Sunday, March 28, 2010

An End to the Vocations Crisis

Fishers of Men
Posted By Elizabeth Yank On September 2, 2006 @ 12:00 am In Arts & Entertainment | Catholic Exchange

With this film, the vocations crisis could end. That may sound like an exaggeration, but if you saw this extraordinary film you would agree. Fishers of Men is a powerful documentary! In our media driven culture, this movie was produced with the young person in mind. The images are bold, colorful, and exciting. The script is fast-paced and multi-layered with many themes running at the same time. Yet the strength of this film lies in its message. It spells out the truth in no uncertain terms. The priesthood is a calling from God. “The priesthood is tough. It is for real men. You have to be a real man if you want to become a priest.”
One of the greatest examples of a good and holy priest is Pope John Paul II. Watching clips of him brings back many emotional memories. What is his unabashed message to young people, “Be not afraid.”
Who should watch this film? While the target audience is young men considering the priesthood, every Catholic should watch this film. Catholics would have a far greater understanding of the role of the priest, his mission, and his calling if they would watch this film. The priest has been given one of the greatest gifts by God; to change bread and wine into the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ to nourish our bodies and souls. Do we fully comprehend the incredible magnitude of this gift, or do we take it for granted?
The priest’s mission is to serve. Mothers and fathers should certainly be able to relate to that calling. The priest has been called to serve us at many moments in our lives. We see images of priests baptizing babies, celebrating mass, presiding at a wedding, blessing a closed coffin, hearing confessions, and offering absolution to a dying young man. We see images of priests as chaplains in the military, visiting the elderly in a nursing home, hearing a confession of someone in prison, and greeting people after mass.
After seeing this impressive film, parents might not hesitate to give their sons their blessing when they ask to join the priesthood. Friends and relatives would no longer plant the seeds of doubt and discouragement. They would say, “Wow! You want to be a priest! That is great!”
Priests should watch this film to renew their sense of hope and mission. We see a broad range of men from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds expressing their love, joy, and enthusiasm of the priesthood.
Young people should watch this film, so that boys would be open to the calling to the priesthood and girls would have a greater respect for who the priest represents. Young people do, in fact, understand the importance of the role of the priest. In the film, there is a series of interviews with young people who attended World Youth Day in Cologne saying why they value priests.
Catholic schools should have their students watch it and discuss it in their classrooms. Parents should watch it with their children at home. Elderly people should watch it and pray for vocations to the priesthood.
As you can see, I think everyone should watch this film, because they would be moved to think and act. If there are not enough priests to serve a diocese, I need to ask myself, “What have I done?” Have I prayed for our priests and bishops? Have I prayed for vocations? We are all called to evangelize.
Let me add that I am not a video person. I would much prefer to read a book. This film is gripping. Fishers of Men immerses our senses in the reality we so easily forget. In daily life, it is so easy to see the human faults of our priests. But who is he? What is he doing for us? He is laying down his life as Jesus did. He is bringing us the sacraments. Without sacraments, where would we be? Watch this film. You will be amazed, refreshed, and renewed in the love of your Catholic faith.
See also:
Fishers of Men 2005
Catholic Exchange:
An End to the Vocations Crisis

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