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, ENGLAND

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 12, 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 the Priest." The Cardinal's full Testimonial can be viewed at the campaign’s website, www.OurPriests.org.

Despite all the positive feedback, its Archdiocese of Philadelphia 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 and individuals.

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 Year.

"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 recent 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, U.S.A.


"I am a Salesian priest working with the youth in Mumbai. I was very impressed with this campaign and especially this song for Priests, through 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, USA


"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, U.S.A.


"May God bless this vital pastoral and vocational mission."

Fr. Carmelo, MALTA


"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 EMIRATES


"I'm grateful to the priests for having been always close to me in hard moments of my life... and, generally speaking, for having taken care of us always, everyday, tirelessly, and if one of them is wrong, we cannot forget all of them that give their life to the people."

Teresa, ITALY


"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


"Thank you for the CD and video, which moved me to tears. My share in the priesthood nears its 46th year, and I am forever grateful to God for this gift and all those who have so supported me along the way. The encouragement of others is so important to us priests.

"My present duty is to help form men for the priesthood. What a splendid way to serve the Church. The CD and DVD are now making their way around the seminary. We have 170 fine men here studying to be priests, and at least 50-60 are Hispanic. So pleased that they will hear 'Our Priests' ['Nuestros Sacerdotes'] in their own language!"

Fr. Pascal, USA


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, and the requests for sheet music or permissions to translate arriving almost daily, the "Our Priests" organizers have encountered the need to extend their efforts well beyond the climax of the "Year of the Priest" this June, 2010. Organizers pray this campaign will continue to encourage priests and seminarians for years to come. Let us pray for all "our priests," present, past and future, that God may encourage their divine work and strengthen the human frailties common to us all.


Contact:
Bridget Hylak
bhylak@ComeAliveUSA.com
COME ALIVE COMMUNICATIONS, Inc.
West Grove, PA 19390
610.869.3660 (Philadelphia, USA)