Despite troubling times, “Our
Priests” campaign proves Catholics’ strong support of priesthood
Congregations worldwide rally around their shepherds
“Thank you for
the comforting video in this troubled time for the Church. It gives
strength and helps us to refocus what is truly important, and for
what and whom we must pray.” Alix, Toronto
April 9, 2010,
Philadelphia, PA USA —
HONOR a priest.
ENCOURAGE a priest.
THANK a priest.
FORGIVE a priest.
BE a priest.
With this motto, the “Our
Priests” campaign was inaugurated last June 19, in response to our
Holy Father’s call for a Jubilee Year of the Priest.
Available as free streaming
video on the website of the Archdiocese of Boston’s CatholicTV.com,
“Our Priests” next public viewing will be to a crowd of over 7,000
attendees at the May 1st conference, “Be Not Afraid – There Is
Truth” sponsored by Legatus of St. Louis together with the
Archdiocese of St. Louis (www.archstl.org).
The “Our Priests” production
received an Apostolic Blessing from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
on February 3, 2010, and was officially recognized by His Eminence
Cardinal Justin Rigali of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as “a
worthy musical contribution to the global celebration of the Year of
Despite all the positive
feedback, its US-based organizers never imagined how far the
campaign would travel, nor that the palpable fervor of inspired
individuals and grateful congregations worldwide would use it to
unleash such great enthusiasm and support for their shepherds.
“We provided a tool, that’s
all,” said “Our Priest” producer Bridget G. Hylak. “We made sure it
was a good tool – as good as possible to honor our priests through
whose hands we receive the sacraments – but after that, we basically
just ‘let go, and let God,’ and the spiritual fruits generated on a
grassroots level have been tremendous.”
The moving “Our Priests”
production was first released on CD and iTunes last June, was
featured in L’Osservatore Romano twice during the month of
February, and is being described as the “Anthem of the Priesthood.”
Vocations have been inspired through it, as testified through
countless letters and phone calls.
The “anthem” soon evolved into
an inspirational music video currently airing on Catholic TV and
radio worldwide, and produced with the collaboration and
encouragement of over 100 international Catholic organizations, (arch)dioceses
Permissions have been granted
to individual parishes/congregations to translate and produce the
song (using the instrumental tracks provided on the CD) in Maltese,
Korean, Arabic, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Hindi, Italian, Cebuano, Nepali
and Turkish, not to mention the Spanish and English versions which
were part of the CD’s original release.
The quick yet powerful music
video has been shown to small and large congregations alike as a
tool both to encourage priests and inspire vocations, and over 1,000
copies of the “Our Priests” CD and DVD have been provided free of
charge to inspire and strengthen clergy members during this Jubilee
“This video clearly
demonstrates that priests are the real heroes, the real ‘stars’ of
our times, and becoming one, or supporting them with our prayers or
attitudes, is vitally important,” said Catholic Marketing Network
President Alan Napleton, who helped inspire the production.
Little more need be said than
the comments of laity and priests worldwide, which surely
demonstrate a deep respect, concern and gratitude for “our priests”
that unfortunately, may be absent from mainstream media headlines:
“Thank you yet again and again for the ‘Our
Priests’ project. It was a powerful reminder of the truly awesome
vocation the Lord has called me to and ordained me into, unworthy as
I am. Tonight I went over to the Church and offered the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass for this important ministry.” Fr. Jean-Luc,
“I am a Salesian priest working with the youth
in Mumbai. I was very impressed with this campaign and especially
this song for Priests, though which I have been humbled and inspired
to carry my cross. Thank you so much.” Fr. Glenn, Mumbai
“The Our Priests song is truly inspirational, I
listen to it regularly and it touches my soul deeply. I'm very
pleased and grateful for your efforts.
“Keep us posted on the continued progress and
be sure of my gratitude and prayer for you and this great work.”
Father Chris, Pennsylvania
“Such an inspirational video!
How could anyone watch this and NOT be inspired? A very good choice
of images - they really show the multitude of different situations
that a priest can find himself in and the diversity of the ministry
of a priest. Thank God for all our priests and may many more young
men respond to God's call.” Cindy, England
“May God continue to guide our
priests and strengthen them as they perform their duties. May this
video help them to see how much they mean to us.” Moses, Nigeria
“I think this wonderful video
particularly highlights the isolation and loneliness that can be
part of a priest’s lot. Although they minister to us, the people,
that in itself can be very isolating. Priests are asked to be all
things to all people, and with no one to share their emotions with,
this no doubt can leave them asking questions of themselves without
always having the reassurances that most of us need at some time in
our lives. An interesting video - I liked the words of the song's
refrain highlighting the role of the hands of a priest, with which
they 'tend.'” Flick, U.K.
“This is a must see video, so
well done and absolutely moving…. After watching it, I started to
remember many of the priests whom I’ve had contact with over the
years (decades), whose wisdom, kindness, dedication, etc. have made
a difference in my life. I shall never take any priests or what
they do for us for granted from this day forward. I am forwarding
this video link [at CatholicTV.com] to all my friends and family
members. Maybe we can reach every priest this way! Thank you so much
for sharing it with us.” Theresa, California, U.S.A.
“During the celebration of the
Meeting of the Vicariate of Arabia and Anniversary of the Bishop of
UAE, the Filipino host presented the video ‘Our Priests’. It is a
very amazing video, it is only a song and a little video clip, but
it touched our hearts deeply, and emotionally...
“I said to myself that I am so
very lucky, that we HAVE OUR priest, as the lyrics said, "Our
Priests! They are treasures! Their hands, our saving grace...
Instruments of God, they must never be disgraced..." In this part of
the video, while listening and watching this part of the video,
suddenly those of us there didn't realize it, but tears began to
fill our eyes, we felt cold in our body, [we felt] that Jesus Christ
embraced us. This song and video is very very fantastic and great
...really.. really.. it touched our hearts so deeply...
“The combination of the video
clips and the lyrics matched together so well and give us a message
in our heart.... We felt so happy at that moment for our priests...!
We thanked God more than ever for them and realize strongly how we
need them, to encourage them, as these times are difficult
especially and they are under greater attack.” Arcadio, United Arab
“May God bless Our Priests
because they enrich us with the Body and Blood of Christ. This is
such a good reminder of their importance and how much we need to be
grateful for.” Nabbaale, Uganda
The music video to the “Our
Priests” anthem is intended to honor priests and encourage vocations
for years to come, and shows a true mosaic of priests in all their
ranks, duties, ages and capacities.
Considering the response of the
faithful and the obvious outpouring of support on behalf of
Catholics worldwide, “Our Priests” organizers now feel that the
“Year of the Priest” has just begun, and pray this effort will
continue to encourage priests and seminarians for years to come.
Contact: Bridget Hylak
COME ALIVE COMMUNICATIONS, Inc. • West Grove,
610.869.3660 (Philadelphia, USA)