Special to Inside The Pew
To celebrate the March 13 anniversary of Pope Francis’ election, the youth of America, with the help of Catholic Extension, are giving him a unique gift: a close-up look at their efforts to extend beyond themselves and “make some noise.”
After the pope challenged youth to “make some noise” at World Youth Day in July, Catholic Extension asked young people to answer his call by dedicating a day to prayer, service or philanthropy – an “Extension Day.” They then encouraged young people to document their Extension Day on video.
More than 70 videos were received involving thousands of youth from 47 dioceses across the U.S. Top videos were determined by social media support and a panel of judges, including Father Dave Dwyer, director of Busted Halo; Rev. Father Mark Mary, co-host of EWTN-TV’s popular Life on the Rock program; and actor Chris O’Donnell.
This week Cardinal Francis George, chancellor of Catholic Extension, is presenting a selection of the videos in a special report to Pope Francis. Finalists will be chosen and announced later this month. In addition to the chance to have their videos viewed by Pope Francis, recipients will be eligible for grants to benefit their ministry. Based on the response, Catholic Extension hopes to make Extension Day an annual event.
“We were overwhelmed not only by the number of youth participating in Extension Day, but also by the compassion and creativity of their good works,” said Joe Boland, vice president of mission at Catholic Extension. “Young Catholics in America are extending the love of Christ in so many ways, and we believe that sharing this with Pope Francis will be a meaningful gift to him.”
Catholic Extension, which is a national organization that supports people, ministries and churches across America, has a special relationship with young Catholics, providing more than $3 million annually in support of programs that engage youth and nurture future Church leaders. To watch Extension Day videos and learn more about Catholic Extension, visit http://www.extensionday.org.