So last week, I did something a little crazy: I asked priests for a favor…the week before Holy Week.
And whaddaya know, they answered!
My husband and I were tasked with leading our parish youth program’s presentation about the Sacraments at the Service of Communion: Holy Orders and Matrimony. To create a ‘hook’, I asked several priest friends of ours to record a short video message for the teens:
- Length: 30 seconds – 2 minutes
- Introduce yourself.
- What’s one thing you want teens to know about priests/priesthood?
I gave them my email address and a hard deadline, and asked for their prayers whether they could record a video or not.
Thanks be to God, we received videos from 6 priests — 2 from our Archdiocese, 3 from other cities in the U.S., and 1 in Canada. I compiled the videos in iMovie, and we played the final product before our presentation about Holy Orders.
It was well-received; the teens were glued to the screen. Why? Well, one major reason is because these priests took time out of their busy lives to record personal video messages for them!
One of the standout entries was this video from Father Chris Decker, which he’s made public on the Catholic Underground Facebook page.
Another was this one by Father Darryl Millette, which he’s now published on YouTube.
Check them out — and share with your teens! I encourage you to consider this project with your youth group, especially if…
- …you’re focusing on vocations, but you just can’t seem to schedule a religious or clergy to speak during your meeting.
- …you want to expose your teens to priests / religious other than those whom they already know from your parish community.
- …you don’t have many clergy / religious living in your community.
Practical notes: I heard back from about half of the men I contacted. (There were also 2 deacons in the mix.) Remember: This was only 1 week notice, and a busy week liturgically. The other videos I’m not sharing here were recorded using smartphones or computers; nothing fancy. What’s important is the message and the clear care that each priest has for his intended audience.