Last May 25, 2007 I attended the graduation of my son Jo-El in San Francisco, California. He was sent into the "real world" from the Academy of Art University where he had spent four and one-half years studying cinematography with an emphasis on editing.
The room was filled to capacity with students and parents. By quickly counting the chairs, row and column it became very clear that 700 people were going to be honored in this ceremony. This was only about forty percent of the total number of graduates from this prestigious arts school.
A quick scan of the printed program showed that the beginning of the program would be graced by an opening prayer led by a Catholic priest. It also showed that the same Catholic priest would be closing the program with a blessing on the graduates. I was impressed. This is certainly not usual for a private, secular university. I wasn't complaining, just deeply impressed.
Furthermore I discovered that two of the people who were being presented with doctorates Honoris Causa are also Catholics.
I've been a Catholic all my life. When I was younger I remember people looking for information that would indicate whether or not a certain movie star was Catholic. I remember feeling proud when it would become known that a famous baseball player was Catholic. If he was a member of the Boston Braves, it was all the better.
Please remember that the most famous Catholic movie star was Bing Crosby. The most famous media star was Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. These two people were the extent of the Catholic influence on and in the media. We live in a different age. These days we have the Internet filling the world with the Catholic presence. We have many other Catholic web sites. There are Catholic "life style" magazines online, like ParishWorld.net, for example. There is a very strong Catholic presence in Hollywood. Catholic Family Theatre owned and operated by the Holy Cross Fathers is a famous "player" in Hollywood. Every year there is an exhibit of Catholic short films at the Anaheim Convention for Religious Education. Even the Holy See has its own web site. It is very comforting to be Catholic and to realize that the Church has a very real and very influential position in the world of communications and entertainment.
It is very rewarding to be an electronic evangelizer. It is very rewarding to see a Catholic executive of a secular arts school include Catholic prayer in the commencement ritual. I am glad to say that my son graduated from such a school. Now all he has to do is to find an editing job! Maybe the final blessing from the Catholic priest will help!
God bless you all.