The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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March 23, 2001 Issue
Local News

MTV 'Real World' star, band set Oshkosh show

Life Teen band Revelation will release CD at a party featuring Matt Smith

By Patricia Kasten
Compass Associate Editor

A local Life Teen band is releasing its first CD, and an MTV star and national Life Teen spokesman is helping them celebrate at the debut party March 30.

Revelation, the Life Teen band at St. Raphael Parish in Oshkosh, will be joined by Matt Smith, one of the roommates in MTV's reality show Real World for release of The Hour Has Come, a CD full of mostly Revelation-written hits.

The party will be from 7:30-11:30 March 30 at the Eagles Club on Washington Avenue in downtown Oshkosh. The event is free, sponsored by Life Teen, and includes Smith's talk - Having Faith in the Real World - at 9. It will be the first chance for fans to purchase the new CD, which will be promoted on WIXX and is getting free matching advertising on WORQ-90 Christian radio.

Thanks to his appearance in MTV's show, where he drew attention for his daily Mass attendance and commitment to virginity, Smith was named a spokesman for Life Teen. Life Teen is a group that focuses on reaching teens through prayer, worship and praise music designed for them. Several parishes in the diocese have Life Teen Masses regularly. One is St. Raphael's, where Revelation has been playing at the 6 p.m. Sunday Mass for two years.

Christopher Szebeni, who does vocals for Revelation, says the group is excited about its first CD. "You always want to spread the Word outside the walls of the church," he said.

Revelation is also familiar to local teens for its appearances at Youth Jam, sponsored by the diocese, and Life Fest. They are scheduled to play at both events this year as well.

Szebeni describes Revelation's music as a blend of "Latin, reggae, Gospel, a combination of tons of styles."

The seven-member band, which includes Szebeni's wife, Joanne Jablonski-Szebeni and Brian Mitchell, youth minister at St. Raphael, has been together about three years. Szebeni says the Life Teen Mass attendees may recognize some of the songs from The Hour Has Come, "since, many times, we introduce our original material into the Mass."

Smith, a native of Georgia, spent his time on Real World in New Orleans. The show pairs seven adults under the age of 25 in a live together situation. Smith and his roommates had to work on producing a cable access program. His daily Mass attendance inspired the others to attend Easter Mass as a group last year.

Smith still keeps in touch with some of his roommates from the show and believes that his subsequent involvement with Life Teen has helped in his own life.

"I believe that God has given me lots of grace, and I try to do what is best," he said. "My faith makes me who I am and gives me the confidence and freedom that I have in public. It gives me this cocky flair that God is going to watch after me, that I have nothing to fear."

Various youth groups from around the diocese are arranging bus transportation to the Oshkosh event. Contact your local youth minister for more information.

(Catholic News Service contributed to this story.)

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