A contact at Ascension Press sent me the link to this video. It’s as long as a typical homily, so I wonder if it would hold the attention of high school people–where I was told this production is targeted.
I sent a long-ish email in reply, but the basic points I hit were these:
– I see a lot of vocations surfacing in college years, though I realize my vantage point as a university campus minister skews that. Some age 30-60 priests I know had a glimmer as a teen, but among the majority of priests I know, it was their college days and influences in young adult life that got them to where they are. Aiming a video like this at college students would bear more fruit, I would think.
– If you aim at high school, the more crucial calling–and the two priests hinted at this in the film–is the call to holiness as a baptized person. This film will nudge the already-Catholic. A young person who has given up on the Church won’t sit still for ten minutes, no matter how good the production values are and how moving and honest the witness is.
– On that note, 90 seconds or less might be all a filmmaker has to plant a seed. By all means, keep making long films. This one is good.
Young people I know on the fringes of faith are not impressed with information. But they are willing to be accompanied if a person is willing to listen to them and answer what’s on their agenda. The best film shows. It can’t listen. It can’t accompany. The key is always inspiring good ministers to give future disciples that retreat, that companionship, that sacramental leadership.
Watching it, and considering your own experience as a believer, what would you tell the filmmakers at Ascension?