WASHINGTON (October 15, 2003) — A U.S. Navy chaplain on a warship and a nun ministering in a California state prison are highlighted in "Never Far From God: Portraits in Ministry," a documentary slated to air on ABC television.
The one-hour program was produced by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) and will be offered to ABC affiliates beginning Sunday, October 19, to air at their discretion.
Through the experiences of the two distinctive ministers, "Never Far From God: Portraits in Ministry" highlights how separation from family and friends affects people and strengthens their need for a special connection to the faith community. Viewers enter the uncommon worlds of these ministers and experience how God is present everywhere.
Lt. Karl Nielson is in an unusual place for a Benedictine monk. A Navy reserve officer called to active duty, he is now the chaplain assigned to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Through interviews with marines and sailors serving on the U.S.S. Peleliu during an eight month deployment in dangerous times, we discover that Fr. Nielson is a calming presence to these men and women.
U.S.S. Peleliu Crew member Major Russell Bergeman notes that Father Nielson is "more than just a guy you go and see on Sunday mornings, he's always around, he's always kind of in the thick of things…."
Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Adele Appleby is a tiny woman who looks out of place inside the walls of Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, California. But despite her small stature, she is a big part of the lives of many women incarcerated there, bringing them hope and healing.
For Tracy, who is serving a 19-year prison sentence, Sister Appleby is "a woman you know if you ask her to pray she's gonna do it and you trust her prayers."
"Never Far From God: Portraits in Ministry" was produced for the CCC by Would the Academy Award-winning State of the Art of Washington, DC. The documentary is part of the "Vision & Values" series of the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, a consortium of Christian and Jewish groups that provides religious and spiritual programming to network television.
The Catholic Communication Campaign is an activity of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that develops media programming, public service announcements, and other resources to promote Gospel values. Donations of Catholic parishioners make possible the work of the CCC. For more information and to see an excerpt from "Never far From God: Portraits in Ministry," visit the CCC's website: www.usccb.org/ccc.