WASHINGTON (December 1, 2004) — Washington's newly-renovated Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle is the setting for "Christmas from the Cathedral of St. Matthew," to be distributed to NBC-TV stations December 19th.
The hour-long special, produced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC), features two enchanting programs that explore the meaning of the Christmas season and celebrate the rich diversity of the Catholic Church in the United States.
Told through the use of charming clay animation, "The First Christmas" tells the traditional story of the birth of Jesus, beginning with Mary and Joseph's trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Produced by Billy Budd Films, with support from the CCC and the Christophers, "The First Christmas" is a past winner of the American Library Association's Andrew Carnegie Medal as the Best Children's Video of the Year.
The second program, "La Gran Posada," brings this biblical story into the present day by exploring the Mexican tradition of Las Posadas (the lodgings), which recreates Mary and Joseph's search for shelter on the eve of the birth of the Christchild. Produced by the Hispanic Telecommunications Network of San Antonio, "La Gran Posada" focuses on the oldest of San Antonio's nine posadas and offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the community keeps this tradition alive. It also a compelling story of personal transformation and compassion – the moving story of Mexican immigrants who, like Mary and Joseph, have left their homes seeking a better life.
Hosted by Carole Lehan, co-host of the CCC's Catholic Radio Weekly, "Christmas from the Cathedral of St. Matthew" also features traditional Latin American music performed by the Cathedral's Capilla Musical Iberoamericana.
"Christmas from the Cathedral of St. Matthew" will be scheduled at the discretion of NBC-TV affiliates. Viewers can contact their local NBC-TV station to ask about plans to air the program in their area.
The Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) 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 from Catholic parishioners make possible the work of the CCC. Additional information is available at http://www.usccb.org/ccc.