WASHINGTON (June 2, 2004) -- Actress Margaret Colin; singer Aaron Neville; and managing editor and moderator of "Meet the Press," Tim Russert, talk about the impact of faith in their lives in a one-hour special that will be distributed to NBC-TV affiliates on Wednesday, June 9th.
The program, "Personally Speaking," is produced by the USCCB's Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) and is part of the "Horizons of the Spirit" interfaith religious series seen each year on many NBC stations. Hosted by Msgr. Jim Lisante, the program delves into the faith story behind the scenes in the lives of the three Roman Catholic celebrities.
"Personally Speaking," is scheduled at the discretion of NBC-TV affiliate stations. A list of stations that have scheduled broadcasts will be posted on the Internet at as they become available. Viewers can also call their local NBC-TV station to ask about their plans to air the program.
Margaret Colin started her acting career in daytime drama before landing her first starring role on television in the CBS series "Foley Square." Since then she has starred and co-starred in several TV series, including "Leg Work," "Sibs," and "The Wright Verdicts," and "Now and Again." Colin earned a 1998 Theatre World Award for her Broadway debut in "Jackie: An American Life," and has also appeared in a number of number of feature films. including "Three Men and a Baby," "Independence Day and "The Devil's Own."
The devoted wife and mother of two boys believes that God is most present in her life through her family.
"I picked the most wonderful man in the world," says Colin. "I adore him and I love that God brought him into my life and I love our two children."
Aaron Neville is a member of the celebrated rhythm and blues combo, the Neville Brothers. Raised in poverty in New Orleans, Neville's music career reached its peak in the 1960's with the hit "Tell It Like It Is," but because of an exploitative contract, he never received any royalties for the song. Working as a ditch digger and dockworker to support his family, Neville's frustration and disappointment led to a decade-long struggle with drug addiction and a prison sentence for burglary. By the 1980s, however, Neville had replaced his dependence on drugs with a renewed devotion to his Catholic faith, and he exploded back onto the music scene in 1988 with the international hit, "Don't Know Much," one of four duets he performed with Linda Ronstadt.
Mr. Neville credits regular prayer and his faith in God for helping him through the darkest days of his life.
"I thought [my life] was going down the tubes – I got into the drug thing and all – and my mother had turned me onto St. Jude, saint of impossible cases, and I started going to the novena," says Neville. "I prayed and I had faith."
Tim Russert is the award-winning managing editor and moderator of the longest-running program in the history of television, NBC's "Meet the Press". He also serves as a political analyst for "NBC Nightly News" and the "Today" show. He anchors "The Tim Russert Show", a weekly interview program on CNBC, and is a contributing anchor for MSNBC as well. Born and raised in an Irish Catholic neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, Russert's two greatest influences growing up were his father, "Big Russ", and his Catholic faith. After serving as a counselor to New York Governor Mario Cuomo in the early 1980s, he went to work for NBC News in 1984. He became moderator of "Meet the Press" in 1991 and since then, the program has become the most watched Sunday morning interview show in America and the most quoted news program in the world. His first book, "Big Russ and Me: Father and Son, Lessons of Life," is a candid look at the relationship between father and son, and the advice and wisdom passed from one generation to the next.
Despite his success, Russert manages to stay grounded and keeps his Catholic faith at the center of his life.
"I am very proud of being Catholic," says Russert, "And I have my shortcomings like everybody, but I do my very, very best, and it is something that is at my core."
"Personally Speaking" is part of the "Horizons of the Spirit" series created by the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, of which the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is a member. The host of "Personally Speaking," Msgr. Jim Lisante, is the pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in West Hempstead, New York and is also the executive producer and host of the award-winning weekly television program, "Christopher Closeup." Monsignor Lisante is also a published author and a regular columnist for the Long Island Catholic newspaper.
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, visit our website at: www.usccb.org/ccc.