Fishers of Men, the 18-minute video (given as two clippings here) that is a major resource in a vocational recruitment project launched last year by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has been honored with a Gabriel Award, in Hollywood, California.
More than 60,000 copies of the DVD have been distributed nationwide and beyond. Fishers of Men has been aired on TV stations, shown in schools, during parish Masses, seminaries and small group settings and played on individual computers.
Fishers of Men was produced by Grassroots Films of Brooklyn, New York, and is a fast-paced video which shows many of the facets of a priest’s daily life. Several priests provide testimony to the importance they place on their own vocation. A dramatic re-enactment portrays how a priest can inspire a vocation through his service to someone in need of priestly ministry.
The Fishers of Men project is intended to renew priests’ sense of fulfillment in their vocation and to encourage them to draw on that satisfaction to invite other men to pursue the priesthood. It is based on Christ’s call to the first Apostles, “I will make you fishers of men” (Mk 1:17). The project was developed by the USCCB Committee on Vocations.
The Gabriel Awards are sponsored by the Catholic Academy for Communications Arts Professionals to honor works of excellence in broadcasting. Other 2007 winners include Picturing Mary, an effort by the USCCB and Thirteen/WNET, the nation’s flagship PBS station; and Disney’s Little Einsteins: A Tall Totem Tale, from the Disney Channel.
Joseph Campo, producer of Fishers of Men, said, “I speak for everyone on the Grassroots Films staff when I say that we have always had a positive view and appreciation of the Catholic priesthood throughout the world, and we are grateful for the opportunity to portray what it means to be a priest in the film, Fishers of Men.” He finds the DVD’s success heartening.
“Serious filmmakers always work to produce something of extraordinary artistic quality,” Campo said. “When the work can serve a noble goal such as inviting men to the priesthood, it’s doubly rewarding for the artists.”