The Catholic Company sponsored a contest this year (the Year for Priests) designed to recognize the tremendous contributions that our priests make to the Church. Especially amidst the recent scandal in the Church, it’s so important to remember that the vast majority of priests are outstanding individuals who play important roles in the spiritual life of the Church and in the individual lives of her members.
The Catholic Company’s “Incredible Priests. Incredible Stories.” contest was designed to encourage and motivate our Catholic priests and all the faithful through inspirational videos and essays based on real examples of how priests positively impact our lives. Over 70 priests were nominated for this year’s contest and 13 finalists were chosen before the winner was selected by a combination of judging by The Catholic Company staff, expert judges, and the voting public.
I was honored to get to be one of their “expert judges.” (I’m an expert on filling up baby pools…for those of you who were wondering. Oh and eating chocolate.)
This contest was an excellent idea because:
1. It gave a healthy outlet to my judgmentalness.
2. It encouraged the use of New Media to communicate.
3. It shared some really great stories about everyday priests that most of us would have never heard of.
4. Through the nomination of and video/essay about their priest, it gave parishioners an opportunity to say “thank you” to their priest.
5. It reminded all of us how important our priests are and how hard they work.
6. It sent one, well-deserving priest on a free trip to Rome.
Here’s the announcement of the winner:
Father Daniel Leary of Jesus the Divine Word Catholic Church in Huntingtown, MD has won the “Incredible Priests. Incredible Stories.” video and essay contest sponsored by The Catholic Company. Father Daniel will receive an 8 day trip to Rome to reward him with a well-deserved spiritual retreat.
Matthew Warner is the founder and CEO of Flocknote.com, an innovative communication tool helping thousands of churches and dioceses better connect with their flocks. He also blogs (MatthewWarner.me), is one of the founders and speakers of the Digital Church Conference, and is author of the book Messy and Foolish: How to Make a Mess, Be a Fool and Evangelize the World (messyandfoolish.com).
Matt has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship. He, his wife and his five children hang their hats in Texas.