Column: Coming soon: the Real E! Network

by Father Pat Murphy

A quick tour around the world of cable and Direct TV quickly leads you to the conclusion that there must be a network for just about everything.

For example, we now have the Food Network, the NFL Network, the Golf Network and, of course, who of us could ever survive without the E! Network? I guess there must be a network for everyone’s taste and, I hate to do this, but I would like to start the ball rolling for the Catholic Church to start one more network in the ever-changing landscape of TV. I would propose that what we need is The Real E! Network, and that big E should stand for Evangelization.

Yes, I think it is time for us to wake up and take the evangelization challenge a bit more seriously. We talk a lot about it and perhaps we even make plans to do it, but how many of us take seriously the call of Jesus in the Gospel to go to the ends of the earth and make disciples through sharing his teaching and baptizing people in his name?

So it seems clear to me that when all else fails and we need to get the message out there, the best solution is to go ahead and start up the Evangelization Network. On this new network I would propose that we include the following creative programming:

1) A mini series: “Encounters with the Risen Lord”

2) E! Biographies: featuring testimonies from those who have come to know the risen Lord

3) Real TV: stories of people who really live out their faith in small communities

4) Blockbuster Retreats: experiences that offer people an encounter with Jesus

5) A Discipleship Adventure Series: following people as they do door-to-door evangelization in an effort to make over their community

6) The Catholic Cartoon Network — featuring Pablo the Evangelizer in his journey through the archdiocese

7) CNN: The Catholic News Network, which only features the “Good News”

We could go on, but the point is that we have to get more creative about how we can make evangelization as much a part of our daily lives as the world of TV. In the months to come, I will be sharing with our readers what has been going on in Hispanic ministry to promote the Evangelization Network among the Spanish speaking.

Let me just give you a hint by saying that we pretty much have numbers 1-6 in place, but we are still trying to organize our Cartoon Network.

In the meantime, as we say in the business, stay tuned for more news from the Evangelization Network, coming to a station near you.

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