WASHINGTON (September 3, 1998) -- The Catholic Communication Campaign of the U.S. Catholic Conference will begin distribution of a new weekly half-hour television talk show, Among Friends, later this month. Hosted by Msgr. Jim Lisante, the program is a collaborative effort of the CCC and Telicare, the television station of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
"Msgr. Lisante's skill as an interviewer makes Among Friends a different kind of talk show," says the CCC's Director of Production Ellen McCloskey, "He makes his guest feel at ease, yet he doesn't shy away from incisive and probing questions."
The program will feature notable individuals from the worlds of entertainment and the arts, religion, sports, public service and business in one-on-one discussions with the host. Among Friends will be carried on the Odyssey Channel, Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. beginning October 1. Odyssey is available on more than 1,500 cable systems nationwide and the Primestar DBS satellite service. It will also be made available to Catholic dioceses and other interested outlets for local placement.
Msgr. Lisante, the show's host, is pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in West Hempstead, N.Y. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, in 1981. He served as director of the diocese's Office of Family Ministry for several years, supervising family and pro-life activities and marriage preparation. A lifelong Long Islander, Msgr. Lisante's interests include his work with disabled children as the chairman of the Alexander Roberts Fund. He also writes a column that appears in The Long Island Catholic and several other publications nationwide and has authored two books, Of Life and Love and Let's Talk: The Gospel Challenge for American Catholics.
The success of Msgr. Lisante's newspaper column led him to expand his ministry a local talk show, Let's Talk, produced and carried by Telicare. The weekly show soon became a comfortable place for celebrities, including commentator William F. Buckley, U.S. Senator Al D'Amato (R-NY), and actors Michael Moriarty, Patricia Neal, Milo O'Shea, Juliet Mills and Gloria DeHaven, to share their views on faith and life.
"When you get people to talk about what God means in their lives, you really get a sense of who they are," said Msgr. Lisante. "I'm delighted to have this opportunity to reach a wider audience with Among Friends."
Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg is the Chairman of the Bishops' Communications Committee which oversees the CCC. Among Friends is produced by CCC's Ellen McCloskey; Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco is Director of Communications for the U.S. Catholic Conference.