SOURCE: Archdiocese of Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 31, 2013) - Men preparing for priesthood have increased in both numbers and diversity during the past five years, a trend captured in a video released today by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles' Office for Vocations. The video, "Follow Me: Journeys to Priesthood," features interviews with seminarians and priests answering the call to the priesthood from different walks of life, including an Emmy Award winning actor, a business executive and surfers.
"It is our hope that, by watching the video, someone may be moved to begin an internal dialogue with God to help them discern a possible vocation to the priesthood," said Fr. Steve Davoren, Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. "We want to portray ordinary men being called by God to live extraordinary lives."
In the past ten years, national enrollment for seminaries has increased by approximately 13%, from 3285 to nearly 3700. The enrollment at St. John's Seminary is up 33% from five years ago for the 2013-14 academic period at St. John's Seminary in Camarillo. St. John's has its highest enrollment in years with a total of 92 seminarians, 25 of them new, preparing for the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles or other dioceses. For the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, there are 20 men in their first year pursuing the priesthood -- 11 at St. John's and nine at Juan Diego House of Formation in Gardena.
The diversity of the seminarians at St. John's has also increased, with their ages ranging from 22-45 and representing six countries: United States, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, Guatemala and Uganda.
The 13-minute production focuses on what inspired the featured seminarians and priests to answer the call to the priesthood and how it has changed their lives. Many of the seminarians left successful professional careers to devote their lives to serving God.
They include Emmy-award winning actor Danny Jacobs, a seminarian from St. Victor Church in West Hollywood. Holding his award statue, he asked himself: "How can I help people with this? What is this doing for me? What your authentic self wants is the same thing God wants for you. And He's trying to tell you that. But He's a gentleman, and He speaks in a whisper. And He waits until you listen."
"Follow Me: Journeys to Priesthood" will be shown at Catholic high schools, youth rallies, religious conferences and local parishes to educate people on the experience of being called to serve God, and to encourage youth and men interested in pursuing the priesthood.
The video, produced by Los Angeles-based Kudos Image & Media, was shot at locations throughout Los Angeles including the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles, St. John's Seminary and Juan Diego House.
"There's a special bond between seminarians and priests because we are preparing to serve the people. It's really great to spend some time with my brother seminarians who surf, and priests who surf," said seminarian John O Brien, of St. Monica Parish in Santa Monica, who is featured in the video.
To see the full video and trailers visit the following links:
Follow Me: Journeys to Priesthood (Full length):
Follow Me: A Journey into Priesthood: The Surfer Priest
Follow Me: A Journey into Priesthood: The Immigrant Priest
Follow Me: A Journey into Priesthood: The Actor Priest
Follow Me: A Journey into Priesthood: Seminaries of Los Angeles