Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Catholic Voices was an excellent initiative in the lead up to the Papal Visit last year. After observing a few train-crash interviews on the media and very aware of the potentially problematic welcome afforded by the British media, Austen Ivereigh and Jack Valero landed on the idea of training young adults to appear on the media. The idea was to give them an understanding of how the media works and also some insight into what the secular world would consider the more controversial elements of the Church's teaching. They could then not only be interviewed but also write articles, talk part in debates and use the new media to get over a more positive message.
Of course whatever is done will be controversial for a few. The project was criticised for focusing on young people and also because candidates had to undergo a selection process. To me this seems perfectly reasonable. I am certainly conscious that the project was a tremendous success and it was nice to see young people being interviewed and happily defending the Church's teaching on a wide range of interviews.
Drawing inspiration from Catholic Voices, the National Office for Vocation has come up with a new idea for Vocations Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Easter (15th May). "Vocation Voices" is a project to send young people into the parishes of the country to talk at the end of Mass about the importance of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. They need not be thinking of one of these vocations for themselves. We feel that a young person giving witness will be very effective in itself.
For more information about Vocation Voices or to volunteer to get involved send me an email at the Southwark Vocations Office.