.- Young Catholic filmmakers have produced inspirational YouTube videos with Catholic themes as part of a contest to help evangelize others about the faith.
The Kentucky-based Catholic youth media group Goodness Reigns is running the contest, whose entrants include youth groups and individuals aged 14 and older from all skill levels. They have submitted short films on Church teachings, the sacraments, Church history, the lives of the saints and examples of the contemporary mission spirit.
Goodness Reigns’ People’s Choice Award promises a $1,000 cash prize to the winner of an internet vote.
Entrants are also competing in the “Share the Story” short film contest. On April 1 contest organizers will announce winners, who may choose either video equipment packages or all-inclusive travel packages to World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain.
The entries come from 25 U.S. states and Canada, India, Mexico and Pakistan.
As of Friday afternoon, the People’s Choice vote leader was a video titled “The Sacrament of Divine Mercy.” It retells a story from the life of St. John Bosco in which Satan tries to demoralize a priest and his congregation about the effectiveness of confession.
Another leading video, “The Ten Plagues,” reinterpets the biblical plagues in a high school setting. The video “Finding John Doe” involves a troubled girl contemplating suicide, while another, “Morning Star Family Holy Hour,” describes the Holy Hour at a children’ prayer group in New York state.
The contest will help create a repository of short films for catechists and the general public, organizers said.
Gabriel Castillo, director of evangelization at St. Theresa’s Church in Sugarland, Texas, praised the contest.
“Now youth groups and teachers will have a safe place to send their students and peers to get solid Catholic information presented in creative ways,” she said.
The website for the People’s Choice vote is http://www.goodnessreigns.com/vote