Awe and joy -- these were the feelings I had upon entering the grounds of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). What a wonderful thing Mother Angelica has wrought in Irondale, Alabama. The Catholic faith on the airwaves 24 hours a day, the Gospel message on TV screens, hearts and minds drawn closer to Christ, and converts made throughout the world, some of whom just chanced upon the cable station while searching for sports or cooking or maybe even porn.
There I was where it all started, where Mother Angelica put God's call into action, and did the unthinkable, what many wiser heads told her was impossible.
I was at EWTN with my colleague Patrick Kelly, Vice President for Public Policy for the Knights of Columbus, who oversees Fathers for Good, to appear live on the Thursday night show "Life on the Rock." It was my first time on TV, and what an introduction it was, indeed. Though everyone connected with the network was extremely helpful and pleasant, for me it was trial by fire.
Lights. Camera. Action. As Jackie Gleason used to say, "And away we go!" The lights were in my blinking eyes, the camera caught my nervousness and the action continued no matter what -- no "Take 2!" allowed, this was all live and on the record.
Fatherhood, the Knights of Columbus and Fathers for Good were the main topics. We talked through three 11-minute segments, and covered a wide field. I hope the audience got the message that, through this new initiative for men, the Knights want to take a leadership role in developing programs for fathers and their families, offering encouragement to men, taking on the secular culture and negative portrayals of fathers, and giving men the tools to improve on how they live as husbands and fathers.
As Patrick Kelly said, in the home there is no neutral ground. Either a father is leading his family toward virtue and heaven, or he is losing the battle for souls to the enemy, who comes in the guise of the media, peers, consumerism and secularism.
I wish to thank all the EWTN folks, especially hosts Doug Barry, who spent so much time with Patrick and me in preparation for the show, and Father Mark Mary. They were extremely gracious and led us in an excellent discussion of the topics. Thanks also to Jill Sanders, producer of "Life on the Rock," who was kind enough to invite us to the show and introduce us to the world of television.
The grounds of EWTN are holy -- probably the holiest place with a host of huge satellite dishes out back! It was an honor to spend two days there, and to share time with staff members and hosts. There is great good to be done through mass media, and it has taken a cloistered nun with an unshakable faith to show Catholics the way on the airwaves.