In honor of the canonization of St. John Paul II, audiovisual resource page Catholic Link has created an animated video detailing the profound spiritual life of the saint with the hope of reaching youth.
“With the video we try to tell people and share his life, but in a way that really emphasizes this central point…what the core, the nucleus of all of this was his relationship with Christ,” Garrett Johnson told CNA in a May 13 interview. Johnson is the administrator for the English page of Catholic Link, which also has editions in Spanish and Italian, and has been living in Rome for the past two years studying philosophy.
Entitled “Saint John Paul II: the life of a holy Pope,” the video was launched by the site May 13 in all three languages. Speaking of the specific mission of Catholic Link, Johnson noted that the organization originally developed when a group of young Catholics “got together” and brainstormed about how to evangelize in a new way, particularly through the use of the internet. Catholic Link then developed as a resource page where administrators search for any videos or audiovisual content that would be useful for doing apostolate, such as working in small groups, in parishes or when giving a talk. “What we try to do is we look in various channels for videos that can be religious or they can be secular without any specific religious content, but videos that can speak to the youth today and that have a message.” Having had roaring success with a video they produced about Pope Francis following his election to the Seat of Peter, Johnson explained that when they first heard St. John Paul II was to be canonized, “we knew we had to do something about it.” When thinking about how to create a video that would be unique amid so many others, the administrator recalled how he had seen numerous videos come out about the saint, but that “many people still didn’t really understand who he was still.” “And the most important part about John Paul II wasn’t only the fact that he did a lot of trips, that he spoke to a lot of people, that he was very famous, that he had a political role to play in communism and all these kind of things,” he continued. “The most important part and to really understand who he was you have to understand his relationship with Christ. So with the video we try to tell people and share his life, but in a way that really emphasizes this central point.” Explaining that the video was crafted and edited by a young Ecuadorian man named Canva Ma who is currently studying digital animation, Johnson noted that he is “a very talented guy who has offered his gifts to help us out with this project.” Ma “has spent hours and hours and long nights working on it, so we’re all extremely thankful for what he’s offered,” the administrator continued, pointing out that he also edited the first video they produced on Pope Francis. “He’s really made this impressive jump of quality, and he’s improved the graphics, so we’re excited to see that he’s also growing in this.” Johnson also spoke of the organization’s new website, which is slated to launch within the next two weeks. The idea was “to modernize it, to improve the ascetic values of the page” and “to improve the features that it has.” “We’re about ready and we’re extremely excited and anxious to finally get this thing going” he stated, explaining that as far as future goals for Catholic Link are concerned, “the sky’s the limit.”