Friday, February 9, 2007

Saving the MTV generation

For those who are familiar with the Fishers of Men DVD which was produced for the Secretariat for Vocations of the USCCB, the producer, Joe Campos, wants to keep the message going. In an article that appears in the National Catholic Register (their site is subscription based, bummer), he outlines his vision not only for the Fishers of Men, but also for other projects that he is working on with his Grassroots Films and as director of St. Francis House in the Bronx.

First off, is it any surprise that he is associated with Fr. Benedict Groeschel? Campos recalls hearing Groeschel and partner Fr. Glenn Sudano preach a parish mission. At the time, he was Catholic, but mainly in name and not complete. After a conversion at Medjugorje, he hooked up with the then still new CFR group and took over as director of St. Francis House.

Grassroots Films started shortly after 9/11/2001, when a new residence of the house was persuaded to use his gifts of movies to work for the Lord. Their mission:

The point is to preach to the unchurched, and to get our message out to the
world. That's what we did with "Fishers of Men." We made it for the
people who are not priests and not in seminary, to show that the priesthood is a
challenge. This is for real men.
Catholics, of course, are going to watch our films, and they should.
But the messages in our films are for everyone, to make them see and
The way we use music in the films also helps you have a spiritual
experience. Music does something that no other sound does. It
bypasses reason and logic and goes directly to the soul. It's perfectly natural
for a human being's soul to reach for their Creator, and music is a vehicle to
do that.

He also has a great use for the Fisher's of Men program:

When we showed the "Fishers of Men" to about 600 people in Yonkers, N.Y.,
at the Catholic Underground, a young lady told us, "I know I can't be a priest,
but this film strengthens me for whatever I do in life. It will help me
follow my vocation."
They're showing this in seminaries, high schools, and churches. My
suggestion is that they show it to second graders. Where I come from,
little boys want to save the world. They want to be police officers and
fireman. Why not give them the option of saving souls? That's the
priesthood. And you have to give it to them before adolescence. If
you do, then adolescence will be formed with this in the heart.

Campos is currently seeking funding for a new project that is explicitly Pro-Life: The Human Experience, without mentioning abortion. There is a clip posted at his site to see what an early version looks like.

With all the discussions in the blogosphere about what the laity's role should be in the Church in the post-Vatican II era, I can't help but think that Joe Campos is leading the way to the authentic spirit of the Council: engaging and challenging the culture to something more, and it is all based in a radical commitment to the Truth.


Eric said...

I showed the Fishers of Men video last night to about 25 second through sixth graders at a boys club. My second grade son thought it was scarey. After, I asked them who was going into the seminary. Two raised their hands. I then asked who is considering the seminary. All but about 5 raised their hands.
A new video is being released tomorrow in Chicago called "Champions of Faith". I am getting it asap. It looks good.

I can't seem to get the trailer of the Human Experiance thing to work. I'll try a different computer.

Keep up the good fight!

Father Kyle said...

Thanks for the update, Eric.

The Champions of Faith looks like another worthy project, showing how living the Faith increases one's life to the fullest.

On a side note, we always wanted to get Sean Casey to the seminary while he was a Red, but we never got it worked out. Bummer :(