By MARY ANNE CASTRANIO, Staff Writer | Published December 6, 2012
Have you ever felt inspired to share your faith … in video?
As an initiative of the Year of Faith with Mary, the Archdiocese of Atlanta is holding a video contest for people of all ages who want to think creatively about their faith, lives and devotion to God—and put those thoughts into action in the form of a video to be shared with the world.
Prizes for the contest, open to all Catholics residing within the 69 counties of the Atlanta Archdiocese, include a first-place award of a pilgrimage for two to Rome, Italy, and a second-place award of a pilgrimage for two to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Additional prizes include a pizza party (for up to 20) for the top 10 group submissions and a Chick-fil-A meal (for up to six) for the top 10 individual submissions. Winners will be announced at the 2013 Eucharistic Congress May 31-June 1, 2013.
The assignment: create an inspirational video on one of the following topics: “Our Catholic Faith” or “Mary, Faith Personified.” The video can be in any language or silent.
The maximum length of the video is three minutes, including all film credits; the maximum size of the video, which can be in any standard format, cannot exceed one gigabyte.
Families and groups, as well as individuals can participate. Youth under age 18 need to include a parent consent form with their entries.
Video entries must be submitted through the “Submit Video” link on the Atlanta Archdiocesan Year of Faith website (www.archatl.com/yof) no later than midnight on March 1, 2013. The videos submitted to the contest become the property of the archdiocese. Some selected videos will be available for viewing on the Year of Faith webpage and on the newly released Year of Faith with Mary mobile phone app.
The content of all entries must be in compliance with the teachings of the Catholic faith.
The complete rules for the contest, including consent forms and releases, can be found on the Year of Faith website.
The focus for selecting the winners is on how well the video reflects the faith and creativity of those creating the video. A panel of judges including clergy, religious, laity and Chancery staff will select contest finalists based on originality, clarity of message, impact of message, and conformity to Catholic teaching.
Finalist videos will be posted on the Year of Faith website.
Deacon Steve Swope, a member of the steering committee for the contest, said they are hoping to generate a lot of enthusiasm for the Year of Faith with these videos.
“The videos are a way to share the Good News of Christ and the beauty of our Catholic faith,” he said. “They’re a way to engage all of the faithful and help them draw ever closer to God in this Year of Faith.”
The use of videos and all forms of media has been encouraged by Pope Benedict XVI, as a reflection of Blessed John Paul II’s teaching on the New Evangelization.
Deacon Swope noted that Pope Benedict has “encouraged the Church to embrace current avenues of media in order to connect with the world in which we live and convey the message of Christ, who loves us all.”
He added that the committee chose the idea of a video contest because with “the current state of technology, just about anyone with a smart phone has all of the equipment necessary to create a video.”
In particular, the committee is hoping that youth and young adults will accept the invitation of the video contest. “It’s an invitation to celebrate faith in Christ, to share his message, to share our affection for his mother and our love of Christ’s Church,” said Deacon Swope.
Peter Faletti, another member of the steering committee, said, “We would also encourage all who choose to submit a video to share it with family and friends via email, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social networks.”
In addition to the prizes, the rewards for participating in the contest can be personally satisfying. The committee members believe the process of creating a video will help Catholics reflect on their own faith and their own love of Jesus Christ and his Blessed Mother.
Deacon Swope said, “When you contemplate the gift of faith many things can happen. You may realize with great gratitude the grace that God has bestowed in your faith or you may come to a deeper relationship with God as you think about the many dimensions of your faith.”
The committee is looking forward to receiving submissions from individuals and groups and families. Groups can be parish centered, ministries, religion classes, school classes—all are welcome.
Deacon Swope said, “Everyone should consider entering. You may win a trip to Rome, the National Shrine or one of the other prizes. Better yet, you may find you have had fun and deepened your faith in the process.”