VIDEO CONTEST PROMOTES SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION
In an innovative campaign, the Metro New York and Long Island Catholic dioceses have turned to young people to help spread the word about the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn, and the Diocese of Rockville Centre have offered students an opportunity to create and submit short (up to 1 minute in length) YouTube style videos to promote the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The contest, which is open to students in any accredited institution of learning from across the country, carries a top prize of $25,000 for the winner, with an additional $25,000 going to the student’s school or parish. A second prize of $10,000 and multiple third place prizes of $1,000 will also be awarded.
This campaign is in support of Reconciliation Monday, which will be celebrated on April 18, when the Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as Confession or Penance) will be available between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. in every parish in the three dioceses.
The dioceses have launched www.i-confess.com, a web site to promote the video contest that the students can use to submit their entries. The website also has a parish directory to help those seeking the sacrament locate the Catholic church nearest to them. The contest is open to students from Catholic, public, and private schools. A complete list of contest rules and an entry form can be found at www.i-confess.com.
After the first week of the campaign there have already been dozens of videos submitted for the contest.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York said “Reconciliation Monday is a wonderful opportunity for all Catholics, even those who may have been away from the Church and the sacraments, to experience the healing power of Christ and be reconciled to God through the Sacrament of Penance.” He continued, “This campaign is an experiment in how new media can be employed to enable those healings words to echo throughout the world wide web. I hope that many people will hear the invitation and respond.”
“Last year, tens of thousands of people have availed themselves of the healing power of the Sacrament” said Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre. He continued, “Completely convinced as I am of the beauty and the awesome grace that this sacrament gives us, I invite you in the name of Jesus Christ, to avail yourself of this sacrament. This is the place where we always meet God in his total and unbounded love expressed through His own forgiveness of all our sins. Please come to the sacrament, especially this Lent and experience the peace that comes from being bathed in God’s merciful love.”
“By initiating this campaign, the Bishops of downstate New York have sent a strong signal, that our world is in need of forgiveness and all should have an opportunity to avail themselves of the Sacrament of Penance in a way that is respectful of the complexities finding time in our modern world.” said Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn.
The Archdiocese of New York extends from Ulster County to Staten Island, the Diocese of Brooklyn includes the borough of Queens, and the Diocese of Rockville Centre encompasses Nassau and Suffolk Counties.