Catholics Speak Personally, June 11
Few producers might think to cast them together in a TV drama, but comedian and author Dom DeLuise; actress Catherine Hicks (7th Heaven) and actor Michael Badalucco (The Practice) have something in common. All three are Catholics, and all will all be featured in a one-hour special to be distributed to NBC-TV affiliates on Wednesday, June 11 (check local listings). The program is a special hour-long edition of the talk show Personally Speaking, hosted by Msgr. Jim Lisante of Rockville Centre, NY, and featuring a faith-based focus on public figures' personal and professional lives. Personally Speaking is produced by the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and is part of the "Horizons of the Spirit" series of the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission. "Msgr. Lisante has been interviewing prominent Catholics for many years, first on the a local program called Let's Talk and then on the CCC program Personally Speaking," says Ellen McCloskey, CCC Director of CCC Production. "You don't have to be Catholic to see the contribution faith has made to these people's lives."
Ellen McCloskey is available at 202/541-3204 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Bike Ride to "Brake the Cycle of Poverty" Begins June 1
Many people will be riding their bicycles this summer, but some will ride nearly 4,000 miles in the "Brake the Cycle of Poverty" bike tour which begins on June 1. Sponsored by the USCCB Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), one of the largest private funders of self-help programs in the United States, the journey begins in San Francisco and travels through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland before concluding August 1 in Washington. Throughout the trip, the group will meet with community groups and Catholic parishioners to heighten awareness about poverty and finding solutions to this massive problem. "Our faith calls us to affirm human dignity and to consider the effect poverty has on all of us," says CCHD Executive Director Father Robert Vitillo. "In the richest nation on earth, a sixth of children are growing up poor. We hope a ride like this will dramatize that the blessings and responsibilities of American life must be shared fairly."
Father Robert Vitillo is available at 202/541-3367 (email@example.com)
Newly Ordained in 2003 are Older, More Educated, Study Shows
What kind of men are entering the priesthood in 2003? That's the question raised by the 2003 "Survey of 2003 Priestly Ordinations," completed by Dean R. Hoge at the Life Cycle Institute of the Catholic University of American, with the guidance of the USCCB Office of Vocations. A questionnaire asked eighteen questions of 348 respondents (306 diocesan priests and 42 religious priests) about their age, background, education, hobbies and vocations recruitment experience. The results are interesting. "Like other years, a sizeable number of U.S. ordinands are born outside the United States," says Father Edward Burns, Director, USCCB Office of Vocations and Priestly Formation. "This year's new priests are just slightly older, but the percentage of those with advanced degrees above a bachelors degree rose dramatically." Copies of the report and other information on vocations and priestly formation are available.
Father Edward Burns is available at 202/541-3033 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Preparation and Training Make Good Dads into Better Ones
Father's Day, June 15 reminds us that being a dad involves love and learning. Think of all the training, mentoring, and support women get for the responsibilities of motherhood. They learn from their own mothers, from sisters and friends, from physicians and nurses, and even from the media. Men, on the other hand, tend to approach fatherhood with little or no preparation and feel "out of the loop" for years thereafter. "Programs and groups for new dads, conducted by and for men can provide, encouragement, mentoring, accountability, and a place to ask dumb questions without fear of ridicule or failure," says Dr. Richard McCord, Executive Director, USCCB Office of Laity, Women, Family and Youth. "Father's Day reminds us of the good job dads do, and the even better job they're capable of with some of the mentoring programs out there."
Dr. Richard McCord is available at 202/541-3043 (email@example.com).