WASHINGTON (December 1, 2000) -- The U.S. bishops' Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) will tape host segments for an hour-long Christmas TV special on Wednesday, December 6, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Convent in New York City. The special opening and closing segments for Once Upon a Christmas will feature actress Margaret Colin and members of the Sisters for Life who reside at the convent along with pregnant women in need.
Once Upon a Christmas features two enchanting Christmas stories told through the use of clay animation. The first tale, Martin the Cobbler brings to life memorable characters from a Tolstoy classic and the second features the biblical story of The First Christmas itself. The program will be distributed to NBC-TV stations nationwide for broadcast during the holiday season.
"Christmas is really about the gift of life and the hope of salvation that Christ's birth brought us," says Executive Producer Ellen McCloskey of the CCC. "We thought it appropriate to feature the Sisters of Life whose ministry includes reaching out to women who are themselves preparing for the miracle of birth."
The Sisters of Life order was founded by the late Cardinal John O'Connor in 1991. The religious community now includes 42 members who have four facilities in New York City. They are a contemplative/active community whose ministry includes the operation of the Dr. Joseph R. Stanton Human Life Issues Library and Resource Center in the Bronx, retreats, and "Days of Prayer and Healing" for women and men who suffer for the effects of abortion. The newest addition to their ministry is the maternity program at Sacred Heart of Jesus convent in Manhattan where they open their doors to pregnant women in need.
Taping will take place from 11:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Convent, 450 West 51st Street in Manhattan on Wednesday, December 6, 2000. The on-site media contact will be Ellen McCloskey, who can be reached at 212-397-1396.
Once Upon a Christmas host Margaret Colin is an accomplished actress who has appeared in movies such as The Devil's Own, (1997) and 1996's box office smash Independence Day. She can currently be seen in a recurring role on ABC-TV's Madigan Men. She starred as Lisa Wiseman in the CBS series Now and Again during the 1999-2000 season and recently made her Broadway debut as the title character in Jackie: An American Life.
Ms. Colin is a native of New York City who now resides in suburban New Jersey with her husband, actor Justin Deas and their two sons.
Once Upon a Christmas is the 2000 Christmas season program for NBC affiliates from the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission (IBC). In addition to USCC, IBC's members are the Southern Baptist Convention, the National Council of Churches, and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. The program will be delivered as a satellite feed to NBC affiliates December 13. A list of station air dates and times will be posted on the Catholic Communication Campaign web pages (www.nccbuscc.org/ccc) in early December.
The U.S. Catholic Conference is the public policy agency of the U.S. bishops. Through its Catholic Communication Campaign, the USCC produces and distributes a variety of media projects including television documentaries that examine spiritual themes, Christmas and Easter specials, and public service campaigns about issues of national importance.