There’s no denying that Catholics are present on all social media platforms. Whether it’s a healthy debate on “Catholic Twitter,” building an online community through specialized websites and Facebook groups, or sharing their own life and faith journeys through personal blogs, there is no shortage of young Catholics using social media in ongoing evangelization efforts.
However, few have done it quite like Sancta Familia Media.
Sancta Familia Media (SFM) stands out from other Catholic YouTube channel in the best way. Instead of focusing their new evangelization efforts by drawing in viewers like most of their contemporaries, SFM seeks to share their faith the good old fashioned way. They simply present the Truth and beauty of the Catholic Church without the use of gimmicks or trendy hashtags and memes.
Some of their content includes “Catholic Know How” videos and points of interest for Catholics who may want to visit Scotland. But they also produce videos giving the world a glimpse into the lives of Catholics in Scotland by sharing highlights of current events happening around their diocese and country.
I was fortunate enough to be able to ask one of the founders, John Mallon, a few questions. We talked about the creative process behind their videos as well as what advice they would give other young Catholics who will undoubtedly be inspired to do something similar for their own parishes and dioceses.
Your YouTube channel stands out in a sea of channels on which young YouTubers, Catholics or otherwise, focus mainly on sharing what’s going on in their personal lives. What inspired you to create your channel? Was it created with a specific vision in mind or did it naturally evolve into what it is now?
My cousin Brian Timmons and myself were the founders of Sancta Familia Media. It grew from us filming short videos and history of our parish church of the Holy Family in Mossend. Sancta Familia as you probably know is the Latin of Holy Family. Our major success came through our Facebook page Holy Family RC Mossend growing to be the largest religious page in Scotland and the third in the UK!
Our specific aim was to share the beauty of our faith primarily but this involved into the historicity of the Catholic faith in our country. Our history has been much maligned and suppressed. So our aim was to share our influence in shaping Scottish society before the Reformation and up until the present covering busy events around the diocese and Scotland. Finally, we also felt the need to teach aspects of the faith that people found challenging or confusing or that they needed reminders.
Some of my favorite videos have been the “Catholic Know-How Series” videos (such as How Do You Receive Communion Properly?) because they explain the faith in a way that is accessible yet it doesn’t water down the faith. Can you give us a glimpse into what your process is when coming up with what will be included?
The beauty of our Catholic faith is the enduring and unchangeable truths. The key of these videos is to focus primarily on that truth. So with regards any editorial we must first run it by our parish priest to verify if there is anything unclear and inaccurate. We aren’t theologians, but lay Catholics, so we need help from time to time! Finally, it has to be entertaining as well as accurate so that comes down to editing and presentation. Short and snappy!
Recently, you’ve had one of your videos translated into Spanish for Spanish-speakers who watch your videos. Do you plan on doing the same for more videos in the future?
Yes! We were contacted by a Mexican priest who wanted a Spanish version of our viral video! I happen to have a Masters in French and Spanish Translation so this is one option which can be followed up in future.
If there are any young Catholics who would love to follow suit and create videos for their parishes in a similar manner, what advice can you give them?
Grab a camera, film, edit, have fun. Don’t be afraid of being the best just try your best and your skills will improve. Remember if we offer our talents to the Lord he takes them and multiplies them so we really could not have got where we are today without that bedrock of faith.
Head over to Sancta Familia Media’s YouTube channel to watch their videos and subscribe! I look forward to seeing what SFM will share with the world in the future and hope that this interview will inspire some of you to not be afraid to use your gifts and share your faith with the world (if you haven’t already).