WASHINGTON (September 7, 2005) -- "You Could Make a Difference," a 17-minute vocation video and DVD, will be released this fall to assist parishes, youth groups and others interested in promoting vocations.
The video/DVD, which is in English and Spanish, was developed by the U.S. Bishops' Department of Communications and features priests from Petersburg, Alaska, and Washington, DC., and sisters from El Paso, Texas, and Baltimore, Maryland.
Funding for the project was supplied by the Catholic Communication Campaign as part of its It All Starts With Faith campaign and the U.S. bishops' Committee on Vocations.
Information on the video/DVD and excerpts from it can be found at www.usccb.org/vocations/video.htm.
The easy-to-use and state-of-the-art tool will enable parish groups to get the conversation about vocations started. The video/DVD features four segments which illustrate how priests and religious can serve the needs of the church. It also includes a brief study guide, available online to facilitate discussion.
Bishop Blase Cupich, chairman of the bishops' vocations committee, urged parishes and youth groups to emphasize the call to serve the church through the priesthood and religious life.
"Vocations are nurtured in the home and in the parish," said Bishop Cupich. "We need to keep the idea of a call to total commitment to the church front and center as an option for Catholic young people. This video/DVD helps parish leaders do that."
Father Mike Schwarte, the pastor in Petersburg, leads two parishes separated by a glacier, and pilots a small plane between them. He tells a compelling story of personal conversion and reflects his delight in bringing the sacraments to people in southeast Alaska.
Father Agustin Mateo, pastor of a Latin American parish in Washington, DC, shows life in an urban, multi-cultural parish, where Sunday means Mass, religious education, and hospitality. He highlights the strength he draws from the congregation and his belief that he can face anything because God provides for whatever is humanly lacking in him.
Sister Janet Gildea, MD and Sister Peggy Deneweth, RN, Sisters of Charity from Cincinnati, show life in the medical clinic they founded in El Paso, where they practice what they call "poverty medicine." Their work resembles that of the Charity sisters in pioneer days when they helped people along the frontier, they said.
Sister Mary Claudina Sanz, OSP, a member of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, directs the Mary Elizabeth Lange Center Baltimore, a home for troubled young women which is named for the Oblates' founder. Sister Claudina describes girls from the program who go to college and return to help others troubled as they once were. She speaks of her family in Belize where her parents with eight children took in three more who needed a home. At the Mary Elizabeth Lange Center, she provides similar warmth and care for young women.
Copies of the DVD are available for $10 each and copies of the videocassette are available at $15 each. They can be ordered through the USCCB Communications Department, Vocations Video, 3211 Fourth St., NE, Washington, DC 20017-1194. Orders should be accompanied by checks payable to USCCB Communications.