CHICAGO, IL – March 27, 2014 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – Marking the culmination of its inaugural Extension Day call to the youth of America, Catholic Extension announced today the top submissions and finalists who are now eligible for grants to benefit their ministry and carry their efforts forward. Extension Day is the organization’s response to a call by Pope Francis at World Youth Day in July for young people to “make some noise.” Thousands of America’s youth responded and more than 70 videos were received from 47 dioceses. From these, 23 finalists and six top submissions were selected.
Catholic Extension created Extension Day to encourage youth to dedicate a day of prayer, service or philanthropy and document their efforts on video. 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, star of the CBS crime drama television series NCIS: Los Angeles.
“The response from young Catholics in America to Extension Day was inspiring. We want what was ignited by Extension Day to gain momentum, inspiring all young people to answer Pope Francis’ call to extend beyond themselves and make an even greater impact on society.”
Cardinal Francis George, chancellor of Catholic Extension, presented a special report to Pope Francis as a unique gift to mark his first anniversary as pontiff. The report contained a selection of the videos, along with a detailed overview of Extension Day. In addition to the chance to have their submissions reviewed by Pope Francis, recipients are now eligible for grants to benefit their ministry.
The top six videos, which may be viewed at ExtensionDay.org, include:
— St. Gabriel’s Catholic School (Diocese of Austin, Texas): “The Coat Games”
— Office of Religious Formation (Diocese of El Paso, Texas): “Carnival for the Immigrant Children”
— Lexington Catholic H.S. Service Club (Diocese of Lexington, Ky.): “We Dance – for the Kids”
— Dodge Youth Group Ministry from the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Diocese of Dodge City, Kan.): “Teens Put Themselves in the Shoes of the Less Fortunate”
— Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Groups (Diocese of Stockton, Calif.): “Justice for All, Seeking Reform”
— Fuerza Transformadora (Diocese of Little Rock, Ar.): “Extension Day”
Although this year’s initiative has come to a close, the organization hopes to continue to shine a spotlight on these efforts going forward.
“The response from young Catholics in America to Extension Day was inspiring,” said Joe Boland, vice president of mission at Catholic Extension. “We want what was ignited by Extension Day to gain momentum, inspiring all young people to answer Pope Francis’ call to extend beyond themselves and make an even greater impact on society.”
To continue to highlight these efforts, Catholic Extension encourages young people to keep sharing what they’re doing via social media, including Facebook and Twitter, as a way to motivate others and demonstrate how faith can transform hearts, lives and society.
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 view all of the Extension Day videos and learn more about Catholic Extension, go to www.extensionday.org.
About Catholic Extension
Catholic Extension uniquely contributes to the growth and vibrancy of the Church in the United States by strategically investing in poor mission dioceses. Based in Chicago, this national organization provides funding to dioceses and parishes to support programs and services that invest in people, their ministries and their churches. Since 1905, Catholic Extension has distributed more than $500 million to communities across America. For more information visit www.catholicextension.org.