Interview with the host of "Catholic Stuff," Pablo Fernández.
What is Catholic Stuff?
We here at "Catholic Stuff" are a group of young people and religious brothers that belong to the Home of the Mother, an International Public Association of Faithful. One of the missions of the Home of the Mother is the conquest of the youth for Christ, and we wanted to do something to fulfill it. This is why we have joined forces and created the program "Catholic Stuff" with the purpose of releasing a video each week on YouTube to evangelize young people. They are short videos made to awaken lukewarm Catholics so that they, in turn, can begin to evangelize their friends. In each of the humorous videos we deal with different topics: confession, sin, the Eucharist, the vocation…
How did you join the project?
One of the Servant Brothers of the Home of the Mother asked me to do an apostolic year after attending some spiritual exercises. The apostolic year consists of spending one year with the Servant Brothers of the Home of the Mother. During that year they give you a course on audio-visuals, which touches on all areas: photography, videos, editing, lighting, how to do special effects, etc. As you learn, you also help to produce "Catholic Stuff," recording, acting, editing or doing whatever it is that you do best. But, above all, this is about growing in the faith. Every day we have formation talks, mass, adoration, rosary … it is about maturing and growing in the faith and at the same time participating in "Catholic Stuff" to help evangelize young people. And, of course, there are also sports, mountain hikes, retreats, etc.
How have people welcomed the program?
In reality, this is the first year that we have produced "Catholic Stuff." We released the first program on November 10, 2014, and we decided that we were going to challenge the audience at the end of each program; they have to meet the challenge if they want to see the next chapter. That way we create a set following audience around "Catholic Stuff." The first challenge was that the first episode had to reach 10,000 hits ... And we achieved it in just two weeks! The watchers really enjoyed the first episode; it was very well received. On November 24th, we released the second episode ... And, for the moment, it’s having a very good reception also, but we'll see…
What do you think is the key to the initial success of Catholic stuff?
The key here is that we tell the truth like it is, and without reservations. People, deep down, are looking for the truth, and are able to recognize it, even if they can’t accept it. We speak about the Truth that is Christ. He is the key to our success. In addition, we try to address the issues with humor and in a youthful manner, with colloquial expressions and jokes so as not to give the typical impression that faith is "boring". God is not boring!
What are young people looking for in the Church?
Young people seek to find the truth in the Church; they want something authentic. They need a reference, a compass to orient them in this world. They want to find real role models to follow in their lives, to be happy... but not the temporary and bittersweet happiness that the world promises, but the complete and eternal happiness that makes us all aspire towards God.
Is Catholicism a religion for the elderly?
No. Catholicism is a religion for all: elderly, children, adolescents and adults.
What problem do you see on the horizon for Catholic Stuff?
At the moment, we don’t see any problems on the horizon for Catholic Stuff, although we don’t want to be too optimistic either. We know that the devil is going to try to ruin this initiative, to prevent us from helping others and from saving souls. But we are not afraid.
Do you believe that the Church is old fashioned and out of date?
The Church is not old fashioned and it never will be, because the Church is founded on Christ, who never goes out of style or is outdated. He is the Truth, the Life, the Way. But, society has convinced us that being old fashioned is the same as changing ideas, or truths, as we see fit. That’s why they can’t come to the Church to look for ideas different from those they have always had! There is only one truth, and it cannot change just because one no longer likes it. What I do think is that the Church can improve on the ways it conveys that truth. That’s what we work towards.
What role does the youth play in the Church?
The youth have a very important role in the Church. They will one day be - and if God wants it - the parents, priests, etc. of the next generation, and they will have to transmit their faith to others. If they are not crazy in love for Christ, they will never be able to fully fulfill this mission. They are the future of the Church.
Do you see any downside, or any flaws, to the way of transmitting the message of the faith through YouTube?
The truth is that I do not see many drawbacks. It is a social network and a modern way through which you can reach many young people.
What attitude does Catholic Stuff have: to attack those who manipulate and pervert the faith, or to defend it with the truth and to put things in their place?
We are not trying to attack anyone; we intend to present the faith and the truth as it is, without omitting or manipulating anything. We try to make things clear.