Published September 29, 2011
The documentary series illustrates the history and treasures of a global religion shared by more than one billion people around the world. Filmed in high-definition and spanning more than 50 locations in 15 countries, the series was created and hosted by Father Robert Barron, the Francis Cardinal George Professor of Faith and Culture at Mundelein Seminary and a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago. The executive producer was filmmaker Mike Leonard, a veteran correspondent for NBC’s “Today” show and producer of the popular public television series “Ride of Our Lives.”
Together, Father Barron and Leonard spent two years traveling the world with a crew of seasoned network television producers.
“The filming of the Catholicism series was one of the most exciting and rewarding periods of my life,” said Father Barron. “Our team traveled the globe to capture some of the beauty, truth and texture of Catholicism. I am thrilled that people across the country will have the opportunity to share in the series, and I hope to engage the imaginations of both Catholics and non-Catholics.”
“This series changed the way I think and act. The global settings were stunning, but it was Father Barron’s brilliant insights on life’s most challenging issues that shook me to the core,” said Leonard.
“Whatever your belief or background, there is much to gain from this deep and profound excursion into spirituality, logic and the human experience,” he added.
In this large-scale documentary, Father Barron tells the story of Catholicism around the world, using art, architecture, literature, music and all the riches of the Catholic tradition. The production crew traveled to some of the most magnificent and sacred sites in Jerusalem, Rome, Krakow, Warsaw, New York, Istanbul, Ephesus, Lourdes, Mexico City, Athens, Corinth, Mexico City and more.
The team was granted exclusive access to film privately in many locations inaccessible to the general public. Highlights include some of the world’s architectural and artistic masterpieces and most sacred places: the Dome of the Rock, the Hagia Sophia, the tomb of Mother Teresa, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, rare views of the Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the pope’s private gardens, Chartres, Notre Dame, and Cologne Cathedrals, as well as one of the largest religious celebrations on the planet: the feast of the Ugandan martyrs.
This fall, public television stations across the country, including the Atlanta area, will air four 60-minute episodes of the series: “Amazed and Afraid: The Revelation of God Become Man,” “The Ineffable Mystery of God: That Than Which Nothing Greater Can Be Thought,” “Our Tainted Nature’s Solitary Boast: Mary, the Mother of God,” and “The Indispensable Men: Peter, Paul and the Missionary Adventure.”
The documentary in its entirety has 10 parts and is also available through the website.
Father Barron has also written a new 300-page book, “Catholicism,” published by Image Books/Doubleday (Random House). There is also a study program available with a comprehensive workbook written by Carl Olson. These are all now available for RCIA, adult education, schools and parishes.
Funding for Catholicism was provided by private donors worldwide. The series is a production of Word On Fire Catholic Ministries in partnership with Picture Show Films.
In the Atlanta Archdiocese, the first four parts will air at 7 p.m. on Thursday evenings, Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27 on GPB-TV. More information about the series, as well as air dates for other stations, including EWTN, is also available at www.CatholicismSeries.com.