Last June I learned of plans to launch a home-grown version of Catholic Voices. I offered my support, and I have been consistent with my prayers!

The original Catholic Voices initiative is British. In the lead up to Pope Benedict’s 2010 visit to the UK, a small number of media veterans trained twenty young Catholics in media skills, and organised media briefings on controversial Catholic issues. Catholic Voices quickly became a go-to resource for journalists seeking a local voice on Catholic news developments.

Since then, the initiative has been replicated all over the world. The Australian version was slow off the ground. The official launch was postponed at least once. Maybe it was twice. But then the pope did something nobody expected him to do. He resigned! And Catholic Voices Australia quickly mobilised.

Just as a papal visit was the ideal launching pad for the UK’s Catholic Voices, a papal election became CVA’s launching pad. Sky News, Channel Seven and the ABC all called on Catholic Voices in their coverage of the conclave. The challenge now is to provide young and faithful voices to the regular media panel of Catholic ‘talking heads,’ which is currently dominated by older, and often dissenting, voices.

CVA’s Facebook page gives a rundown on its media input to date. Perth’s Archdiocesan paper, The Record, reports on CVA’s official launch. And CVA itself is now seeking applications from “practising, committed Catholics aged between 20-45,” who can add to its pool of voices. If you’d like to get involved, visit their website.