WASHINGTON (May 17, 2001) -- The annual Catholic Communication Campaign collection will be taken up in most U.S. parishes the weekend of May 19 and 20.
The collection theme for 2001 is "Choosing Your Moral Compass." It directly addresses the challenge that individuals and families face in making moral choices in media.
With last year's collection, Catholics from around the country provided $3.8 million for national media efforts. Half of what was collected remained in dioceses to fund local media efforts.
"This has been a banner year for the CCC, and we are proud of its accomplishments," said Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco, Director of the U.S. Bishops Department of Communications, which oversees the CCC. "We had landmark efforts, thanks to the increasing collection. Credit for the upswing goes to hard-working diocesan communicators and parish priests and the generosity of parishioners."
"I'm also grateful that the CCC shows how the media can be instruments for the spread the Gospel," he added.
The collection funds media projects which bring the Gospel to people through mass media. A key effort this past year was The Face: Jesus in Art, a PBS program which aired nationwide at Easter and premiered in New York at the Radio City Music Hall, March 31.
Viewers at Radio City described it as "a profoundly religious experience, very uplifting" and "wonderful, really inspiring."
"I really felt the grace of God come down tonight," said one audience member leaving
Radio City Music Hall.
The two-hour program, featuring narration by such stars as Mel Gibson, Bill Moyers, Stacey Keach and Patricia Neal, examines the image of Jesus in masterpieces around the world and across two millennia.
The CCC also funded TV and radio public services ads, including two series, Talk to the Ones You Love and La Familia Unida Esperanza en la Vida. The ads prompted calls to stations from people seeking help in dealing with such problems as domestic violence.
The CCC also funded the launch of a weekly half-hour radio show, Catholic Weekly Radio, hosted by the broadcasting legend Johnny Holliday and actress and director Carole Lehan. The show is a mix of features, personality profiles and news maker interviews designed to interest Catholics in the pew.
In other programming, the CCC produced an hour-long documentary, Church Without Borders, which examines the experience of young people from the United States and Latin America involved in inter-American missionary programs. It's a story of conversion, communion and solidarity.
Another documentary, Enduring Faith, tells of conversion, courage and despair among the early black Josephite priests and the pivotal role of Rome in forcing the church in the United States to open its doors to blacks.
The CCC also funds the U.S. bishops Office for Film and Broadcasting which reviews all mainstream movies and provides guidance to families through movie reviews which appear in the Catholic press, on the Web at www.nccbuscc.org/movies, and the toll-free at 1-800-311-4CCC.
The Catholic Communication Campaign was established by the U.S. bishops in 1978 as a response to the Vatican call for Church involvement in media and promotion of the pope's annual World Communications Day statement.
Other CCC projects include promotion of 1-800-MASSTIMES, a toll-free number providing the location of churches and Mass times for people away from home, and production of network religion specials.