In his message during the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Pope Francis urged the Catholic youth and Catholics all over the globe to be “joyful witnesses of His love, courageous witnesses of His Gospel, carrying to this world a ray of His light” and to be “the first to bring good” and not to “grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it.”
To ‘be the first’ connotes ‘initiative’; not sitting and waiting but doing it firsthand. That is why our team has decided to launch the latest addition to our sections, the Outstanding Initiatives.
Outstanding Initiatives seeks to feature a collection of Catholic initiatives all over the globe that promotes the values and teachings of the Catholic faith through videos, blogs, etc. We have been featuring quite a few extraordinary videos to support the message that we seek to convey with our apostolate through our regular posts, so we figure why not feature people and organizations who, in their own way, contribute to the mission of the Church. Our hope is that this will then create a ripple effect and reach that one faithful in corner of the world with the message that the Church is alive and that he or she has an important role to play. For our maiden edition of Outstanding Initiatives, we present to you the first set of what we gathered from around the web.
In an age dominated by social media, fashion and celebrities, one vital factor is directly affected – values. A Catholic group from Austria created a video that tackles the question of how the heart of the modern man behaves. The video presents a juxtaposition of events and the person’s response to each. The initiative provides viewers the opportunity to examine their responses on identity, priorities, and purpose based on the realities presented to them. That constant struggle with wanting to be someone else; the question of how we make use of our talents and confront the world’s distorted definition of greatness and power. They have that interesting approach of asking questions instead of directly stating the message, accompanied with a good video and a rather interesting choice of music.
The New Catholic Generation
Video blogging has become handy since the creation of YouTube and many have found fame and fortune just by posting videos showcasing their talents and reaching millions. For eighteen year-old Renee Catherine, however, it provided her a platform to share her experience as a young Catholic, expressed in a way that is relatable to people her age as posted through her YouTube channel called Reborn Pure. After seeing the positive response that she received, she invited young Catholics to create their own video testimony and post it under Reborn Pure. This resulted in a bigger initiative called New Catholic Generation. We present to you an interview of Renee explaining the scope of this initiative.
The Chastity Project
Founded by a young couple named Jason and Crystalina Evert, this initiative tackles the very vital, and often taken for granted topic of chastity and everything that comes with it. The initiative takes on the great challenge of putting it back on the mainstream and talking about it more seriously and upfront; what it really means to be pure and the very clear message that it is possible! The Chastity Project brings their message to the world, especially to young people, by giving talks on dating, vocation and spirituality as well as the more sensitive topics such as pornography and homosexuality. Highly recommended for parents and teachers who often get asked questions on these topics by the young. This is also a great help for teens who are looking for answers. Information on their activities and project can be found on their website www.chastityproject.com.
A poem, a video camera and pure love for a friend. Meet Mario Trifunovic from Croatia who was inspired to write a poem about his friend, Jesus Christ. And he doesn’t stop there, he created a video out of it and uploaded it on Youtube for the world to see: “I was inspired to write a poem about my best friend, Jesus, and all I hope is that my video will open many hearts for Jesus.”
Mario’s testimony is an invitation for all of us to recognize our friendship with the Lord Jesus and share our experience with others. It is also a challenge to boldly speak of our friendship with Him in a way that would inspire others to do the same.
And that wraps up our first-ever edition of Outstanding Initiatives! We hope you found inspiration to finally start yours with your friends and your community. Remember that the call to cooperate with the Plan of God and the mission of the Church is for all of us. It doesn’t take an entire production, a fully equipped studio or even money to share your testimony of faith and create that ripple to inspire others. Remember the mustard seed and how it grows to be a huge tree.
So, if you have a Catholic initiative or you know of any – it can be a blog, a campaign, a group or a video channel – that you think we could feature for our next edition of Outstanding Initiatives, please feel free to send it our way.
Catch our next edition of Outstanding Initiatives!