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Catholicism Series Hits a Milestone: Over 1,000 Broadcasts on Public Television Nationwide

By Word on Fire

Father Robert Barron previews the popular documentary on NBC's Today Show and at the New York Times Center

Chicago, Illinois (PRWEB) December 20, 2011

Over 1000 episodes of Catholicism, a ground-breaking, multi-part documentary series, have aired on public broadcasting stations across the nation in less three months since its September 22 premiere. This fall, over 65% of public television stations have broadcast the mini-series, including New York's WNET, and Chicago's WTTW. Eighteen of the top 20 markets are carrying Catholicism, and it will continue to air in 2012 and also weekly on EWTN as more stations pick up the programs.

This week in New York, the documentary was featured on NBC's Today Show with Father Robert Barron, the host and writer of the series, and Executive Producer Mike Leonard. The New York premiere screening of Catholicism was also held at the Times Center, with an introduction by Archbishop Timothy Dolan, for over 400 people.

This epic 10 episode television production illustrates the history and treasures of a global religion shared by more than one billion people around the world. The series is filmed in stunning high-definition and spans more than 50 locations in 15 countries.

“Catholicism is fascinating television. This series is of great interest to viewers who want a better understanding of the impact and meaning this faith continues to have throughout the World,” said Dan Soles, WTTW's Senior Vice President and Chief Television Content Officer. “I am pleased and honored that this production has a home with WTTW and that public television stations around the country have an opportunity to broadcast this important work,” he added.

Catholicism has consistently ranked in the Top 10 documentaries on Amazon, while tens of thousands of DVD box sets have been sold in less than three months on the market The companion book, Catholicism, published by Random House has also shown consistent popularity as well as the series study guides.

Father Robert Barron, the Francis Cardinal George Professor of Faith and Culture at Mundelein Seminary and a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, is the creator and host of the series. The executive producer is acclaimed filmmaker Mike Leonard, a veteran correspondent for NBC s Today show and producer of the popular public television series Ride of Our Lives. Together, Fr. 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 Fr. 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," admitted Mike 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 sweeping 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 travels 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, Uganda, Manila, Sao Paolo, Auschwitz, Kolkata, Philadelphia, Chicago, and beyond.

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. Public television stations across the country including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia will locally 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.

Viewers can find out air dates in their city by going to The entire documentary has 10 parts and is also available through the website.

Funding for Catholicism was provided by private donors worldwide. The series was produced by Word On Fire Catholic Ministries in partnership with Picture Show Films.

About Fr. Robert Barron: An acclaimed author, speaker, and theologian from Western Springs, Illinois, Fr. Robert Barron is also the founder of Word On Fire, a global, non-profit media group. He is the Francis Cardinal George Professor of Faith and Culture at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1986, Fr. Barron has published numerous books, essays, and DVD programs. He is a frequent commentator on faith and culture for The Chicago Tribune, NBC Nightly News, FOX News, Our Sunday Visitor, The Catholic Herald in London, The Washington Post, CNN and The Catholic New World. He lectures extensively in the United States and abroad, including the Pontifical North American College at the Vatican and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Fr. Barron received a Master's Degree in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Institut Catholique de Paris. Cardinal Francis George calls Father Barron one of the Church's best messengers.

About Word On Fire: Word On Fire ( reaches millions of people through its weekly programs, which have been broadcast on WGN America, Relevant Radio, The Eternal Word Television Network, the popular Word On Fire YouTube Channel, and the Word On Fire website, which offers daily blogs, articles, commentaries, and over ten years of weekly sermon podcasts. 

Read the press release here.

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