USCCB News Release
August 26, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Documentary on Francis, Clare of Assisi Slated for ABC
WASHINGTON—The TV documentary "Assisi Pilgrimage: Walking in Faith with Francis and Clare" will be distributed to ABC-TV stations and affiliates on Sunday, September 14.
The hour-long documentary is part of the "Vision & Values" series sponsored by the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, which includes the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Broadcast of the program is at the discretion of the local affiliate. Further information is available at www.interfaithbroadcasting.com.
Produced by Franciscan Communications and Feed the Fire Foundation, "Assisi Pilgrimage" takes viewers to the key places in the lives of Saints Francis and Clare. By blending the experiences of pilgrimage groups the program conveys the appeal and effect of going to these sacred places.
"I've only been here a few days now, but I already feel like a different person," says pilgrim Christopher Leone.
The program release anticipates next year's 800th anniversary of Pope Innocent III's official recognition of the original inspiration of Francis. In 2009, Franciscan orders of religious and secular men and women will mark this anniversary and celebrate God's grace-filled call to Francis and Clare.
Born in 1181/2 , Francis longed to be a knight, but an encounter with God in the Church of St. Damiano dramatically altered that dream. Francis eventually broke with his family to follow God's call to "rebuild my church." Clare's own deep spirituality found an echo in the life of Francis. She left behind her claim to nobility and risked her family's anger to become part of the new Gospel movement.
"Francis and Clare have captured people's imagination since the very beginning of their respective vocations. They could have had comfortable lives in the medieval society of Assisi, but choose to answer God's call to live among and serve the least in that society." says Franciscan Greg Friedman, the documentary's writer and director. "The college and high school students we met on pilgrimage are particularly moved by their courage to live the Gospel."
The broadcast of "Assisi Pilgrimage: Walking in Faith with Francis and Clare" is made possible by the USCCB Catholic Communication Campaign, which creates media projects to share the Good News. A clip of the program can be seen at www.usccb.org/video.
Other members of the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission members are the National Council of Church of Christ, the New York Board of Rabbis, the Reformed Judaism, and the Islamic Society of America. The documentaries, produced by the individual faith groups, explore how religious beliefs are lived in today's society.
A DVD of the program can be purchased by calling 800-488-0488.