WASHINGTON (May 1, 2006)—The Catholic Communication Campaign annual collection will be taken up in parishes the weekend of May 20-21.
The collection supports communications efforts throughout the country and was especially helpful to dioceses struck by the hurricanes last fall.
"After the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina and then Hurricane Rita, we at the Catholic Communication Campaign sought to support dioceses which had supported the CCC over the years," said Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco, Director of the U. S. Bishops Department of Communications, which oversees the CCC. "We sought a way to help them maintain and rebuild their communication ministries."
To address this need, the bishops' Committee on Communications, chaired by Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, authorized grants totaling $650,000 for affected dioceses, to help them rebuild their communication ministries. The Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana, used grant money to help offset operational expenses of its communications office. The monies also funded full-page ads in several secular newspapers providing information on relief efforts for families impacted by the storms.
"The Catholic Communication Campaign is not only there in times of national disaster," said Msgr. Maniscalco. The CCC and diocesan communicators aided by diocesan bishops, parish priests and the generosity of the people in the pews, are developing programs and using the newest technological means to deliver the Gospel message," Msgr. Maniscalco said.
"Today anyone, anywhere, at any time of the day or night, can choose to spend some time with our Lord, enriching his or her personal relationship with God. Beginning this year, the CCC will offer pod casts of its programming to make the Good News even easier to find and enjoy. And we've just concluded our first ever Good News Art Contest. Sixteen hundred children in first thru sixth grades shared their visions of how Jesus would spread the Good News today," he said.
For more than twenty-five years, the annual collection has supported a variety of Catholic programming both nationally and locally.
When collected, half the money remains in the local diocese for its own communications efforts while half supports the activities of the national CCC Office.
Among the programs supported by the CCC nationally are six radio shows produced and distributed by the CCC to dioceses across the country and also available on the Internet. The newest program was "The Lenten Radio Series," which premiered this year. Produced by Franciscan Radio and the CCC, it is a series of half-hour radio Lenten "retreats." Each program, available in English and Spanish, featured sacred music, a homily from a bishop, a prayer, a blessing, and an informal discussion about a Lenten theme based on the Sunday Gospel of the week. CCC launched a companion web site to provide additional educational materials for the weekly retreats.
Additional programming appearing on the affiliates of national networks includes:
- Jesus Decoded, which will be offered to NBC-TV affiliates for broadcast beginning in May, just in time for the release of The DaVinci Code, movie based on the popular novel. Jesus Decoded was filmed in Turkey, Italy, Israel, and the United States and offers facts to counter the novel's fiction. The CCC also has created a colorful 16-page brochure, The Authentic Jesus and a bulletin insert, both for parish use. More information is available on www.jesusdecoded.com.
- Faith Works II: Across the U.S.A, aired on ABC-TV affiliates in October 2005 as part of the "Vision & Values" series. The program examined "typical" days in the lives of several Catholics as they live out their faith.
- Picturing Mary, an examination of the portrayal of Mary in art through the ages, set to air in December. The CCC will unveil a companion web site for viewers in the fall.
The latest information about CCC is available at www.CatholicCommunicationCampaign.org.
Visitors to this site will find information on communication activities in various dioceses, program scheduling, the collection date for their diocese, the CCC quarterly bulletin insert, View in the Pew, as well as reviews of current films and videos, Mass times, streaming video of featured programming and coverage of important news conferences or meetings of the bishops' conference.
The Web site also includes materials to assist diocesan communicators and parish priests in their efforts to promote the collection.
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 from Catholic parishioners to the annual collection make possible the work of the CCC.