Book - Glorious priesthood

“When a young man tells me that he’s never been attracted to the priestly life, I know one thing for certain: He’s never really understood the priesthood.” 

With that observation, popular Catholic theologian — and former Presbyterian minister — Scott Hahn seeks to help Catholics “rediscover the glory of the priesthood,” as the subtitle reads to his new book, “Many are Called” (Doubleday, $14.99). 

Drawing on Scripture and tradition, Hahn explains why priests are central to the life of the Church (in a way that Protestant ministers are not to their communities). He unifies the priest’s diverse roles — as teacher, provider, mediator, judge and so on — in a robust understanding of priests as spiritual fathers. 

Hahn notes that society today tends to portray men as “libidinous, aggressive and greedy,” which distorts the authentic male — and fatherly — roles of “life-giver, protector and provider.” His attempt to correct that record in the context of the priesthood serves as an equally helpful reflection on authentic earthly fatherhood. 

Characteristic of Hahn, the 150-page book wears its obvious scholarship lightly, and is both inspirational and eminently readable. 

Website - Defending the uniqueness of marriage 

As proponents of same sex marriage continue to gain ground in today’s culture, despite the fact that a majority of Americans oppose homosexual unions, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has recently launched the Web initiative “Marriage: Unique for a Reason” to educate people about what God intended when he created marriage: the coming together of one man and one women in a lifelong, procreative union. 

Complete with a video, “Made for Each Other,” featuring a young married couple’s insights on sexual differences and complementarity, the website (www.marriageuniqueforareason.org) also provides answers to frequently asked questions about the meaning of marriage, sexual differences and the place of children within marital unions, as well offering links to Church documents on marriage.

Film - Lights, camera, action, Catholic-style 

Budding auteurs take note: Your filmmaking skills could earn you a trip to next year’s World Youth Day in Spain. 

The organization Goodness Reigns is sponsoring a short-film contest for Catholic teenagers and young adults. The films, which must be seven minutes or shorter, should have a subject relating to one of these four categories: Church history; sacraments; Church teachings; or present-day missionary spirit of an individual or Church ministry. 

The top filmmaker in each category will win a trip to Madrid for the youth gathering, which takes place Aug. 16-21, 2011. There will also be awards for high school group and young-adult group entries. 

Deadline to register for the contest is Dec. 1. For more information, visit www.goodnessreigns.com.