USCCB News Release
June 8, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
‘Callings’ Documentary Featuring Baseball Player, Dancer, Social Worker Available for Airing on NBC
WASHINGTON—“Callings,” an hour-long documentary on work as a vocation, will be released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to NBC-TV stations and affiliates on Sunday, June 14. (Check local listings. Local broadcast is at the discretion of the station.)
The program features major league first baseman Mike Sweeney, now of the Seattle Mariners, dancer Francie Huber, Catholic Charities social worker Rita Flynn, and seven others who point out that their work is more a calling than a job. A clip from the documentary can be found at http://www.usccb.org/video/
The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri produced the program that explores how ten people see their life’s work as a response to a call outside oneself.
Msgr. Ernest Fiedler, former rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Kansas City, points out how to recognize a special call – to marriage, to the religious life, to priesthood, to medicine, to law.
“I think with a believing, happy, well-balanced Christian, it comes from listening,” he said. Before you can answer a call, he said, “you’ve got to listen to it.”
Sweeney, and others, including a marine biologist and government official, share how they responded to their calling. They do not work at a job or a career; they respond to an invitation from outside themselves. They also note that similar opportunities are offered to individuals if they stop, listen, and discern.
“Callings” was funded by the USCCB Catholic Communication Campaign, 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 by Catholic parishioners support the CCC.
The program is part of the “Horizons of the Spirit” series produced by the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission, of which the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is a member. Copies of the program can be purchased through www.callingsfilm.com.
Catholic News Service TV reviewer John Mulderig called the program “thoughtful” and “uplifting for all.”
Mulderig highlights the documentary’s spiritual perspective on work and said that Sweeney, whose combination of on-field accomplishments and community outreach garnered him Major League Baseball's Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award in 2005, always cites a Bible verse when signing his autograph.
"I don't play for the fans, or to please my coaches," he says. "I play to please my Lord."
Dancer Francie Huber cites both the Christmas song "The Little Drummer Boy" and Pope John Paul II's 1999 letter to artists as sources of inspiration, encouraging her, respectively, to make a gift to the Lord of her artistry and to imitate God's life-giving creativity.
Social worker Rita Flynn's efforts to serve God by assisting ex-convicts win her effusive praise from a trio of past clients.