsletter.

Dear Heather,
Does the Church hate homosexuals? Why do they keep saying homosexual marriage is wrong? Do you all not care if gay people are happy?

Dear Friend,

The answer is NO to your first and last question – we both love and care. First of all, I have several friends who consider themselves to be homosexual. I love them as much as I as love my other friends. I would go out of my way to be there for them and do whatever is best for them. Unfortunately, some individuals (of any religion or lack-of) hate such people, but I want to be clear that our Church does not. Our Church accepts and loves all people, no matter our lifestyle. A distinction must be made, however, between loving people and loving sin. I don't approve of the sin in my life or in the people I love. Sin entraps, enslaves and leads each of us to death – spiritually, emotionally and eventually physically. Our culture, mostly on sexuality issues such as this, wants us to accept everything anyone wants to do. But, I won't fall for that. Consider that mentality on issue of excessive alcohol use. If I were an alcoholic, I'd want someone to tell me that what I'm doing is wrong and that there's more to life. It wouldn't be loving for friends to let me wallow in sin as it slowly ruins my life. We're meant to treat all sins (which is code for harmful) as sins, even sexual sins like adultery, fornication (pre-marital sex), lust and homosexual acts. And, as Christians, we believe true joy and fulfillment (what many call happiness), comes from a lack of sin. None of us are perfect, but as Christians, the less we wallow in sin, the more capable we are to giving and receiving pure love. Jesus came for us to experience freedom from sin – freedom to love. In saying we do not accept sin, we are saying that each of us deserve the fullness of life and love.

Considering that this is a loaded and complex issue, I won't even start to answer your second question. I'm long-winded and would probably fill three newsletters with nothing but text in my response to you. Therefore, I'm going to refer you to one of my favorite chastity advocates and speakers – Jason Evert. He and his wife recently helped to launch an incredible new website which thoroughly answers numerous questions on homosexuality (as well as many other chastity questions). Please do check out the PURE LOVE CLUB.

Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self. - Mother Teresa

Upcoming Retreat for High School Students...

Open to the public, TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) Retreats:

  • TEC Retreat 279, January 15-17, 2005; Lay Directors: Dan & Judy Love
  • TEC Retreat 280, February 19-21, 2005; Lay Directors: Stan & Judi Buncher

Check out the TEC website for details on attending.


Pro-Life News...

Olympics and Abortion or Baby?
British hurdler Tasha Danvers-Smith had her life centered on her Olympic dream, when she was shocked to discover she was pregnant. As the unplanned pregnancy devastated her hopes, she considered an abortion. An Olympic medal hopeful and sixth-ranked runner in the world, missing the 2004 Olympics meant more than missing a dream – it meant financial difficulty and uncertainty. "The timing could not have been worse. If I had run at Athens it would have meant greater financial security, more recognition. There is nothing negative that can happen when you have a shot at an Olympic medal," she told the Telegraph. "I cannot lie, I considered an abortion." However, Danvers-Smith and her husband and coach Darrell Smith decided that life was the right choice. "But this line from the Scriptures kept coming into my head: 'For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?' For me, the whole wide world was the Olympics. At the same time, I felt I would be losing my soul. So then I knew. For me it was not going to be an option. And as soon as I decided that, I felt so happy. Even though I know it is going to be a struggle financially and that I am sacrificing my medal hopes." Danvers-Smith said that watching the 2004 Olympics may be "too dreadful" to bear, "but when December comes and the baby is born, I know I will feel a lot differently." (Article from LifeNews.com)


Random Catholic Facts...

  • In 2002, Catholics worldwide numbered 1.07 billion in 2002, and half of them were in the Americas
  • Out of a total world population of 6.2 billion, baptized Catholics number 1.07 billion, or 17.2%.
  • In relation to the present population in each continent, the percentage of Catholics is as follows: 62.4% in America, 40.5% in Europe, 26.8% in Oceania, 16.5% in Africa, and 3% in Asia.

Source: 2004 Pontifical Yearbook

The desire to see Jesus dwells deep in the heart of each man and each woman. My dear young people, allow Jesus to gaze into your eyes so that the desire to see the Light, and to experience the splendor of the Truth, may grow within you. Whether we are aware of it or not, God has created us because he loves us and so that we in turn may love him. This is the reason for the unquenchable nostalgia for God that man preserves in his heart: "Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me" (Psalm 27:8-9). That Face -- we know -- was revealed to us by God in Jesus Christ.

MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II, WORLD YOUTH DAY 2004

JOKE TIME...

Why did the booger cross the road?
Because everyone was picking on him!
(Thanks, Kristy)


Prayer Power... One Minute for Our Land

In W.W.II there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace. There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 P.M. Central) (6:00 P.M. Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for peace in the world.


Just For College Students & Young Adults...

Interested in getting a good, Catholic Bible Study started on campus? Get in Focus, a ministry just for college students.

Check out this campus research: A spiritually inclined student is a happier student

Men college age to thirty-five years of age:

Are you busy the evening of Sunday, Dec. 5th? If not, accept the invitation to explore a possible vocation to the priesthood with other young men in the Fraternity of St. John Vianney discernment group. From the vista of vocational vagueness, we will discern together the truths of our Faith and seek greater openness to God. From 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., at the Office of Vocations at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, there will be discussion, homemade desserts with hot chocolate and coffee, a guest speaker (Fr. C. Eugene Morris) speaking on the Eucharist and the Priesthood, and then the night will be completed by experiencing the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary Christmas Novena. Contact the Office of Vocations for details. (314) 792-6462, vocations@archstl.org

The priest is not a priest for himself; he does not give himself absolution; he does not administer the Sacraments to himself. His is not for himself, he is for you. - St. John Marie Vianney

For Parents/Adults


DEEP THOUGHTS... (We love the "groaners" and just random facts!)

Facts about the 1500's...

  1. Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June.
  2. Houses had thatched roofs—thick straw—piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats lived in the roof. When it rained sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof -- hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."
  3. Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. People would mistake them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up-hence the custom of holding a "wake."
  4. When reopening coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the "graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered a "dead ringer."

Cool Websites...

  • Pure Love Club: Extremely hip, trendy new site for teens interested in learning more about chastity. This site answers tons of questions and even helps those living chastity spread the message in their schools. Find out how by checking out the site!
  • Internet Accountability for FREE: Every tempted to check out porn online? This article describes the free software that will help you (if you're brave enough) to be free from any porn addiction or just temptation online.
  • For those who need a reminder of God's love and mercy in their life, check these out...

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