The Culture Project is an initiative of young people set out to restore culture through the experience of virtue. The Cleveland missionary team is dedicated to sharing messages of respecting the dignity of a human person and living a life of sexual integrity with those in middle schools, high schools and parish youth ministry groups.
The five missionaries are from different places throughout the country including Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Kansas and Pennsylvania.
Laura Riebe is a 2018 graduate of West Chester University where she received her BA in education. She grew up near Birdsboro, Pennsylvania and has always dreamed of living outside of the Keystone State. Laura first encountered The Culture Project through social media and then in person at SEEK Leadership Summit in 2018, a conference for Catholic college students. Immediately she recognized that there was something different about The Culture Project. “Every person I talked to expressed authentic joy in every interaction. I realized that the root of their joy was found in God and pursuing him through living a life of virtue.” God left Laura some not-so-subtle hints to join The Culture Project, and he continues to radically alter her world in the best way.
Parker Berthelot is a 2019 graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University with a BA in communication. He grew up in the town of Denham Springs, Louisiana and is an avid basketball fan, casual poetry writer, and lover of life. Parker first encountered The Culture Project when a missionary visited his university’s student center. As someone who is passionate about love, virtue and the writings of St. John Paul II, he immediately felt a strong pull towards their mission. After much discernment, he answered the Lord’s call to serve as a Culture Project missionary and share his passion with others. “Everyone is made for love and so everyone longs for it deeply. If no one ever tells us where true love is found, how will we ever find it? I hope to speak truth and help others find this love they long for.”
Andrew Benne is a 2019 graduate of the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration. He grew up south of Kansas City and was in marching band through high school and college. Andrew was involved with campus ministry at KU, which is where he first encountered The Culture Project through a former missionary. Through his experience in campus and youth ministry, he began to see the importance of human dignity and self-giving love. After talking to Culture Project missionaries at SEEK, he decided to apply to be a missionary. “The message of human dignity and the idea that every person is worthy of love is so needed today. I want to be able to share this message with others and I believe The Culture Project is the best way to do this.”
Emily Harpole is a 2019 graduate of Benedictine College with a BA in theology and new Evangelization and a minor in political science and mass communications. She grew up in Littleton, Colorado and has always had a passion for sharing her faith, especially in the political arena. These passions led her to be involved in the pro-life movement in high school, and to study theology in college. She met The Culture Project at a conference during her freshman year of college and immediately fell in love with the mission, keeping it close to her heart until it was time to answer the call after graduation. “Today, no matter what faith-filled upbringing you have, it is still possible to be hurt by the effects of the sexual revolution. I want young people to know they are not alone in their struggles with sexual integrity, and that true freedom and healing comes from living a life of virtue.”
Carlie Spaulding is a 2019 graduate of Texas A&M University, where she converted to Catholicism and experienced a radical life change during her sophomore year. She is from Dallas, Texas and heard about The Culture Project through a friend who invited her to meet some of the missionaries at SEEK Leadership Summit in 2018, a conference for Catholic college students. When she met the missionaries, she knew there was something different about The Culture Project and was so excited by the fact that they exist. Never would she have imagined being on the team as a missionary herself until the Lord kept calling her to learn more and she finally said yes to spreading the message of authentic love. “I couldn’t imagine spreading any other message than the true, authentic love that leads to the real happiness we are looking for!”
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