As some of you know, priest and/or seminary recruitment videos have been getting attention at dotCommonweal (here and here) among other places this week. Last month, I posted this video with no comments following. The Fr Barron critique got 163 at dotC.
I will share with you all what I wrote in response to my Ascension Press contact last month:
– 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. Your 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 your production values and how moving and honest the witness is.
All of the videos under discussion presume an active faith. People of active faith–they numbers in the few tens of thousands I would guess–will be steered into ministry of all sorts, including Holy Orders largely through the personal witness of others. What these videos do is to touch on the inner drive and inspiration of the individual.
– It’s only effective to the people we’ve already got. 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.
We have believers in the millions who are largely disengaged from active faith. Who is gong to make the videos that will nudge them into intentionality, discipleship, and commitment. What is the greater need: a few thousand more priests, or a few million more disciples?