A new video featuring Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of May was produced with the help of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Every month, the Rome-based Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network releases “The Pope Video” to broadcast the Holy Father’s monthly prayer intentions. May 2024’s prayer intention focuses on the formation of men and women religious, and seminarians.

“We pray that religious women and men, and seminarians, grow in their own vocations through their human, pastoral, spiritual and community formation, leading them to be credible witnesses to the Gospel,” May’s prayer intention reads.

In the video, Pope Francis speaks about the importance of this formation for religious vocations that never really ends but is an ongoing journey, strengthened by prayer, community and service.

“Every vocation is a ‘diamond in the rough’ that needs to be polished, worked, shaped on every side,” Pope Francis said.

“A good priest, sister or nun, must above all else be a man, a woman who is formed, shaped by the Lord’s grace.”

The pope also emphasized the importance of living in a community as part of formation. Although doing so can sometimes be difficult, the pope says, it helps people grow in faith, relate to others, and view new and different perspectives.

“Living together is not the same as living in community.”

The video produced by the Archdiocese of LA and with supporting footage from Grotto Network features Los Angeles-area priests, religious sisters and seminarians participating in ministry and community life. Some of the local elements include:

  • Father Michael Masteller, now associate pastor at St. Helen Church in South Gate, during his time as a seminarian at St. John’s Seminary
  • Father Luis Gerardo Peña, associate pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Northridge, ordained a priest in June 2023.
  • The Priests vs. Seminarians basketball game played at Cathedral High School in October 2023
  • Last year’s Eucharistic procession through downtown Los Angeles near Skid Row organized by the archdiocese’s Vocations Office, Sisters Poor of Jesus Christ, and Friars Poor of Jesus Christ.

The video comes weeks before the archdiocese’s annual presbyteral and diaconate ordinations. The 11 men set to be ordained priests June 1 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels is the biggest class since 2008.

“We are grateful to support Pope Francis in inviting people all over the world to pray for seminarians and women religious as they seek to discern God’s beautiful plan for their lives,” said Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez, who met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on April 29.

“Our digital team set out to personify the joy radiating from young men and women who dedicate their lives in service of God and His people,” said Sarah Yaklic, Chief Digital Officer for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “We hope the joy of the Gospel seen in this month’s Pope Video will strengthen those in formation and encourage other young people to consider a religious vocation.”

The Pope Video can be seen on the following platforms: