March 28, 2017

FAMILY TIES AND OVERCOMING ADVERSITY A COMMON THREAD IN 68TH ANNUAL CHRISTOPHER AWARD WINNERS Creators of films, TV programs and books to be honored on May 16th NEW YORK, March 28, 2017 — The Academy Award-nominated films Hidden Figures and Hacksaw Ridge, along with the pilot episode of NBC’s blockbuster series This is Us, are among the 22 winning feature films, TV/Cable programs, and books for adults and young people that will be honored at the 68th annual Christopher Awards,... Read more

February 27, 2017

Thanks to Jimmy Kimmel, last night’s Oscars was the most entertaining, least boring ceremony I’ve seen in recent memory. Yes, his comedy bits made the show run long (as it usually does anyway), but they also injected energy and humor into the parts of the evening that often feel sleep-inducing for viewers at home. First, there was Kimmel’s opening monologue, which, of course, got political. But it was more in the pointed-but-lighthearted Johnny Carson vein than the angry, bitter political... Read more

February 14, 2017

Progress is generally thought of as a good and necessary thing for a society to grow and prosper. But it can also present some challenges when change happens quickly and makes it a possibility that some of the best parts of the past might be lost in the process. There’s a tension between “progressing” and “conserving.” That’s a tension the citizens of Hope Valley will experience as season 4 of the Christopher Award-winning series “When Calls the Heart” premieres on... Read more

February 13, 2017

It’s been a five month wait since the last original “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” movie (“Lost Without You”) aired on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, so it’s appropriate that “waiting” is a theme in the newest installment, “Higher Ground,” which premieres Sunday Feb. 19 at 9/8C. It’s not just about waiting, though, but about discerning God’s will when obstacles, large or small, get thrown in the way of a potential romantic relationship. That’s the case for this movie’s mystery involving a New... Read more

January 25, 2017

Actress Mary Tyler Moore, who could “turn the world on with her smile” (as her TV series’ theme song stated), died today at age 80. There are plenty of wonderful obituaries about her life out there, so I’d like to focus on something a little different: the times her work made us laugh from a Catholic perspective. Yes, there was a time in the 60s and 70s when TV series could have fun with Catholic priest characters without making fun... Read more

January 17, 2017

What do a monk, a high school student, and a tattooed Krav Maga instructor have in common? They’re all sick pilgrims. What exactly is a “sick pilgrim?” The answer lies with Christopher Award-winning author Jessica Mesman Griffith and paranormal fiction writer Jonathan Ryan. Griffith and Ryan are the founders of a Patheos blog called “Sick Pilgrim,” and they want it to be a home for Catholics (and non-Catholics) who don’t fit into an obvious Church niche. During a “Christopher Closeup”... Read more

January 14, 2017

Via Patheos blogger Father Michael Duffy’s Facebook page, I learned today that “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips attended Police Officer Steven McDonald’s wake to sing his hit song “Home,” because it was one of McDonald’s favorites. As his son Conor states in the video below, posted on Youtube by Christine Gravano, he would play the song for his dad every hour he was in the hospital. Steven McDonald has gone home to God now, so this seems a fitting tribute... Read more

January 10, 2017

(Photo: Police Officer Steven McDonald with the Christopher Award-winning founder of Mychal’s Message, Shannon Hickey) New York City Police Officer Steven McDonald was shot and paralyzed in 1986 by teenager Shavon Jones. From then on, McDonald required a respirator to breathe. However, he didn’t live life feeling sorry for himself. Instead, he became a force for peace and mercy, going so far as to forgive the teen who shot him. Officer McDonald died of a heart attack today at age... Read more

January 6, 2017

As 2016 ended, the world was shocked and saddened by the passing of many famous actors, including “Brady Bunch” star Florence Henderson, “Star Wars” icon Carrie Fisher, and soon thereafter, her mother “Singin’ in the Rain” star Debbie Reynolds. But another actor also died at the very end of the year – December 31st, to be exact – so I want to pay tribute to him since he played a Catholic priest on one of the finest shows in television... Read more

January 5, 2017

One of The Christophers’ media ministries is the syndicated “Light One Candle” column, which runs weekly in many Catholic newspapers (and even some secular ones) around the country. For many years now, I would write two columns a month, and Jerry Costello, who is a member of The Christophers’ Board of Directors, would write the other two. With story instincts and writing talent honed during a lifetime of working in the Catholic press, Jerry’s columns would always shine a light... Read more

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