The #BTTR Blog: Chris Stefanick, Corinna Turner, Matt Maher


This is the October/2018 blog written BY Catholic teens for Catholic teens and their families. Virtue Works Media founder, Cathy Gilmore, is the editor for the BTT team. These four teens are called the "Beyond the Trend Teens" because their task as a blogging team is to look beyond trends to highlight Catholic authors and artists who show us how to #Be The Change needed to make the world a BeTTeR (#BTTR ) place. Two of the BTT teens attend public school and two attend private or parochial Catholic schools. Their identities are semi-anonymous because ANY teen can be a Beyond the Trend Teen when they choose media and entertainment with content that goes beyond the status quo that actually affirms character and conscience.  What these teens are recommending goes beyond books, videos and music. They are recommending we look at the authors and artists and notice how they are making a difference in our culture... and ask ourselves…how is God calling us to discover their work and perhaps follow in their footsteps, to use our creativity to #BeTheChange our world needs so much as well.  Scroll below to read and discover great choices to WATCH. READ. & LISTEN

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Watch: PG

Chris Stefanick is a Catholic youth speaker who has created dozens of highly professional videos on YouTube. He speaks to 80,000 teens and adults every year. He has described himself as a confused kid in middle school and experimented with bad things. He went to a youth conference because his parents kind of made him go. After the conference he was glad they did. He saw his old choices in a different way. His sins did not seem so “sweet” anymore… and that changed his life. Within a few years after the conference he was in the habit of doing daily prayer and became what he calls, a “rosary addict”. (But not literally.) Some of the videos created by his team that I think are pretty amazing are the ones on Father Capodanno Maximilian Kolbe and Saint Faustina. Take a look:

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British novelist, Corinna Turner, author of the I am Margaret series, lives in England and graduated with a prestigious degree from Oxford University. She originally wrote for the secular market but felt called to write in a way that makes Catholic characters, living Catholic lives, seem realistic and normal. An obscure but interesting detail about her: she used to have a giant pet snail name Peter. Corinna’s stories offer compelling and faithfully Catholic romance (that isn’t sappy) with action and suspense. When we had a video chat with her, it was obvious that she approaches her work with a joyful and lively conviction, which is some what ironic …because her novels are really intense.

Her 4-volume novel series I am Margaret is about a girl named Margo who lives in a disotopian world whose life is in peril. She fails a mental proficiency test and she is sent to a facility to await being… physically recycled . Her boyfriend plans to rescue her from a facility where no one else has successfully escaped, but she wants to save all the prisoners and not just herself. Read this book to know who survives! These books have the intensity of the Hunger Games Series and the Abnegation of the Divergent series, but this hero’s courage has the strength of selfless faith. Check out her book Trailer:

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Matt Maher is a highly successful Catholic singer. He loves to play the guitar and piano. He was born in Newfoundland, Canada. His parents divorced after he finished High School and he moved to Arizona. He received a scholarship from Arizona University for Jazz Piano. In College is where using his talent became a calling to serve God. He’s done that in a big way. He has led worship music and sung for three Popes and for hundreds of thousands of people all across the country and all over the world. He has written and produced about 117 song videos on YouTube. You may have heard his songs in church. But they are great to make a part of your personal playlist too. Some of his really popular songs are: Lord I Need You, Rise Up, and All the People Say Amen. LISTEN: