By Tom Allen, Editor and President of Catholic Exchange
We've been reporting the previews for weeks, but now the time has come to finally enjoy positive commercial television in prime time - programming that affirms the Catholic Church, and honors vocations to the priesthood and the witness of faithful young Catholics.
This Easter Sunday, April 16th, on the A&E Network, a five-part "reality" series entitled God or the Girl premieres, giving viewers a personal encounter with four Catholic young men who allowed A&E to journey with them as they contemplated the most important decision of their lives - the choice between priesthood or marriage - God or the girl. Catholic Exchange has been involved in this project since its inception and we are encouraging our viewers to tune in!
Although it sounds decidedly "pop culture-ish," this USCCB-endorsed docu-series takes a surprisingly sober and serious look at the vocations discernment process. Its portrayal of what pious young men endure in deciding between a life of full-on service to the Church versus a family and business career is powerful.
This is a unique opportunity for the Catholic Church and the culture at large. Just as the movie industry relies on box office sales to measure the "vote" of the American public on opening weekend, the television industry relies on ratings to decide whether to continue certain types of programming. Therefore, the more families that tune in to God or the Girl this Easter Sunday the better. So let's bring the show to the attention of our family and friends, and together show the television industry what sort of programming we want to see. If this show is successful, you can bet that more of its kind will be on the way.
How can you help?
- Please suggest to your pastor that he make an announcement this weekend to tune in. Easter Mass is famous for attracting non-regular church attendees - the type of folks who would really profit from seeing this type of serious and respectful treatment of our Faith on secular TV.
- Send an e-mail or two to friends and family bringing God or the Girl to their attention.
- Log on to the A&E website discussion board and share your thoughts about the show and A&E's decision to carry this series.
- Visit the website GodortheGirl.com and download support materials to help spread the word and start vocational study groups in your parishes.
- Touch base with your Diocesan Vocation Director and make sure he or she knows about the series and the study materials that have been prepared for their use, free-of-charge, at the GodortheGirl.com website.
The full series schedule is as follows:
PART I - EASTER SUNDAY APRIL 16, @ 9PM EASTERN/8C MOST IMPORTANT
PART 2 - EASTER SUNDAY APRIL 16, @ 10PM/9C
PART 3 - EASTER MONDAY, APRIL 17, @ 9PM/8C
PART 4 - MONDAY, APRIL 17, @ 10PM/9C
FINALE (PART 5) - SUNDAY, APRIL 23, @ 10PM/9C
To read the USCCB's positive review of the series, click here.