If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em—in video games, that is. As the story goes, when a boy refused to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation from his class, a priest only known as Fr. Jim decided to pay the boy a visit at home. There he saw the boy engrossed in Minecraft, a video sandbox game noted for its blocky 3D visuals and virtual infinite terrain.
It was also one of the few video games that promoted building instead of destroying, Fr. Jim told aleteia.org. “So the thought came to mind to present a little of the Catholic faith within the world of Minecraft.” (Read: Want to know how it feels to be Jesus? This new video game will show you how!)
In 2012, he launched Lumen Fidei (Light of the World), his YouTube channel featuring “Catholic themes explored in the world of Minecraft.” The channel has 1.3K subscribers and its content (Catholic teachings that translate well into games, he says) ranges from seven years ago to the latest uploaded on July 30, 2021, as of this writing. Fr. Jim, who oversees the construction of his videos, has help from a number of Minecraft enthusiasts—from students of all ages to a Dominican priest who created an in-game St. Vincent Ferrer Convent.
Know of a kid or teen that isn’t interested or can’t focus on anything religion-related? Have them check out these three Minecraft-inspired videos:
Catholicism in Minecraft: Catholic Mass Minecraft Style
No one can say no to this version of the Holy Mass, presented via breathtaking roller-coaster ride. Even with the crude graphics reminiscent of cross stitch, the sudden rises, dips, and turns make you feel like you’re on an actual roller-coaster.
Catholicism in Minecraft: Catholic Confession Minecraft Style
Ideal for religious education in the grade school and high school levels, this video presents a biblical and historical perspective of confessing your sins. Viewers will also get the message in the 7- minute-12-second mark: “Confess every day to Jesus in private prayer. Confess, especially mortal sins, at least once a year to Jesus through a priest.” (Read: Bored? Stimulate your senses with these 10 websites)
Catholicism in Minecraft: Sistine Chapel Minecraft Style
Dwalin_Greybeard is responsible for this video that showcases the treasured artwork of Michelangelo, Simone Cantarini, Botticelli, and the like. It also explains the relevance of this hallowed venue in a papal conclave. (Read: A Peek Inside the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican)