.- Fishers of Men, a DVD created to inspire vocations to the priesthood, has been awarded the Gabriel Award for its quality depiction of the priestly life.
The fast-paced video shows many facets of priestly service through the personal testimony of active priests. It also features a dramatic re-enactment that suggests how a priest can inspire vocations. It is intended to renew priests' sense of fulfillment in their vocation while inviting other men to consider the priesthood.
The place of priests in seminarian recruitment is vital. Eighty percent of newly ordained priests in the United States say a priest invited them to consider the priesthood.
The video was developed by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Vocations. More than 60,000 copies of the DVD have been distributed nationwide and internationally.
Joseph Campo, producer of Fishers of Men, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to portray the priestly vocation. “Serious filmmakers always work to produce something of extraordinary artistic quality,” he said. “When the work can serve a noble goal such as inviting men to the priesthood, it’s doubly rewarding for the artists.”
Bishop Blase Cupich of Rapid City, South Dakota lauded the video. “Anyone interested in the priesthood, whatever his age, responds to the DVD’s message: The priesthood is a call to service," he said. “With modern cinematography the filmmakers have captured the timeless calling of the priesthood: Follow and be like Jesus.”
Monsignor Edward J. Burns, Executive Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation, described the program's success:
“This program has reached almost 50 percent of our dioceses and is now going international,” he said. “Nineteen countries have contacted us regarding this program. It is not only a resource for the church in the United States but hopefully a resource for the church universal. The testimonies of young men who have watched this production have made it all worthwhile.”
The Gabriel Awards are sponsored by the Catholic Academy for Communications Arts Professionals to honor works of excellence in broadcasting.
The Fishers of Men trailer can be viewed at http://ccc.usccb.org/video/fishers_of_men1.wmv