The kitchen table where the Willits family usually eats is covered this morning with cables, batteries, audio and recording paraphernalia—equipment to start filming a possible Catholic sitcom.
A crew of six and Father Robert Reed, president of CatholicTV, have flown in from Boston, turning the Willits’ home into a set for the pilot of the show tentatively titled “Mass Confusion.” What began as a casual idea has turned this June morning into a full-fledged effort to create Catholic, family-friendly entertainment and hopefully inspire others to get involved.
Last year Greg and Jennifer Willits, who host “The Catholics Next Door” on SiriusXM satellite radio, approached Father Reed with an idea for a new program: a humorous Catholic sitcom reflecting family life and its rewards and struggles.
Greg said that like many turns in the road his family has already experienced, this was an idea he pitched expecting to be turned down. But their steps in faith seem to lead to more doors opening.
It began with The Rosary Army, a rosary-making apostolate they started in 2003, and then “That Catholic Show,” an educational video series they produced, and then a podcast, which was picked up by the Catholic Channel and turned into their current radio show, “The Catholics Next Door.” Now it may be a Catholic family show inspired by their lives as parents with five children.
“We’re excited and scared about this, but that’s pretty much been the case with every new endeavor we’ve taken on,” Greg wrote by e-mail. “When we started Rosary Army, we felt the same way. When we started podcasting, we felt the same way. When we went to radio, we felt the same way. It makes no sense that we, without any experience in this area whatsoever, should be doing this, but it seems with the doors open, God wants us to at least give it a try.”