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The Tide Is Turning In Hollywood.  Good News To Report From Tinseltown.  Surrounded By A Culture Of Excess & Anything Goes, Faithful Catholics In The Film & TV Industry Show The Way            By Dave Hartline (First Of Three Parts, See Pictures Below)
I had the privilege of being asked to speak in Hollywood about my book, The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism. In the process, I met some amazing, faithful people in the entertainment business. While many casual observers see Hollywood , especially after Sunday’s Academy Awards show, as being a collection of social and political nere do wells. There exists a group of faithful believers who are a beacon of light to all they meet. They are the practicing Catholics.  Indeed, they are bright light to the faithful around the world. They live their daily faith in an exemplary manner.  Many of these faithful Catholics are young people who show their faith by the joy of their work and its spirit is shown by their worship.  A good number go to daily Mass. Many needed no convincing of my book, The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism, main premise. They are living it and seeing it with their own eyes.

While many were exuberantly young and faithful Catholics, others are not so young.  They have the advantage of seeing faith with a few more years under their belt. Father Wilfred (Willy) Raymond CSC heads up Family Theater Productions.  He is well respected in Hollywood for his ability to live out his orthodox Catholic faith in the midst of a culture that hardly seems to share the same ideas or beliefs.  He leads a storied group started by Father Patrick Peyton CSC whose cause is being considered for canonization. Father Peyton started Family Theater in 1947 and died in 1992.  It was at Family Theater where Father Peyton coined the phrase, "The Family That Prays Togther Stays Together." His vision involved seeing Hollywood as a place where Catholics could come to learn how to evangelize the faith through the medium of film and mass communications.  Pope John Paul II called Father Peyton “champion of the rosary.”  T he Congregation for the Causes of Saints opened his cause for sainthood in 2001.

The following is part of my conversation with Father Willy Raymond (part II on the Rosary Bowl can be read tomorrow)


Dave Hartline   What are some projects that Family Theater gets involved with in Hollywood ?

Father Willy Raymond  We do lots of things but our Angelus Award is probably what we are known for as far as film goes.  This is an award that Family Theater gives to the best film that we select from hundreds of film projects sent by various film schools.  Each year it gets bigger and bigger.  This is an opportunity for faithful filmmakers to show their talents. 
Dave Hartline  What are some of the other things that Family Theater does that may not get as much publicity?


Father Willy Raymond  We have our “Prayer & Pasta” get together which features speakers on topics of interest to those faithful Catholics in the industry.  You are speaking tonight so you get to see what it’s all about.  In addition, there are over 5,000 billboards across the US with messages of faith that we help put up.  There is no charge to us because billboard owners often put up our messages while in between contracts.  It helps them not have a blank billboard and it helps us to get out a faithful message.  We also have RCIA for those in the film industry. It helps for them to be surrounded by others in the business who they know. Our big upcoming project is the Rosary Bowl which will be May 19th.  We will fill the Rose Bowl with a faithful audience, as was once done in other large stadiums, reciting the Rosary (more on that tomorrow in part II of The Tide Is Turning In Hollywood.)

Dave Hartline   You told me you are bothered when Hollywood is painted with a broad brush for being too non-religious, out of control and self indulgent.  Can you tell me some of the rising stars who are faithful Catholics?


Father Willy Raymond   Yes, I think many Catholics are aware of some of the more prominent stars who are faithful However, there are many rising stars who live very faith-filled lives.  Jim Caviezel is probably most known of the "newer" stars but there are many others. Eduardo Verastegui and Alejandro Monteverdi are two names the public really needs to look out for in the future.   Their film Bella will make a big splash later this year.  Eduardo and Alejandro, who are widely known in Latino circles, will be known to a much larger audience soon.  They are very faithful young men and will be great role models.  This doesn’t begin to touch the young men and women that you may not often see on television or in the movies. However, they have important jobs in the film industry and their faith is a great testament to the Church.

I was shown a private screeing of Bella. I can certainly see why it won the Toronto Film Festival People’s Choice Award.  This is a distinction it shared with past dark horse winners such as Chariots of Fire, The Big Chill & Sideways among others. The film intertwines various sub-plots into one great story of hope.  It is a remarkable achievement for these young filmmakers.  It certainly is a film that the faithful will want to see. In addition to Family Theater, there is Act One Productions with Catholic writer Barbara Nicolosi being a driving force within the group. This is another avenue for faithful Catholics to pursue while in Hollywood.
I attended mid-day Mass with some of the aforementioned young and faithful . At one time (1940s & 1950s) the Hollywood Decency Board met in one of the parishes of the city and if they had any misgivings about a film, the director would be sure to make the necessary changes. That group is no longer exists.  However in a strange twist of fate, across town that screening job now belongs to the Gay and Lesbian Board who often screens films to make sure that homosexual characters fit the mold they desire.


With all the negative publicity and latest breaking news of “Actors/actress Gone Wild,” faithful Catholics should feel that in the midst of Hollywood ’s “adult entertainment” shops and clubs exists a group of faithful Catholics who do their best to keep and preach the faith.  The negative publicity and behavior of some in Hollywood didn’t happen overnight.  It will take some time for the “good works” of the aforementioned Hollywood faithful to be seen.  However, rest assured they are working hard and yes the tide is turning, even in Hollywood .  Comments Click Here
Steve McEveety Producer Of The Passion Of The Christ, Braveheart etc (Among Others) And Yours Truly (Steve's On The Right Just In Case You Had Any Doubt)

Eduardo Verastegui, Lead Actor & Producer Of The Highly Anticipated Film Bella (Toronto Film Festival Winner)  He Is  Holding His Personal Copy Of My Book The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism

Father Willy Ramond CSC Director Of Family Theater Productions In Hollywood
I Didn't Get A Chance To Get A Picture With Artist Sheila Diemert.  However, Click Here For Her Website. Go Ahead & Support A Faithful Catholic Artist While You Are At It!
The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn

You can buy "The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn" from the link above or directly call the publisher (Aquinas and More) toll free at 1-866-428-2820.

Contact Dave Hartline for any inquiries, questions or to speak to your group by clicking the "speaking links" on the left side of the page directly opposite and above this entry.

Upcoming Appearances
by Dave Hartline

Saint Gabriel Catholic Radio. My Interview With Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life

March 7, 2009
Saint Gabriel Catholic Radio, I Will Be Hosting The Post Game Show Following The Columbus Catholic Men's Conference

February 27, 2009
Brian Patrick's Sonrise Morning Show, Sacred Heart Radio EWTN

Brian Patrick Sonrise Morning Show Sacred Heart/EWTN Radio

Paul Clemens Show WLCR AM 1040 Louisville

July 7, 2008
Catholic Answers Live With Jerry Usher

June 26, 2008
Brian Patrick Show On Sacred Heart Catholic Radio, Cincinnati

March 4, 2008
St. Peter-Chillicothe, Ohio

February 11, 2008
St Mary's-Marion, Ohio

Signing Books After Mass-St Michael Parish-Worthington, Ohio

Signing Books After Mass-St Joan Of Arc Parish-Powell, Ohio

Relevant Radio The Drew Mariani Show

Relevant Radio The Drew Mariani Show

Marian Center Conference XVI Boyne Mountain, MI

Michigan Catholic Radio

Theology & A Pub Columbus, OH (Columbus Maennerchor) 966 S High Street

Michigan Catholic Radio

Relevant Radio's Searching The Word Program 12-1 CST

In His Service Catholic Radio, Philadelphia

Radio Maria & Affiliates (Louisiana)

Catholic Marketing Network (Cleveland)

St Gerald Church Farmington, MI (Speaking & Signing Books) Event Begins At The Conclusion Of The 7PM Mass

Paul Clemens Show WLCR AM 1040 Louisville 5PM

Al Kresta Radio Show Ave Maria Radio 5PM EST

St Jane Frances DeChantel Church Sterling Heights, MI (Speaking & Signing Books) Event Begins At 7PM

Teresa Tomeo Show Ave Maria Radio 8AM

St Mary Parish-Marion, Ohio (Briefly Speaking After Masses & Signing Books)

Saint Peter Church-Chillicothe, OH (signing books)

Lino Rulli Show-Sirius Satellite Catholic Radio

Cincinnati Catholic Men's Gathering-Cincinnati, OH (signing books but not speaking)

Maronite Catholic Youth Gathering-New Castle-PA

Catholic Family Theater Productions-Hollywood, CA (Pasta & Prayer Series)

GodSpace Catholic Bookstore-Thousand Oaks, CA

Al Kresta Show-Ave Maria Radio

EWTN Bookmark Program-Birmingham, AL (Taped At The Catholic Marketing Network)

Catholic Marketing Network Gathering-Birmingham, AL

Relevant Radio-The Drew Mariani Show

KVSS Catholic Radio-Omaha, NE (Bruce & Kris McGregor)

The Great Debate
Catholics versus Fundamentalists

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