National video contest for V Encuentro open now

Saturday, Jun. 10, 2017
National video contest for V Encuentro open now + Enlarge
Members of the youth group of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish enact a scene from the video they will submit for the V Encuentro contest.
By Laura Vallejo
Intermountain Catholic

WEST VALLEY CITY — Hispanic youth from all over the country are encouraged to create a video with dances and interpretations of the song “Nuestra Alegria,” which is the official theme for the youth in the V Encuentro.
The national V Encuentro is sponsoring the video contest.
“This is a national contest open to all the Hispanic youth in our parishes, schools and groups in our diocese,” said Junuee Castro, the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City’s director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry.
Inspired by both Jesus’ example evident in the Gospels and by Pope Francis’ call to bring joy and hope to the periphery, the V Encuentro process “will reach out to those who live in isolation, in sorrow and in poverty, and to those who find themselves wounded along the way and need the merciful and tender embrace of Christ. From there, one will be able to discern the Church’s best pastoral and evangelizing response to parishes, dioceses and ecclesial movements, both at a regional and at a national level. On this joyful journey, there will be a preferential option for Hispanic/Latino youth,” reads the invitation to this contest.
The youth group from Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Salt Lake City already has recorded a video clip and is excited to be able to participate in the contest, which  offers a first price of $1,000.
Jaime Zuazo, a young adult from Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, organized the youth who participated in the video clip.
“We were trying to find ways to get together and know more about our parish youth in an informal setting. ... When we shared the news about this viral video challenge, they got really excited and start working on it,” Zuazo said.
Over the course of several weeks, more than 25 youth and young adults ranging in age from 13 to 35 gathered at the parish to brain-storm ideas for the choreography, costumes  and other details needed to interpret the song lyrics.   
“For example, when the song states ‘our joy is in the service,’ some dressed as homeless people and others went to them to feed them; or when the song states ‘our mission is to evangelize,’ we all danced and gave a Bible to the youngest ones,” said Zuazo.
Besides being a fun way of getting together and working as a team, creating the video was also a way of teaching the youth more about the Catholic faith, he said.
“Some asked questions such as ‘What is evangelization?’, so this was really a fun way to learn more about our faith without having a formal setting such as in the religion classes,” Zuazo said, adding that “It’s very important that the young adults motivate our youth to participate more in parish activities and this [the viral video challenge] is a great way to do it.”
For the past 18 months, the diocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry has been part of the national V Encuentro effort, which is a priority of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops.
The Encuentro process invites all Catholics across the United States to missionary activity, leadership development and identification of best ministerial practices in the spirit of the New Evangelization.
During the V Encuentro process, at least 30 percent of each diocesan delegation must be those 35 years of age or younger, Castro said. “So our youth are very important during this V Encuentro process and this challenge is a great way of inviting them to participate.”
The video viral challenge registration is open until June 30. To participate, contact Junuee Castro, 801-456-9313 or

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