Friday, December 28, 2012

Joyous Customs Surrounding the Nativity

(ACNS) - It goes without saying that the Nativity of Our Lord is a joyous occasion and a time of great celebration. Part of this celebration includes three important feast days that follow immediately after Christmas Day. These are the Feast of Saint Stephen the Deacon and Protomartyr on the 26th, the Feast of Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist on the 27th, and the Feast of the Holy Innocents on the 28th.

St. Stephen was the first martyr. He was both a martyr in will and in fact, being both willing to die if necessary for the Faith and actually doing so. He was stoned to death while Saul, the later Blessed Paul the Apostle who was then a great persecutor of Christians, looked on approvingly. The popular Christmas Carol "Good King Wenceslas" tells the story of a Bohemian ruler who braved the winter weather to carry food and supplies to a poor peasant on this day. This act to charity reminds us of the duty of Stephen in life as a Roman Deacon to tend to the needs of the poor. It is also no surprise that this feast day is of great importance to the Patriarchal See of St. Stephen, for it is its Patronal Feast. By custom, the Patriarch vests for solemn mass as far as the dalmatic, the garment of a Deacon, and then, standing before the altar, sings "Stephanus autem plenus gratia et fortitudine faciebat prodigia et signa magna in populo." (And Stephen full of grace and power worked great signs and miracles among the people.) The choir responds with "Thanks be to God," for there is indeed great thanks both for Blessed Stephen's ministry and his celestial patronage of the Patriarchal See.

On the Feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist, we celebrate the life and ministry of the only Apostle who was not martyred. The enemies of the faith tried to kill him, but without success. When they gave him wine that had been poisoned, he blessed the wine, drank it, and was not harmed. It is for this reason that we have a special blessing for wine this day and toast to the love of St. John. There are also recipes for mulling the wine before the toast.

The last of these three special feasts is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. These babes were murdered by Herod, who was jealous of Jesus and wanted Him dead. The infants died for our Lord, though they did not know this reason they were dying. In some countries, this day is somewhat like an April Fool's day in America and is full of pranks. Other customs include letting the youngest child of the family decide what to do that day, the meals, the entertainment, and so forth. The traditional Christmas carol "Coventry Carol" deals with the Holy Innocents.

The celebration of Christmas is not simply on one day. Even some of the popular Christmas carols we sing or hear played on the radio point to other days within the Christmas season. The three days following the Feast of the Nativity are of special importance and fittingly come with special customs to enjoy, celebrate, and learn from them.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Patriarchal Address on the Feast of the Nativity 2012

To the Bishops, Regular Clergy, and Faithful of the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church, greetings and Apostolic Blessings on this joyous Feast of the Nativity of our Lord in the two hundred and twelfth year of the Incarnation. This Christmas finds our Patriarchate growing in numbers and faith amidst the ever-present strife of the fallen world. We are pleased by the blessing of both new vocations and those who are discerning clerical and religious vocations. These new vocations will be the voice of evangelism in the coming years. Effective evangelism remains of utmost importance at this crucial time in the world's history. We must not be discourged from this mission, even if the godly admonitions of the Church from time to time fall on deaf ears.

As we celebrate the Incarnation of Christ more than two thousand years ago, we reflect of the magnitude and the scope of His holy mission. It is a mission that all Christians are called upon to continue. It is a mission that was met by great opposition in the time of Christ. And, it is a mission that continued to be met with great imposition after the Ascension of Christ, as the blood of the martyrs will certainly attest. Yet we must not shrink in the face of danger. We must be bold in our evangelism today just as Christ and the Blessed Saints.

The evangelism of today must indeed stand in the face of great opposition. It must stand against increasing secularism promoted by world government, commerce, and the media. Today the world continues to be plagued by the curse of abortion. The United States alone murders over a million unborn children each year. Secular society has bred a culture that does not respect the fundamental right of each human being to life. Yet, each and every other right enjoyed by human beings has as its necessary pre-condition the existence of life. The discussion of other rights cannot begin, therefore, until the right to life has been acknowledged.

The fundamental building block of all society is the family, and this, too, is being threatened. The family is built upon marriage, and a marriage is by definition between one man and one woman. Marriage is the acknowledgement of the natural differences between men and women and the beautiful complementary nature of those differences. It is an acceptance of how almighty God has made each of us individually. It is a humble submission to the way that we were made. The secularists, however, are pushing forward with their agenda of redefining what marriage is. Quite a few countries, including the United States, have legalized homosexual marriage in whole or in part. By making men and women essentially interchangeable in a marriage, we arrogantly laugh in the face of God and refuse to acknowledge how He made us. Rather than accepting our God-given nature, society today chooses to define its own nature. The work of our evangelists today is perhaps at the most daunting level it has ever been since the days of the Early Church.

Life in secular society dismisses the order of nature and turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to God. Secular society ignores its Creator and the rules of nature laid down by the Creator. Yet, the rocks, the trees, and the heavens all inevitaly follow the rules of God without question or exception. What would happen if the earth had a mind of its own and chose to stop obeying the laws of physics that keep it in an orbit around the sun that is conducive to life? Man is the only creation of God that has free will and the potential for comprehension. The secularization in society is a conscious choice to ignore God's natural laws and substitute our own. With gay marriage, we have a venerable and ancient institution thousands of years old that has been turned on its head. It is as if the earth no longer orbits the sun, but instead it is the other way around. The beauty of God's creation in man and woman is cast aside as society imposes its own definition that ignores nature.

Yes, the evangelists of today have a difficult task ahead of them. Their work is made all the more difficult by the vast number of liberals within our educational institutions that profess secularism and modernism. The media also widely pushes this anti-Christian and liberal agenda. The mission of the Christian people is only possible through the grace of God and the constant intercession of the Blessed Virgin, who sees her children in the world and lovinly prays for their conversion. So much did God want the world to turn to Him willingly and attain eternal salvation that He gave His only-begotten Son, whose birth we celebrate today. So much did the Blessed Virgin Mary love us all that she willingly submitted to God and stood at the foot of the Cross as Christ hung there dying for the sins of the world. It is those who profess secularism, liberalism, and modernism today who would have been shouting for our Lord to be crucified. They do not stand for the rights and freedom of all people. They have no sympathy for the suffering of our Lord. Rather, it is Christ on the Cross who stands for freedom, truth, and the rights of all mankind. It is the Blessed Virgin who stood by the Cross to the very end in sympathy with our Lord, her own Immaculate Heart pierced, herself crucified inside, who represents freedom and the rights of all. It is the Blessed Apostles and Saints, and the blood of the martyrs that stood firm as champions of the rights and freedom of all. The liberals present a false freedom that is attractive, but like a Venus flytrap, leads ultimately to one's own demise and the demise of society.

This Christmas season let us resolve to love our fellow man and stand up for the truth of Christ. Let us all pray for the current clergy and an increase in vocations, for there is yet much work to be done. Let us pray for the conversion of those who have turned from Christ. Let us indeed pray that the world will abandon secularism and embrace the love and beauty of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in whom alone lies true freedom.

And now may the blessing of Almighty God, the Father +, the Son +, and the Holy + Ghost be upon you and remain with you always. R. Amen.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Statement by the Patriarch of St. Stephen Regarding the School Shooting in Connecticut


Sub Tuum. 

Rutherford Card. Johnson

To say that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, today came as a shock to most people would be perhaps quite an understatement. The national outpouring of grief has indeed been great. We offer our prayers for the souls of the dead and our prayers and compassion for their families and for those who survived. 

This tragic event is not the result of a lack of laws. We have many laws in this country. The shooter did not respect or follow the law, for what he did was most certainly against the law. Why would anyone think that he would respect new laws? More laws that burden the good and decent citizens of our country are not the answer. Instead let us work through our tears and consider the real underlying problem. 

Today's tragedy was a part of a greater tragedy, and that is a nation that has largely turned from God and fails to respect life. How can we be outraged at the 27 deaths in today's shooting while we turn a collective blind eye to the murder of over one million unborn children? It is no surprise that a culture that glorifies violence and every type of perversion would spawn someone who would kill his fellow students and even his own mother. This is the root of the problem, and it has been a long time in the making in America as society seems determined to push the love of Christ to the back of the storage closet to gather dust. Indeed we need not scratch our heads in wonderment at why such a horrible thing has happened. 

I do not believe, however, that every person in America has turned from God or glorifies gratuitous violence and perversion. Perhaps these are the "silent majority" we hear whispers about. It is long past time for the good and decent people of America to stand up and be heard in spite of those who wish to ridicule and even silence them. It is long past time to stop this insidious indulgence of deviant behavior and instead restore the sense of right and wrong that made American society great. 

The school shooting in Connecticut is the product of the secular society that we have created. The earliest occurrence of a school shooting according to US News is in the 1960s, and they have continued regularly ever since. That decade marks the general start of liberalization and secularization in America. Tolerance for deviance, degradation, and sloth has been on the rise ever since, as has the belief in moral relativism. 

In the wake of this terrible school shooting, what America needs is an awaking of the spirit, not an Alka-Seltzer tablet to make us feel better because we witnessed or heard about something we do not want to see. That would be like taking an aspirin to dull the pain while ignoring the cancer that grows within. Condemn the shootings for the cowardly murders that they were. Console the families of the dead and the survivors. But, let us also turn the magnifying glass on ourselves as a society and realize that the only true path to ending school shootings is a return to the love of Christ above all other things. Remember the New Commandment given by our Lord that we love our neighbors as ourselves. That is the path to life. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

ARCHIVE: Rt. Rev. Ryan Lozano consecrated Bishop

SAN ANTONIO 17 November 2012 (ACNS) - The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Ryan Lozano was consecrated bishop today at Christ Church in San Antonio. He has been appointed Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of the Southwest and will lead and build that See. The parish that hosted the event provided a tranquil setting for the celebration of such a joyful event. The Chief Consecrator was His Eminence Rutherford Cardinal Johnson, Patriarch of Saint Stephen, and the Co-Consecrators were Their Graces Archbishop Harris Rowzie, OP, Archbishop of the Southeast, and Mar Michael Abportus, Bishop of LaPorte. Msgr. Lozano's parents and family were present to share in the occasion.

The ancient rites of consecration, according to the usage of the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church, were set as usual in the midst of a pontifical sung mass with the majestic sounds of the magnificent pipe organ. After taking the Episcopal Oath, the Bishop-Elect prostrated himself before the altar to beg God's help in carrying out the great burden that was soon to be laid upon his shoulders.  
Bishop Lozano (bottom right) prostrates before the altar while the Litany of the Saints is chanted.
 The Co-Consecrators joined in the laying on of hands, and the new Bishop's head and palms were anointed with Holy Chrism. Bishop Lozano then concelebrated the mass. Later, after receiving his bishop's mitre, the Te Deum, the hymn of praise, was sung while he was led around the church to bless all the people. 

At the conclusion of the mass, Bishop Lozano gave his first solemn pontifical blessing as a bishop. Then, according to the usage of the See of Saint Stephen, the new bishop presented his Chief Consecrator with symbolic gifts of torches, bread, and wine. After the final procession, all present congratulated Bishop Lozano and retired to a reception prepared by the parish.

Update: Since this article, both Ryan Lozano and Harris Rowzie are no longer affiliated with the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church.

The Cardinal arrives at the church before mass and is received by the clergy.
Photo credit: Leslie Holland
The Apostolic Blessing is given after the mass.
Photo credit: Leslie Holland
Update: Since this article was released, Ryan Lozano is no longer affiliated with the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church. In tribunal proceedings, he was deposed, excommunicated, and degraded to the lay state. Property of the Patriarchal See in his custody was not returned as requested.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Priest named Chaplain of the Year

LEXINGTON, SC, 1 November 2012 (ACNS) - The Very Rev. Anthony Giunta, TOR Mar., PhD, was the recipient of three honors for his work as a hospital chaplain. He was named 2011-2012 Chaplain of the Year for the Lexington Medical Center by vote of the hospital staff.
Fr. Giunta (left) with other award recipients.
Fr. Giunta was chosen out of over three hundred chaplains. He also was named as one of the top ten chaplains in the Pastoral Care Division and received recognition for working the most hours as a chaplain at the hospital over the past year. Fr. Giunta, who also serves as a police chaplain, is Rector of Holy Cross Mission in Lexington and Minister General of the Franciscan Third Order Regular of Penance of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Parish celebrates its first Holy Mass

LEXINGTON, SC, 21 October 2012 (ACNS) - The faithful gathered today as the Holy Cross Mission of Lexington, South Carolina, celebrated its first mass. The Celebrant was the Rector of the mission, the Very Rev. Dr. Anthony Giunta, TOR Mar., who also serves as the Minister General of the Franciscan Third Order Regular of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The mission parish is part of the Archdiocese of the Southeast of the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church and works to provide the saving graces of the sacraments of Christ's Holy Church to all people who seek Christ. Fr. Giunta and the Holy Cross Mission also provide Christian counseling services to those in need.
Fr. Giunta celebrates the Holy Mass.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Blessing of the Animals

LEXINGTON, SC 4 October 2012 (ACNS) - Holy Cross Mission participated in the “Blessings of the Animals” at Columbia Police Department in Columbia, SC. The Columbia police Department came together on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 6pm to have the complete K-9 Unit blessed on the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi. Fr. Anthony, is a member of the Chaplain Corp at Columbia Police Department. The Asst. Chief Wisner was pleased to have Fr. Anthony come and provide a valuable service to the Officers of the department.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Letter to American Voters

Sub Tuum.
 
Dear Brethren in Christ in the United States,
 
The upcoming Presidential election is perhaps the most important one in American history. If not, then it is at least one of the most critical. Christians must remember their faith and their sacred duty under that faith when they cast their vote in November. The separation of Church and State can never mean that the Church must remain silent on issues of faith and morals at the heart of government policy. Faithful citizens must not check their religion at the door to the voting booth. Your faith must be your guiding light and your moral compass as you cast your vote.
 
Your vote gives you tremendous power. You have the ability to help preserve life, the family, and freedom. This is a tremendous power, and it comes with tremendous responsibility. At stake in the November Presidential election are many fundamental rights Americans have long taken for granted. These rights are granted by God. America’s soldiers have long fought and died to preserve them against the tyrants of the world. Now you have the power with your vote to take a stand against tyranny and for the preservation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Your voice can be heard, and you can speak for those who cannot yet speak for themselves.
 
Much has been said, discussed, and debated, particularly over the past year, regarding health care in America. This is one of the most important and contentious issues surrounding the upcoming election. The Presidential Administration says that their health care program, known better as “Obamacare,”is needed in order to provide many people health insurance who currently do not have health care. Those who oppose this for whatever reason are often vilified and accused of not caring about the poor.
 
From a Christian perspective, all life is sacred from the moment of conception to the moment of death. All life must be treated with respect and dignity. Health care must likewise respect life, treating all persons with respect and dignity. No one ought to be turned away due to an inability to pay.
The fact is that the poor people of America have plenty of venues for receiving the health care that they need. Catholic hospitals, for example, provide health care to all in need, regardless of ability to pay. And, Catholic and religious-based hospitals are far from the only examples of health care facilities that provide services to those without insurance and without ability to pay. There is hardly a place in America that does not have some sort of charitable health care to ensure that the destitute, the indigent, those whose employers do not provide insurance, and those who are simply having trouble making ends meet can have their health care needs met. 
 
Why, then, is national health care, which provides abortions and abortifacient birth control, being touted as necessary in order to provide health care for all Americans? Christian hospitals, as well as even state-run hospitals have long been providing necessary health care to people, regardless of ability to pay. That abortions and abortifacient birth control are being labeled as “women’s health care” is further troubling and displays a lack of respect for the sanctity of life. Certainly there is a need for health care reform in American. Yet, the policies underlying Obamacare are so contrary to Christian doctrine and principles that no Christian may support them. 
 
The issues at hand in the November Presidential election are grave. The Christian Faithful cannot simply stand aside due to distaste for the political process and not take part. Christians have the opportunity to take a stand for life and for freedom, and therefore we have a duty to do so. You must vote according to your conscience in November, and you must allow your conscience to be guided by the Holy Spirit. This is your sacred duty. 
 
In the peace of Christ,
+Rutherford Card. Johnson
Bishop of Saint Stephen
Patriarch of the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Parish receives first class relic

HARDIN, Ill. 11 September 2012 (ACNS) - The Church of Saint Concordia received a first class relic of the bones of Saint Camilla Battista Varano, an Italian Saint canonized in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. She lived from 1458 until 1524 and was beatified by Pope Gregory XVI in 1843.

 
Saint Camilla entered the monastery in Urbino at the age of 23 as a Poor Clare, professing in 1483. She had a vision of Saint Clare of Assisi that lasted for fifteen days. She was elected the abbess of her monastery in 1500, and again in 1507, 1513, and 1515. In 1505, Julius II sent her to found a monastery in Farmo. She died of the plague at the age of 66 in the year 1524. Her extensive writings emphasized following the poor and crucified Christ and are considered quite significant among Poor clare literature.
 
 
 
 

Amy Bishop Pleads Guilty to Killing Colleagues at Faculty Meeting

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. 11 September 2012 (ACNS) - A former professor at the University of Alabama at Huntsville plead guilty on Tuesday to a capital murder charge in connection with the 2010 shooting deaths of three colleagues at hte university. The incident took place during a faculty meeting in the biology department. The former professor, Amy Bishop, age 47, plead guilty to one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder in the shootings, which also wounded three faculty members. Prosecutors had been seeking the death penalty in the case. It is not clear at present whether they will seek a lesser penalty as part of the plea deal. Bishop had earlier plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Her sentencing will occur after a hearing on September 24.

GMC TV Premieres ‘Touched by an Angel’ in September as Part of ‘Calling All Angels’ Programming Stunt

 LOS ANGELES, CA – September 11, 2012 – GMC TV, America’s favorite channel for uplifting family entertainment, will premiere the beloved hit series “Touched by an Angel” as part of a “Calling All Angels” programming stunt in September.
“Touched by an Angel” will premiere on GMC TV with a marathon on Saturday, Sept. 15 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. and Sunday, Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. The series will then air in its regular time slot, weekdays at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. All times are EST.
“Touched by an Angel” premiered in 1994 and ran for 211 episodes and nine seasons. The series stars Roma Downey as an angel named Monica, and Della Reese as her supervisor Tess. Throughout the series, Monica is tasked with bringing guidance and messages from God to various people who are at a crossroads in their lives. From the third season on, they are frequently joined by Andrew (John Dye), the angel of death (who first appeared as a recurring character in season two). In the later seasons they are joined by Valerie Bertinelli, another rookie angel. Many guest stars appeared in the series.
GMC’s “Calling all Angels” stunt also will include the popular series “7th Heaven” on weekdays at noon, 5 and 6 p.m. and Tuesdays from 9 to11 p.m., along with a marathon on Sunday, Sept. 9, from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m.
About GMC TV
GMC TV (www.watchGMCtv.com) is America’s favorite television channel for uplifting music and family entertainment. The Parents Television Council™ has twice awarded its Entertainment Seal of Approval™ to GMC for being “an authentic family-friendly cable network.” GMC TV is the only television network brand to be so honored. GMC has been the fastest growing entertainment network in television in the key demographics of W18-49 and W25-54. GMC can be seen in more than 55 million homes on various cable systems around the country, as well as DISH Network on channel 188, DIRECTV on channel 338 and Verizon FiOS on channel 224. Follow GMC TV on Facebook and Twitter at http://facebook.com/gmctv and http://twitter.com/gmctv.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mass of Thanksgiving Celebrated in Peoria for the Venerable Fulton Sheen

PEORIA 9 September 2012 (ACNS) - A mass of thanksgiving was celebrated in Peoria, Illinois, to celebrate the declaration of Archbishop Fulton Sheen as "the Venerable" by the Holy Father earlier this year. The mass was celebrated by the Most Rev. Daniel Jenky, Bishop of Peoria, the home diocese of the Venerable Fulton Sheen. From this point, Sheen may be beatified, declaring him a "Blessed." After that, it is possible that he will be canonized as a Saint by the Holy Father in Rome. For more information about this event, read this article. For more about Fulton Sheen, visit this website.

Patriarchal Address centers on the need for compassionate and uncompromising Catholic action

See of St. Stephen 8 September 2012 (ACNS) - The Patriarchal Address on the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary focused on the need for compassionate and uncompromising Catholic action. The Patriarch spoke of the need for compassion towards marginalized people, meaningful and effective health care reform, and appropriate immigration reform. Cardinal Johnson said, "The Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church seeks and promotes peace and the freedom and welfare of all mankind. It is through Christ that all may be truly free. Of particular importance now in history is the state of religious and individual freedom in the United States." Taking the preeminent position in the address was the issue of abortion and respect for life. " It is tragic enough that abortion is currently a form of legal murder, but it is absolutely disastrous that many politicians, activists, and private citizens now promote abortion as a matter of women's health or women's reproductive rights." Read the transcript of the complete address here.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

GMC TV PRESENTS THE ORIGINAL WORLD TELEVISION PREMIERE OF THE HIT REALITY SERIES

Description: Description: SongThatChangedMyLifeKA02BcbATLANTA, GA. September 5, 2012 – GMC TV, America’s favorite channel for uplifting family entertainment, presents the Original World Television Premiere of “The Song that Changed My Life with Marvin Sapp,” the latest installment in the network’s reality television series chronicling the impact of inspirational music by great artists. This emotionally powerful and inspiring episode features pastor and award-winning gospel music singer-songwriter Marvin Sapp and Yolanda Bennett, a former hairdresser and mother whose life was transformed by Sapp’s 2007 hit single “Never Would Have Made It.” The show is narrated by pop icon and radio-television presenter John Tesh. “The Song that Changed My Life with Marvin Sapp” makes its world television premiere exclusively on GMC TV on Saturday, September 8th at 9:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST.

The Song that Changed My Life with Marvin Sapp” tells the story of Yolanda Bennett, an Atlanta mother who fell into a deep depression and dependence on prescription drugs after the back-to-back deaths of her husband and father. Remarkably, Bennett’s downward spiral came to an overnight stop after she tuned in by chance to an awards show in which Sapp was performing “Never Would Have Made It.” Inspired by the song, Bennett quit her medications cold turkey the next day and began turning her life around. Interwoven with Bennett’s story are candid interviews with Sapp, who tells how the song came to him during a dark time of his own, when he was grieving the loss of his father in 2007.
I broke down,” says Sapp, who recorded with the group Commissioned in the 1990s before beginning a record-breaking solo career. “I sat in the pulpit with tears just rolling down my face and I just started singing these words. The next thing I know, the church just erupted. It was amazing."
At the urging of his wife, Sapp fleshed the song out and added it—almost as an afterthought—to his 2007 album Thirsty. The rest is history. “Never Would Have Made It” went on to become No. 1 in gospel radio for 47 weeks and remains the longest-running No. 1 single on radio across all genres. It was named the Top Song of 2008 by The Associated Press and people started calling Sapp “Mr. Never Would Have Made It.”
I want people to understand that you can get through things and move on and have a happier life," Bennett says. Sapp, who is the pastor at Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., adds, “I never understood the power of a song until this experience. The fact that something so little can impact somebody so much, I'm astounded and thankful."
Everyone’s life has a soundtrack and sometimes the song that’s playing when you’re going through challenging times can be a pivotal element in your life,” says Rex Humbard, senior vice president productions and operations, GMC and executive producer. “In this episode of our series ‘The Song that Changed My Life,’ we see the power of something as simple as a heartfelt prayer that turned into a song with the power to transform lives. And let’s face it, we’ve all had our ‘never-would-have-made-it’ moments and somehow found a way through it. We are thrilled to be able to share these moments with our GMC viewers.”
In addition to Sapp and Bennett, “The Song that Changed My Life with Marvin Sapp” includes interviews with Sapp’s brother Henry Sapp, as well as Bennett’s sister Stephanie Cook; her mother, Dorothy Bennett; her daughter, Jayde Bennett; and her young son, Donavyn Bennett-Hill. Voiceover narration is by John Tesh, an award-winning American pianist and composer of pop music, as well as a prolific radio host and television presenter. GMC’s “The Song that Changed My Life with Marvin Sapp” is produced by Hirsh TV in association with GMC. The episode was produced by Logan Hirsh and GMC TV.
The Song that Changed My Life with Marvin Sapp” is the second installment in the network’s reality television series chronicling the impact of inspirational music by great artists. The inaugural episode featured a Greenville, S.C. family whose lives were forever altered by the song “When Love Takes You In” by Steven Curtis Chapman, an American musician, songwriter, record producer, actor, author and social activist. The song, which focuses on the topic of adoption, was especially meaningful for Chuck and Shelley Pace, who were split on whether to adopt a child. The couple already had three biological children, but Shelley wanted to adopt a little girl from China while Chuck was less sure. All that changed when Chuck attended a concert by Chapman in 2005 and saw a video for “When Love Takes You In.” The Pace family went ahead with the adoption as a result and welcomed a beautiful young girl into their family.
ABOUT MARVIN SAPP
Marvin Louis Sapp grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich., and began singing in church at age four. After singing with a number of gospel ensembles, he joined the group Commissioned in 1991, leaving five years later to go solo. His inspirational song “Never Would Have Made It,” from his 2007 album Thirsty, became a runaway hit that propelled the pastor into the musical spotlight. Born out of the pain of losing his father, the song broke numerous records, peaking at No.14 on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, No. 82 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and also at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart. Sapp’s next album would become the all time highest-charting gospel artist in Billboard's 54-year history of tracking album sales. Nominated for eight Grammy© Awards, Sapp is a multiple Stellar Award winner, and also won BET’s Best Gospel Artist award in 2008 and 2010, as well as GMA Dove Award for Contemporary Gospel Recorded Song of the Year in 2011 for the hit single “The Best In Me.” He is founder and senior pastor at Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids.
ABOUT GMC TV
GMC TV (www.watchGMCtv.com) is Americas favorite television channel for uplifting family entertainment. The Parents Television Council has twice awarded its Entertainment Seal of Approval to GMC for being an authentic family-friendly cable network.GMC TV is the only television network brand to be so honored. In 2011, GMC TV was the second fastest growing ad supported cable network in total day households and A18-49. GMC can be seen in more than 55 million homes on various cable systems around the country, as well as DISH Network on channel 188, DIRECTV on channel 338 and Verizon FiOS on channel 224. Follow GMC TV on Facebook and Twitter at http://facebook.com/gmctv and http://twitter.com/gmctv.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Paul Ryan and Joe Biden: A Tale of Two Catholics?

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - This election season we are presented with some fundamental contrasts on a whole series of levels, politics, economy, health care, and so forth. But perhaps no contrast is more interesting than the contrast between two supposedly Catholic vice presidential candidates, the Republican Representative Paul Ryan and the current Vice President, the Democrat Joe Biden. Read the full story at Catholic Online.

Wedding at Holy Cross Mission

LEXINGTON, SC, 2 September 2012 (ACNS) - Mr. and Mrs. Leon Michael Hensley were joined in holy matrimony this past Sunday at the Holy Cross Mission. Officiating at the outdoot wedding was the Very Rev. Dr. Anthony P. Giunta, TORMar., Director of the Holy Cross Mission.

The Very Rev. Anthony Giunta, TORMar, and Mr. and Mrs. Hensley

Holy Cross Mission is a small Christian Franciscan Order, which has Biblically and Theologically  trained professional pastoral and spiritual counselors.  Saint Anthony Mission was formed in September of 1995 as a Franciscan Missionary Church. The purpose was to bring service to the Armed Forces Veterans that were the unfortunate individuals that became a statistic of modern economic conditions and became homeless and destitute.

MISSION PICTURES INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCES JOINT DISTRIBUTION DEAL WITH PROVIDENT FILMS FOR BOX OFFICE HIT, OCTOBER BABY

Film Makes International Debut at MIPCOM
Los Angeles, Calif. (September 4, 2012)- The award-winning and life-affirming motion picture October Baby, written, produced and directed by Jon and Andy Erwin, will be distributed to audiences this fall through Mission Pictures International (MPI) and Provident Films (http://providentfilms.org/). Provident Film’s Sr. Vice President, Ben Howard, and MPI’s co-founder Cindy Bond recently penned the deal and will be rolling out the project on September 11, 2012. National efforts will be spearheaded by Provident Films while international efforts will be driven by MPI. FOX home entertainment will distribute the DVD domestically in the general market.
“Coming off of October Baby’s success in the box office this past spring, our team could not be more excited about pairing with Provident Films,” says MPI co-founder Cindy Bond. “We can’t wait to bring this beautiful story and message to international audiences.”
October Baby (http://www.octoberbabymovie.net/) is the story of a young girl named Hannah, who collapses on stage during her theatrical debut in college. After countless medical tests, all signs point to one underlying factor: Hannah’s difficult birth. This revelation is nothing compared to what she learns from her parents: she was actually adopted, after a failed abortion attempt. Bewildered, angered, and confused Hannah turns to her oldest friend Jason for support. Encouraged by his adventurous spirit, Hannah joins his group of friends on a Spring Break road trip, embarking on a journey to discover her hidden past and find hope for her unknown future. In the midst of her incredible journey, Hannah finds that life can be so much more than what you have planned.
After reaching No.8 in the box office opening weekend, October Baby gained critical acclaim from film critics across the nation:
“Andrew and Jon Erwin’s faith-based anti-abortion drama is poignant, no matter which side of the debate you fall on.” -LA Times columnist Gary Goldstien.
"Powerful! Outstanding! I was not prepared for the impact this movie would have on me. October Baby is THE must-watch movie for all families in 2012." -Dr. Dennis Rainey, Host, FamilyLife Today
“It just might change your life!”The Dove Foundation
The Mission Pictures team will debut October Baby to international audiences at MIPCOM this year. MIPCOM is the one-source acquisition marketplace for anyone looking to screen, source, and acquire the freshest new shows, formats and trans media productions. The annual event is held in Cannes, France and is scheduled to take place October 8-11 of this year.
To coincide with the strong message that October Baby promotes, every DVD purchased is a vote for life. The Erwin Brothers have assigned 10 percent of sales profits to benefit the Every Life is Beautiful Fund, which will distribute funds to frontline organizations helping women facing crisis pregnancies, life-affirming adoption agencies, and those caring for orphans.
About Mission Pictures International
Mission Pictures International is a foreign sales, finance, and distribution company that specializes in high quality family and faith-based entertainment for mainstream audiences worldwide.

Founded in 2008 by Cindy Bond and Chevonne O'Shaughnessy, MPI's primary focus and commitment is to create and build a trusted and vibrant brand of entertaining and life-affirming feature film and television programming. With our unique vision, passion and expertise we are able to strategically and effectively maximize our brand within the global marketplace. We achieve this goal by combining the power of our mainstream buyers, distributors and output deals with our international Christian retailers, distributors and global ministry relationships.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, MPI annually exhibits at the following Film and TV Markets: NATPE, Berlin, MIP-TV, Cannes, DISCOP, MIPCOM and AFM.
Mission Pictures slate include features such as: Seven Days in Utopia starring Academy Award® Winner Robert Duvall (Tender Mercies), Academy Award® Winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter) and Lucas Black (Jarhead); The Fifth Quarter starring Emmy Award® Nominee Aidan Quinn (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee), Golden Globe® Nominee Andie McDowell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Ryan Merriman (Final Destination 3); Like Dandelion Dust which stars Academy Award® Winner Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite), Golden Globe® Nominee Barry Pepper (Seven Pounds, 25th Hour), Cole Hauser (Good Will Hunting) and Maxwell Perry Cotton; Letters to God starring Robyn Lively and Bailee Madison (Brothers); The Way Home starring Dean Cain (Out of Time); To Save a Life; Bella; as well as the animated series Buzz and Poppy and Animated Kids Bible.
For more information, please visit http://www.missionpicsintl.com/.
 
About Provident Films

Provident Films, a division of Provident Music Group, develops, produces and markets faith-based films. Nashville-based Provident Music Group, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, has been one of the world’s leading Christian entertainment companies for more than three decades.
For more information, please visit ProvidentFilms.org.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cardinal Keith O'Brien Calls Scotland to Defend the Truth about Marriage

GLASKOW, Scotland, UK (Catholic Online) - Keith Patrick Cardinal O'Brien is one of many heroic Catholic Bishops who have taken their place on the front line of the battle of our age to defend true marriage and the family and society founded upon it. Read the entire article by Deacon Keith Fournier at Catholic Online.

TEEN AUTHOR JULIETTE TURNER MAKES AGE-OLD DOCUMENT FRESH AND RELEVANT FOR A NEW GENERATION IN OUR CONSTITUTION ROCKS!

National Youth Director of Constituting America Unveils debut release today, Aug. 28, 2012, through Zonderkidz
“Our Constitution Rocks is a fun, informative, and relevant book that will empower the youth in our country with the knowledge they need to succeed. Juliette Turner may be only 14 years old,
but she highlights the importance of the Constitution for her generation and many to follow.”
—Barbara Bush, Former First Lady of the United States
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LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Aug. 28, 2012) Imagine a world without Twitter, Facebook, iTunes, or television...Little did the Framers of the United
States Constitution know that their work would change the course of history, but that's exactly what it did. Fourteen-year-old Juliette Turner, the National Youth Director of Constituting America and daughter of actress and Conservative Talk Radio Host Janine Turner, is encouraging her peers to understand the importance of the Constitution and gain a deeper understanding of the document that makes America the greatest nation on earth in her debut release Our Constitution Rocks!.
Releasing nationwide today, Aug. 28, 2012, through Zonderkidz, Our Constitution Rocks! takes a unique look at America’s founding document and makes it relevant to kids today.
“’We the People’ includes kids,” says Juliette.
In Our Constitution Rocks!, readers are invited on a unique journey through the Constitution and discover the historical document in a whole new way. Through fun facts, quotes, cartoons, actual debates, great graphics, and so much more, Juliette breaks down the Constitution, clause by clause, and makes it real and relevant for a new generation.
“It’s not just an old document written by a bunch of men in powdered wigs and tights,” admits Juliette. “It is of utmost importance for kids, the future generation of America, to understand the relevancy of our Constitution, the law of the land. It is America's road map and guide and without reverence and a working knowledge of it, we will lose our country.”
Great for all ages, including parents and teachers, Our Constitution Rocks! is an easy and fun read that simplifies an age-old historical document by translating it into a current and relevant language. Juliette takes the reader on a historical journey as she breaks down the Constitution into cool categories such as:
  • What has it done for me lately?
  • Why should I care?
  • How can I make a difference?
  • Breaking it down
  • The Bottom Line
  • What were they thinking?
Ever since her mother read the Constitution to her on a hammock during spring break, Juliette has been interested in the Constitution and how it affects the future of America. The idea and concept for the book began as a homeschooling assignment where Juliette interpreted ninety essays that had been written by scholars from Constituting America, making them kid-friendly for a younger audience.
Written for kids by a kid, Juliette’s passion and excitement breathes new life into an old document and reminds readers why it remains one of the most important documents in world history.
The informative and fun book is also supported by a number of reputable political figures such as Barbara and Laura Bush, Jack Quinn, the Former White House Counsel under President Bill Clinton and more.
In support of her new release, Juliette will be featured in a number of political events this fall including a keynote speaker at the this year’s Constitution Day in Philadelphia (Sept. 16-17) commemorating the 225th anniversary and the first teen speaker to take the platform at Symposium at Mt. Vernon (November 2012).
Our Constitution Rocks!
ISBN-10: 0310734215
ISBN-13: 978-0310734215
USD$15.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Ages 8 and up
About the author
Description: OCR184Fourteen-year-old Juliette Turner is the National Youth Director for Constituting America (http://constitutingamerica.org/), Founder & President of PoliKids! Politics for Kids (http://www.polikids.com/), author, activist and student. She is the daughter of actress and Conservative Talk Radio Host Janine Turner. When she isn’t in school, writing, or speaking at political conventions, Juliette can be found at home on her Texas ranch, caring for their eight dogs and twenty-five heads of longhorn cattle.
About Zonderkidz
Zonderkidz, a division of Zondervan, and Harper Collins, inspires young lives through imagination and innovation. As the leader in Christian children's communications, it produces bestselling and award-winning Bibles, books, board books, graphic novels, audio, video, and digital products that awaken the hearts and touch the souls of kids 18 and under and the people who love them, from family members to educators. Zonderkidz is the publisher of the NIrV (New International Reader's Version) Bible translation, the 3rd-grade reading level edition of the NIV that is ideal for children and those who speak English as a second language. Visit Zonderkidz on the Internet at www.zonderkidz.com.
To schedule an interview with Juliette Turner, to receive review copies or for more information on Our Constitution Rocks!, please contact:
Tracy Cole/Rogers & Cowan
310.871.8349
tcole@rogersandcowan.com
Christina Garvin/Rogers & Cowan
310.854.8144
cgarvin@rogersandcowan.com

L.A. DODGER LEGENDS, AL “THE BULL” FERRARA & LEE LACY THE DREAM CENTER’S DC LOVES L.A. EVENT


DC LOVES L.A. DRAWS OVER 600 COMMUNITY MEMBERS
KIDS LEAVE WITH NEW BIKES, BACKPACKS, CLOTHES, FOOD & MORE

 
Los Angeles, Calif. (Aug.28, 2012)--Over the weekend, The Dream Center joined forces with the L.A.P.D. (CSP Division), the Housing Authority Los Angeles County (HACLA) and L.A. Parks & Recreation and 100 volunteers to host Dream Center Loves L.A. Over 600 attended the community event held at Nickerson Gardens Housing Project, including L.A. Dodger Legends Al “The Bull” Ferrara and Lee Lacy. The Dodger Alumni coached two inner city Little League teams for a fun afternoon of baseball.
Prior to the game, representatives from the L.A.P.D. and HACLA were honored for their service to the community and were presented plaques by the Dodger icons.
Community members enjoyed live entertainment provided by DJ Sparz, Sada K and were able to receive free bags of groceries and free clothes. Additionally, ten children went home with brand new bicycles as their prize for winning a dance contest.
Following the game, 175 backpacks were handed out to school age children to help kids kick off the school year. The backpacks were filled with various supplies including notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers and more.
For over nine years, The Dream Center has been visiting four major project sites (Imperial Courts, Ramona Gardens, Jordan Downs & Nickerson Gardens) three times a week; providing food, clothing, needs items and services. Their new initiative is to start putting on public events, working together with local organizations, L.A.P.D and others, to bring hope, family-fun and a sense of community to the people of Los Angeles.
For more information on The Dream Center and be involved in Dream Center Loves L.A., please visit www.dreamcenter.org.
###
About the Dream Center
The Dream Center, a volunteer driven organization that finds and fills the needs of individuals and families alike, was founded in 1994 and currently serves over 50,000 people each month.
Services and programs offered include residential rehabilitation programs for teens and adults, a shelter for victims of human trafficking, a transitional shelter for homeless families, mobile hunger relief and medical programs, and a foster care intervention outreach that works closely with Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to keep families intact by delivering the required furnishings, clothing and food to assure that their homes meet DCFS standards. Programs such as adult basic education, job skills training, and life skills counseling are also offered to homeless families and individuals.
The Dream Center’s record of success has led to the launch of over 100 independent Dream Centers nationally, as well as internationally. http://www.dreamcenter.org
For media inquiries please contact Rogers & Cowan:
Christina Garvin
Rogers & Cowan
310.854.8144
cgarvin@rogersandcowan.com