Hard to believe it’s been almost five months since the Archbishop of Toronto was elevated to the College of Cardinals. The year has seemed like a bit of a whirlwind with so many activities, events and issues taking place both locally, nationally and globally as they intersect with the church.
Some of the busiest workers in the vineyard of the Lord this year have been the staff at Salt + Light Catholic Television Network. Based in Toronto, the Canadian Catholic Television network, born on the wings of World Youth Day 2002 in Canada, continue to do incredible work, tirelessly producing faith programming on any number of topics. Teams from Salt + Light have traveled across Canada and around the globe this year.
CEO Fr. Tom Rosica was instrumental in the success of the consistory related events in Rome. If you’ve never been to the Vatican before, there is no better tour guide, security guard, media relations expert, clerical ambassador or translator among other qualities than Fr. Tom. If you think you’ve seen the Vatican, think again. He helps you discover every nook and cranny, helping make the pilgrimage one that you’ll never forget. The Swiss Guard who faithfully has served for more than a decade? Fr. Tom knows him. The vendor selling gelato for 5 Euros? Fr. Tom will point you towards Antonio a block away at half the price. It’s pretty amazing to see!
On a personal level, he was of immense help in our work with the media, facilitating interview space with our team and Cardinal Collins, jumping in for a few interviews with the secular press and providing unprecedented coverage of the elevation of a Canadian cardinal on Salt + Light Television.
If you visit the Salt + Light TV studios on any given day, you’ll also be struck by the number of young people who are engaged in this important ministry. Tireless in their efforts, joyful in their faith and ready to tackle any story on a moment’s notice, it’s been a pleasure having the opportunity to work with and alongside many of the Salt + Light staff over the years. It’s rare that a day or two goes by when we are not interacting with them on a particular initiative or story.
With a crowded television universe out there, hundreds of channels, plenty to choose from, we need to ensure that we support our Catholic media – whether it be radio, television or newspapers. It’s not an easy job – television, especially, is a costly venture and to keep up with the standards of secular broadcasters on a fraction of the budget isn’t easy. If you haven’t subscribed to Salt + Light, you’re missing out. Whether it’s coverage of a Vatican event, youth programming, daily Mass, news updates or coverage of significant events in the life of the Canadian church, there’s literally something for everyone. Subscription cost monthly is about a cup of coffee – the network will fill you up and also give you that “Catholic rush”, something caffeine just can’t do. You can find all the info you need on subscribing to Salt + Light here.
Another wonderful fruit of the Consistory 2012 is a five DVD set that has been produced by S + L that literally provides a keepsake of the experience from start to finish. It includes the Ordinary Public Consistory, where each Cardinal was formally elevated, along with Mass the following day in St. Peter’s Basilica, celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI with the new Cardinals.
The week leading up to the consistory is chronicled in the half hour special, “A Cardinal in the Making”. Also includes are four interviews with Cardinal Collins (2 in English, one each in french and italian). The DVD set also contains three special liturgies celebrated by Cardinal Collins following the Consistory: a Mass of Thanksgiving in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica, a Mass of Thanksgiving in St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto and Solemn Evening Prayer in the Cardinal’s hometown parish church of Our Lady Immaculate in Guelph, Ontario. It’s the most comprehensive documentation of those wonderful days earlier this year. You can find all the information on how to order the DVD set here.
Most recently, in Dublin, I had the chance to see S + L hard at work once again, providing coverage of the International Eucharistic Congress and sharing their work with dozens of countries around the world. Fr. Tom also took time to offer a couple of workshops, one on “Is there a Catholic media?” that is definitely worth a look. You can view the video of the session here.
As we approach the 10th anniversary of World Youth Day in our country, we give thanks for the gift of Salt + Light, providing a Catholic voice in the saturated world of mass media, a witness of young people committed to their faith and a beacon of hope providing spiritual nourishment from coast to coast.
So while most would say we have to be careful about just how much “salt” we have in our diet, in this case, I’d say “indulge”. You’ll be healthier for it..