Sunday, January 26, 2014

Announcing “Extraordinary Faith”: A Locally-Produced EWTN Television Program About Sacred Tradition and the Extraordinary Form

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (January 26, 2014):
We are delighted to announce the production of a monthly half-hour television program entitled Extraordinary Faith, the first video series to showcase the resurging interest in classic Catholic art, architecture, sacred music, and the Tridentine Mass. Almost three years in the making, the program is an effort to promote the Extraordinary Form and the culture and arts that surround it to Catholics and non-Catholics with little or no experience of sacred tradition. We hope to reach the sort of folks who wander into our churches and wonder why no one has told them that this form of Holy Mass exists, people who may be vaguely dissatisfied with the liturgies in their parishes but don’t know where to turn. We intend to get the attention of this audience with a high-production-value, glossy, and relentlessly positive program focusing on the appeal of timeless Catholic culture and liturgy, unencumbered by heavy academics. Souls will be won over by simple beauty.

Program Format and Broadcast Distribution

Each episode includes tours of historic churches and interviews with accomplished figures on the Latin Mass scene. A travelogue/human interest format provides rich visuals to grab the attention of those with no knowledge of the Tridentine Mass.

EWTN, the largest Catholic television network in the world, has agreed to carry the program. Five episodes have been filmed thus far, with many more in the pipeline. The series is expected to debut on EWTN in March, April, or May, 2014; the broadcast schedule will be reported in this column once it has been set.

Co-Creators: Alex Begin and Mary O’Regan

The project was the idea of two individuals with experience organizing and promoting Tridentine Masses on both sides of the Atlantic: the author of this column, who serves as Executive Producer and Host, and London, England-based writer Mary O’Regan. A journalist for England’s Catholic Herald newspaper with extensive connections throughout the Church, Mary is known for interviews with members of the hierarchy including the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Müller, and San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. Mary has been instrumental in taking Extraordinary Faith from concept to execution. She pitched the show to several Catholic networks and secured the interest of EWTN. Despite the distance, Mary served as co-producer and co-host on the first two episodes to help the effort enjoy a solid start.

Production Consultant, Founding Director, & Producer: Melanie Chartoff

Bringing an idea like this to fruition requires the involvement of someone who has been in the television production trenches. Melanie Chartoff became a household name in the early 1980s as a cast member on ABC’s Fridays, a comedy sketch show patterned after Saturday Night Live. She has acted in numerous movies, plays, and television shows, including Parker Lewis Can’t Lose and Seinfeld, and she has written and is producing a new musical, Fine Lines. Melanie also coaches individuals on presentation and production techniques and helms niche video projects. She assembled and oversees a Los Angeles-based camera and video editing team for Extraordinary Faith with the ability to put together a production competitive with the best of commercial television.

Producer: James Brooke

Handling the myriad details of guest and site scheduling and crew and equipment procurement is television and film production veteran James Brooke.

Music: Edd Kalehoff

Capturing the attention of modern viewers requires engaging audio as well as video; theme music cannot be an afterthought. It’s indisputable that The Price is Right, ABC World News Tonight, and Monday Night Football are shows with some of the catchiest theme music around. They have one thing in common: composer Edd Kalehoff. Edd and his colleague Bill Prickett have created a set of theme music and transition screen cues for Extraordinary Faith that are sure to remain in viewers’ heads long after each episode has ended.

Donors and Prayers Needed

A charitable foundation named Extraordinary Faith is being formed to accept tax-deductible donations to pay for the show’s production. Start-up funding has already been secured. While many people, this writer included, are volunteering their time to this effort, there are still substantial costs involved in keeping the program going. Each half-hour episode costs over $20,000 to produce, and EWTN has a policy of not paying for independent productions. If you or anyone you know might be interested in contributing to the effort, kindly e-mail the address at the bottom of this page, or call (248) 952-8190. Donations can also be made on the program web site when it is ready. Even more important than donations, your prayers for this venture are especially appreciated.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 01/27 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Joseph (St. John Chrysostom, Bishop, Confessor, & Doctor)
  • Tue. 01/28 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Benedict/Assumption-Windsor (St. Peter Nolasco, Confessor)
  • Fri. 01/31 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Albert the Great, Dearborn Heights (St. John Bosco, Confessor)
  • Monday-Saturday 7:30AM:: High or Low Mass (varies) at Assumption Grotto
  • Monday-Wednesday-Friday 7:00PM: High or Low Mass (varies) Assumption Grotto
  • Holy Days and Sundays 9:30AM: High Mass at Assumption Grotto
[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for January 26, 2014. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]


bill bannon said...

The title seems to connect extraordinary faith to physical culture...along the expanded meaning of "as we pray, we believe" which should be about doctrinal faith not the greater behaviour faith. Great is the number of bad behaviour people that attended or said the Roman it Pope Alexander VI with his 7 children or Pope Julius II with his 2 children or young Luther or the French army in the second Opium war in China simulataneously making China safe for missionaries and British opium. I'll bet the Spanish who divested Peru of all its silver from Pitosi did not attend the NO....yet they should have learned to say no to other peoples' silver.
The title...will cost them donations because there are traditionalists who don't like the judgemental undertone segment of their own group.

Conscientious Catholic said...

I look forward to this. I hope they maybe put it on DVD for distribution. Keep us posted

Patrick said...

I looked up Melanie Chartoff and found out that she is a former playboy pin-up who is PRO-ABORTION!
What is a Catholic TV show doing employing a pro-abortion media personality? I certainly will NOT be giving money to this TV show! or supporting it in any other way! Donating money to this show would be paying the salary of a woman who SUPPORTS ABORTION! If I did this, I would be funding the baby killing industry! I attach 2 links - if you follow them, you will see Melanie Chartoff endorsing abortion and denouncing pro-lifers. Is Melanie Chartoff so desperate for money that she has to work for pro-life EWTN or is she trying to infiltrate Catholic TV?
The 2 links are -


Anonymous said...

Wow, the Chartoff employment is an embarrassment, I hope this is corrected.

Pertinacious Papist said...

Dear Patrick,

Rest assured, the content of the program is determined by the Executive Producer, who is also the writer. The other staff of the show is charged with the technical and organizational aspects of production. Anyone who has been reading the Tridentine Community News posts on this blog or at will know the kind of content to expect. This is intended to be one of EWTN’s best-produced shows; a dedicated and knowledgeable team has been assembled that brings commercial network experience and skills to the table that the show’s creators do not have.

Sheldon said...

Patrick, how does a show become "evil" by virtue of having someone advising actors on how to stand, talk, present themselves, etc., who may have done something questionable in the past. Even if it were true that this person still endorsed abortion, how would this impact the content of the show?

There are many situations in which we are obliged to accept having contact with individuals whose views we may not wish to embrace. We may find out that we've hired a person (a cab driver, wedding photographer, mortgage broker, tax accountant, banker, lawyer, realtor, etc.) whose past actions or current views we may not endorse. So what do we do? If we've got any sense, we say a prayer for the person and move on. We don't throw in the towel on our whole undertaking.

Dr. Blosser, allow me to kindly request that you remove Patrick's unconsidered remarks, which may have an unforeseen deleterious effect upon this eminently worthy and CATHOLIC undertaking.