Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Coming to a TV Near You: ‘The Catholic View for Women’

Monday, April 16th, 2012

New EWTN Talk Show Focuses on Culture of Christ

by Marge Fenelon, Register correspondent

Friday, Apr 13, 2012 11:09 AM


When Astrid Bennett Gutierrez, Janet Morana and Teresa Tomeo get together,  something fantastic happens — it’s called The Catholic View for Women.

It’s a new EWTN talk show. Several pilot shows ran on the network last year,  garnering reviews so favorable that EWTN not only contracted for a full series,  13 episodes of which will air this fall, but also created a brand-new set.
The trio traveled to the Irondale, Ala.-based EWTN studios in March to tape the  fall season.

The idea for the show was conceived by host Janet Morana, executive director  of Priests for Life and co-founder of the Silent No More awareness campaign. The  concept spent five years in gestation before EWTN approved the production of six  episodes in 2010.

“I’d look at [secular] women’s talk shows, and say, ‘This is why Catholic  women are getting poor information, because they’re not getting the truth of the  Church,’” Morana explained. “We see a strong need to help catechize women who  are where we were so that they won’t fall away like we did.”

Morana shared her concerns and ideas with author and syndicated Catholic  talk-show host Teresa Tomeo. Tomeo’s daily morning radio program, Catholic  Connection, is produced by Ave Maria Radio and also airs on Sirius/XM  Satellite Radio. Tomeo liked Morana’s idea and approach and suggested Astrid  Bennett Gutierrez, executive director of Los Angeles Pregnancy Services, as a  third host.

Gutierrez was hooked as soon as she heard the idea. “I’m really grateful. I  feel privileged to be here with Janet and Teresa, because they’re my heroes,” Gutierrez said. “That they would pluck me out of my little neighborhood, that  they realized the minority voice must be heard [on the show], is a huge  blessing.”

The mix of personalities, backgrounds and cultural heritage creates the  perfect balance for the co-hosts and forms a solid foundation for lively and  inspiring exchanges on the show. Morana is a native New Yorker, Tomeo is a  Midwesterner and Gutierrez is a West Coast native of Hispanic decent.

What’s more, the women all had one thing in common: Each had left the Church  and come back with the realization that only the Catholic Church holds the  fullness of truth.

As Tomeo said, “There’s an urgency in all three of us to really help women.  That’s where our hearts are at, and that’s where the energy comes from.  Additionally, we’re all staunchly pro-life, and this is a pro-life show. Of  course, we also are good friends.”

The hosts believe the Holy Spirit is the source of what they describe as an  immediate sisterhood that “just clicked” when they began working together. “The  Holy Spirit took our pain and our pasts and works within all of us, using our  different gifts to do something wonderful,” said Morana.

Each show has entertainment, substance, catechesis and “homework” that help  women grow in their Catholic faith. The show’s website  ( offers discussion questions for each episode that  can be used for personal reflection or group discussions.

According to the website, the show’s goals are: “To reach Catholic women in  the pews who are cafeteria Catholics, who have never been exposed to the  fullness of the faith because of poor catechesis; to reach fallen-away Catholic  women like us and show them the beauty of the faith/Church teaching and how  Jesus is the greatest liberator of women and the greatest source of our dignity;  to reach the un-churched, who have completely fallen away from the faith; to  encourage today’s faithful Catholic women, that they can be in the world and not  of the world; to meet women where they are at in their walk with the Lord and  the Church;  to help parents in their efforts to raise their daughters as  faith-filled Catholic women; and to offer a positive, relevant and fun  alternative to today’s toxic TV shows targeting women.”

“I’m so upset with the lack of objectivity in the secular media; it’s  absolutely devastating to women,” said Tomeo. “The media can do so much good,  but, lately, they’ve been doing so much damage.”

As a Hispanic woman, Gutierrez was raised on what she calls “survival mode,” with minimal catechesis and in an amoral environment. Still, she always felt a  strong attraction to the Church.

“What I really want is that women of all ages will be able to see the beauty  of the Catholic Church that I missed for so many years: the Eucharist, morality,  (Church teaching on) sexuality, the truth about the pro-choice lies and all  those things that are misleading women,” said Gutierrez. “I’d like to see  minority women assimilate, but not into the mainstream culture. I’d like them to  assimilate into the culture of Christ.”

Gutierrez, as well as her co-hosts, hopes that the show will become a  catalyst for change and a means to dispel the plethora of myths about Church  doctrine.

“We want women to see that the Church is not the ‘evil monster’ that the  secular media makes her out to be,” added Morana.

The hosts also hope The Catholic View can be a vehicle to let  others know about EWTN and the wealth of information and devotions that it has  to offer Catholics.

“There are too many people in the pews who don’t yet know about EWTN. We’re  so grateful to EWTN for the opportunity they’ve given us,” said Morana. “We’re  excited that they think this is valuable programming.”  (The Register is a  service of EWTN.)

Morana, Tomeo and Gutierrez spend a good amount of time researching for each  show. Before taping, they gather Church documents, conduct interviews and search  for other information that will form a substantial basis for the topics they  will discuss.

During the shows, they quote Scripture, Church documents, the Catechism of  the Catholic Church and writings of the saints and doctors of the Church as much  as possible. Topic ideas come from their own experiences as well as interaction  with friends, acquaintances and viewers.

It’s not only the information that they work hard at — it’s also giving the  show a professional appearance. The hosts shop together, intentionally  coordinating their outfits to complement each other on the set, and they hire a  professional make-up artist to do their hair and makeup, all at their personal  expense. They know they must take their on-air presence seriously in order to  compete with secular shows.

“God’s message deserves it,” Morana said. “It’s his word, his teachings, and  what we’re doing is wrapping it up in a pleasing package so that people open it  up and really appreciate it.”

This season’s shows will focus on women leaders in the Church, EWTN’s  foundress Mother Angelica, Blessed Mother Teresa, St. Teresa of Avila, the  single life, discernment, the pill, saying Yes to marriage as a sacrament,  pornography’s effect on women, in vitro fertilization and egg harvesting,  miscarriage, faith and fitness, college life and minority issues.

Doug Keck, EWTN’s executive vice president and chief operating officer,  thinks the show brings something new and innovative to the network’s lineup. “The show has a different format, with a different approach, and allows us to  reach an audience we haven’t been able to reach before in a new way,” he said. “It’s a strong series with great potential, and we’re committed to it.”

Marge Fenelon writes from Cudahy,  Wisconsin.

Read more:

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Catholic Church, Faith, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »
Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.

Ashes to Ashes…

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

As we begin our Lenten journey today and receive our ashes, the priest will say “Remember thou are dust and to dust thou shall return” or “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel”.  That reminded me of a poem which we recited when I was young girl  growing up in Brooklyn. It went like this:

“Ashes to ashes dust it dust, if God doesn’t get you the devil must!”

Now you might smile and grin a little but I think there was a lot of wisdom in this child like poem.  See we were aware of the devil, heaven and hell.  These are concepts that you rarely hear preached or thought about today in Churches.

So as we enter this Lenten season, let’s try right from the very first day to make this our best Lent ever.  Not just in what we might be giving up for Lent but in more prayer and reflection, time before the Lord in Adoration and reading of the Scriptures.  It is not about giving up things but giving more to the Lord!

Posted in Catholic Church, Faith |
Click here to leave a comment for
the article above.