Westminster launches documentary film to promote Priesthood

 A documentary film and website designed to encourage more men to become Catholic Priests, has been launched by the Diocese of Westminster. Filmed in the west London parish of Our Lady of Fatima, White City, and at Allen Hall seminary in Chelsea, 'It is Time' tells the story of two men in the final stages of becoming Priests and gives a contemporary insight into the Catholic Church. The film can be seen on: www.itistime.org.uk and on the Diocese of Westminster's website www.rcdow.org.uk, as well as on You Tube and other video streaming websites. DVDs of the 20 minute film have been sent to all 216 parishes and 39 Catholic secondary schools in the Diocese of Westminster in the run-up to Vocations Sunday, which takes place this week. In a special introduction to the film, the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said: "To become a Priest is an extremely challenging task, but it is a very, very worthwhile vocation. In the Diocese of Westminster we have over 300 Priests serving parishes through their prayer, through celebrating the sacraments and through preaching the Word. If you think that this is something you want to explore, first pray about it, and then go and see a Priest who you can talk to easily and find out something more of how you will find out if God does want you to become a Priest and follow and serve Jesus Christ." Fr. Chris Vipers, Vocations Director for the Diocese of Westminster, said: "The last few years have seen a steady rise in the numbers of men training to become Priests in the Diocese of Westminster. In September 2007, we plan to have 28 trainee Priests in our Diocese, up from the current number of 22. Our new Vocations film, 'It is Time' will allow us to build on these numbers by giving men thinking about the Priesthood a chance to see for themselves why others have embarked on this journey and to understand some of the challenges and opportunities that being a Priest hold. "As well as being a resource for men who may already be thinking about becoming Priests, 'It is Time' will also be of interest to schools and students studying Religion and Citizenship. Filmed in the London parish of White City, it presents an up-to-date picture of Priesthood and paints a picture of the life of an inner-city parish which fully reflects the vibrancy and diversity of the Catholic Church in London today." "In the 21st century," continued Fr Chris Vipers, "it's very important that the Catholic Church communicates using a range of new technologies. That's why, as well as making this film available as a DVD, it can also be seen on a range of websites. In this way, we are making this film available to as many people as possible, allowing them to find out more about the Catholic Church and what Pope Benedict XVI has called the irreplaceable mission of the Priest." 'It is Time' was produced by the Diocese of Westminster in conjunction with Bob Walters from Media Ink, a film production company which has previously produced a number of other films for the Diocese of Westminster and other Catholic organizations. 'It is Time' - Synopsis 'It is Time' follows John McKenna in the final weeks before he becomes a Priest and includes moving coverage of his ordination by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor at the White City parish of Our Lady of Fatima. It also features Richard Nesbitt as he is about to become a deacon, the last stage in Priestly formation before ordination. Since the film was made, Fr John Mckenna has become an Assistant Priest in Wood Green parish. Richard Nesbitt, who is currently a deacon at Westminster Cathedral, is due to be ordained a Priest in June 2007. In 'It is Time', both men talk honestly about their faith and the journeys that led them to starting the six year process that leads to ordination as Priest. The film also includes answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Catholic Priesthood. Source: Diocese of Westminster

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