HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Faith Bowl III, a half-hour, round-table discussion by sports celebrities about the challenges of living the Catholic faith and the challenges to family life amidst the public arena of professional sports, will air on several Catholic television broadcast outlets and networks in conjunction with Super Bowl XLIV, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010. This is the third consecutive year that Family Theater is producing Faith Bowlin collaboration with Catholic Athletes for Christ and the Knights of Columbus.
This year’s program features:
? Mike Piazza, a retired catcher after a 16-year career in Major League Baseball, mostly with the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a 12-time All-Star and the 1993 National League “Rookie of the Year.”
? Mike Sweeney, a designated hitter for the Seattle Mariners in 2009, a 15-year MLB veteran and five-time selection to the All-Star team as a Kansas City Royal.
? Bobby Keppel, a relief pitcher for the Minnesota Twins. He appeared in 37 games in 2009 and was the winning pitcher of the Twins’ playoff game with the Detroit Tigers for the American League Central Division title. He is the Faith Bowl III moderator.
Among scheduled broadcasts on Feb. 7 are EWTN, 5 p.m. (EST/2 p.m. PST); CatholicTV, Boston, 5:30 and 10 p.m. (EST/ 2:30 and 7 p.m. PST) airing on cable systems throughout New England and nationally on Sky Angel IPTV and its website: www.catholictv.org. (Complete list at end of this article.)
Among the issues the panelists discuss are the importance of the Catholic faith, prayer and a sound Christian family life and the important role of a husband and father in being a “true man.”
Sweeney refers to Piazza being “one of the best catchers to ever play the game,” and then says, “But as men, I think our true vocation” is the covenant they made with Jesus Christ. “That relationship supersedes” everything. Sweeney said that relationship influences the “impact that a father can have in a home.”
Piazza responds, “That’s where we have to redirect our energy, to teach our young men, this is what a real man is, being a faithful husband, present father and as well as a provider. … Don’t live the life others want you to live. Live the life God wants you to live.”
Host Keppel said, “We live in a technological age. We’re too busy and we don’t have time to reflect and retreat and find out what we want. It’s our society; we are so busy. It’s unfortunate. I just hope people see this and watch and realize as busy as you guys are you take the time to reflect to realize it is not about you but about growing in life giving life with you and your spouse and the fruits are your children.”
The three ballplayers are members of Catholic Athletes for Christ, a growing organization which serves Catholic athletes in the practice of their faith and helps them to promote a Catholic sports culture.
The program was taped at Family Theater Productions, Hollywood, on Nov. 19, following a Catholic Athletes for Christ retreat in nearby Mailbu.
The production team was led by executive producers Holy Cross Fathers Willy Raymond and David Guffey, Family Theater Productions’ national director and TV/film director, respectively, and Ray McKenna, founding president of Catholic Athletes for Christ; and producer/director Jake Alba, who produced and directed Faith Bowls I and II and Family Theater’s previous production Rosary Stars: Praying the Gospel.
Family Theater Productions produced the first Faith Bowl that aired on two Catholic broadcast networks for 2007 Super Bowl and produced Faith Bowl II that several Catholic broadcasters aired in conjunction with last year’s Super Bowl. A few Catholic broadcasters will air Faith Bowl II the half-hour before Faith Bowl III on Feb. 7.
Faith Bowl IIfeatures actor Chris Kramer, star of the hit Canadian TV series The Collector, as host; Mark Loretta, second baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers; and Antonio Soave, a former pro soccer player, discussing how they live their Catholic faith in the public arenas of sports and entertainment.
Family Theater Productions is a Catholic media production ministry founded in Hollywood in 1947 by Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, CSC, a Catholic media pioneer and now sainthood candidate. Family Theater has produced more than 900 radio and television programs that have featured hundreds of Hollywood stars and have had more than 10,000 broadcasts.
It is a member of Holy Cross Family Ministries, whose international headquarters is in Easton, Mass. Other member ministries include Family RosaryUSA, which Father Peyton founded in 1942 in Albany, N.Y., Family Rosary International with offices in 16 countries, and the Father Peyton Family Institute in Easton, Mass., and Lima, Peru.