Young people of the Archdiocese of Washington who are involved in parish youth groups, Catholic schools, parish religious education programs or other Catholic groups have been invited to enter a video contest welcoming Pope Benedict XVI to Washington.

The Holy Father will be in Washington April 15-17 before departing for New York City.

The archdiocese is sponsoring the video contest and the winning group will receive 15 tickets to attend Pope Benedict XVI's April 17 Mass. Winning entries may be shown as part of the pre-Mass program at Nationals Park.

Contestants should create an original short film to welcome the pope to Washington. Organizers of the contest are looking for videos that "relay your community's enthusiasm for the Holy Father's visit, express your excitement or show how you are uniquely preparing for his arrival."

The contest is open to Catholic youth groups of five or more in the Archdiocese of Washington, Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Diocese of Arlington. Participants must be in kindergarten through the 12th grade.

Videos will be judged on creativity. Videos should show imagination and can include original songs, prayers, skits, interviews, etc. Copyrighted material may be not used unless permission has been granted for its use.

Entries should be no longer than two minutes and must be shot using a digital camcorder, with a minimum video resolution of 640 x 480 pixels.

The deadline to submit videos is March 17. Winners will be announced April 2.

Complete rules and other information is available

on-line at: