Saturday, December 1, 2007

Catholic Knights presents Living Our Faith with Archbishop Timothy Dolan - Episode #1

Unaccustomed as I am to live-blogging...

The show pre-empted Power Rangers Operation Overdrive on ABC Kids.

Opens with Bob Dolan and his brother, Archbishop Timothy Dolan at a table with Living Our Faith logo coffee mugs. Our Archbishop explains the Living Our Faith evangelization effort and how the show fits into it.

Segues to our Archbishop giving background to upcoming segment with Jeanna Giese, rabies survivor, and her mother. Talks of her recovery as a miracle of science and faith. Film clips of Jeanna back at school. Interviews with teachers and students, with (the apparently now-mandatory) piano background. We hear one of her treating doctors called it a miracle. Archbishop talks of ordinary miracles. He has a low key demeanor. His gestures are just a bit broad for the frame.

A brief word from the underwriter, Catholic Knights, a Milwaukee-headquartered fraternal insurer.

Commercial break: Colder's furniture; Oneida Casino; Lentz Auto; Allied Pools; Colder's again.

We're back. Jeanna and Mom now at the table with our Archbishop, all three with logo mugs. Jeanna, still a bit affected by her illness. Talks of closeness to God, and also anger, both as part of relationship with Him. Archbishop says that's part of God as friend, you share even your anger. Talks of solidarity of people concerned with Jeanna's recovery. Jeanna says there was a miracle in how her crisis brought people together out of concern. Mom recalls being told of grim prognosis.

In background, Advent wreath with one candle lit, but four candles' lengths vary as if burned down at end of Advent.

Commercials: WOKY Radio; Alverno College; Steinhafels' furniture; News; Attorney David Dreis.

We're back, with Bob and Tim. You can email questions for future shows (include your name and parish). No emails yet, of course, so Bob asks about the Kindergarten Christmas Pageant when our Archbishop was a parish priest. Our Archbishop says one challenge in such productions is to get everyone a part. This was a big class, so they had three innkeepers. Young Ben was cast as the third. When Joseph inquires, instead of saying there's no room, Ben says "Sure come on in". Ben later explains "Who couldn't make room for Jesus?" (Awww...) Our Archbishop says he uses that story in every Christmas homily. (Not literally true; he didn't use it at Midnight Mass last year. Instead he talked of how the innkeeper is portrayed as the villain in the Christmas Pageant.)

I notice his brother Bob calls him "Archbishop". Bob leads our Archbishop into talking about always wanted to be a parish priest Our Archbishop reminisces about how, even when they were kids "back in Ballwin" [Missouri], he saw the parish priest as the job for him. He recalled how, as a parish priest, he had so much and such varied contact with his people. He says he tries to be bishop as if he were pastor of a very large parish. (That might be a way he could talk about this TV show.)

Commercials: Catholic Knights; Stollenwerk Family Foundation; Time Warner Cable Wisconsin-on-demand Channel 1111; The Saint Clare Center for Ministry Formation; Valvoline Instant Oil Change; American Furniture; Attorneys Habush, Habush & Davis.

We're back. Our Archbishop gives an Advent reflection, spoken to camera. Talks of prayer, for example the effect of joining in prayer. Gives as exemplary Advent Prayer "Come, Lord Jesus!" from the closing of the Book of Revelation. Quoting "John Paul the Great", he says Jesus is the answer posed by the question of every human life. To close, "(winks) I'll see you at Mass, and I'll see you next week."

Bob previews next week. Logo. Credits.

Commercials: Fred Astaire Dance Studio; Milwaukee Repertory Theater's A Christmas Carol; Galleria West shopping center; Allied Pools; Steinhafel's Furniture; WISN weekend News.

Update: As commenter Amy hoped, the shows are available online. So, I see, are our Archbishop's homilies. What next, parishes using weblog software to put current information online?!

Notice that the Living Our Faith logo is Old Church, almost Baltimore Catechism milk bottle, not the usual faceless orans-postured stick figures.

If the show didn't knock my socks off, it looked worth the time, money and effort. I hope it's the camera and not Archbishop Dolan that added the pounds. I wouldn't call him a natural for television, exactly, but he seemed comfortable and it at least looked like he takes direction. Will they someday post out-takes and deleted scenes?

In this photo from the show, doesn't Jeanna Giese resemble Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly in The Office? Somehow that has me picturing what "The Chancery" would be like as a series.

The Dolan Christmas anecdote I hoped for was one the brothers once told when our Archbishop as a guest on Bob's radio show. They recalled how, after the Dolan kids went to bed on Christmas Eve, they could hear their father's Darren McGavinesque complaints as he spent hours assembling their "insert tab G into slot H" toys. Bob piped in with "That was after a couple of Falstaffs".

Here's the blurb for the December 8th show with Milwaukee Brewer pitcher Jeff Suppan.


  1. Anonymous2:11 PM

    A real puff piece.............

  2. Anonymous8:43 PM

    Would love to see "The Chancery" as a weekly comedy show. Wouldn't it be fun to see all the flakes and crazy ol' Rembert, too ? Fr. Connell could mope around, looking for vibrancy". Love this idea !!!

  3. Wait...

    The A'dio'se is running commercials w/Abp. Dolan--

    They're a bit edgy--he asks 'whether you're living up to your Baptismal vows' w/specific reference to showing up at Mass on Sunday.

    Good stuff!

    But they pan the camera over a congregation--holding hands upraised--and some of the women are, ah, ....clothed for a very hot summer day....