New TV Series to Highlight Stories of Hope and Transformation that Embody Pope Francis’ Call to “Go Into the Streets”

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EWTN’s “The Church Universal” to debut August 31 and feature work of Catholic Extension

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“We need to be reminded of the far greater story of the good that’s being done and the people who are making a difference in the lives of others, like Catholic Extension," said Father Joseph Mary, MFVA, EWTN chaplain and host of "The Church Universal."

Catholic Extension announced today that for the first time ever its stories of hope and goodness will be featured on a major media outlet. In conjunction with the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN), Catholic Extension will be showcased in episodes for a new series titled “The Church Universal,” to be broadcast to EWTN’s 230 million television households. This is an exciting opportunity for Catholic Extension, a papal society established in 1905, to bring its inspiring stories to life before a global television audience. Both episodes feature a discussion between Father Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension, and host Father Joseph Mary, using the organization’s compelling accounts from some of the poorest parts of the country as a backdrop.

The first episode, ‘The Church’s Heroic Presence Among the Poor,’ is set to air during the series debut on August 31. The second, ‘Vocations in the Church,’ is slated for October 19. In addition to these, the network plans to air additional episodes featuring Catholic Extension in 2015. The programs offer an exciting opportunity for Catholic Extension to share its mission, and its compelling and engaging stories, in a way it never has before.

“While most Americans go about their everyday lives, there are people in isolated and impoverished areas of the United States facing challenges that most of us would find unimaginable,” said Wall. “Yet it is their faith in God that gives these people hope, and we can all gain inspiration from that. We’re so grateful to EWTN for allowing us the opportunity to share these stories of the transformative power of Faith to change both the hearts of individuals and their communities.”

For more than a century, the organization has contributed more than $500 million to 94 mission dioceses and parishes throughout the country. A mission diocese is one in which the Catholic Church is present but needs outside support to exist. Often, these are vibrant parish communities filled with people who are passionate about their faith.

The series’ first episode (‘The Church’s Heroic Presence Among the Poor,’) highlights the organization’s work to transform hearts, lives and society, as Pope Francis has called all of us to do through service to others.

The schedule for ‘The Church’s Heroic Presence Among the Poor,’ is as follows. All times are Eastern:

  • Premier – Sunday, August 31 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Encore airing – Friday, September 5 at 10:00 p.m.

The goal of “The Church Universal” series is to tell uplifting stories of Catholic organizations making a positive difference with their charitable works. EWTN chose to launch the series with two episodes devoted to Catholic Extension and its long history of reaching out to the poor and marginalized in America.

“Our hope for the series is two-fold: First, we want to give people pride in their faith and see how much good is being done,” said Father Joseph Mary, MFVA, EWTN chaplain and series host. “We need to be reminded of the far greater story of the good that’s being done and the people who are making a difference in the lives of others, like Catholic Extension. Second, we want to inspire people to get involved and think, ‘I could make a difference, too.’”

The second program, ‘Vocations in the Church’, will focus on how, despite common perceptions that the number of candidates entering the priesthood is diminishing, that couldn’t be further from the truth in isolated and poor areas of the country, where seminarians are on fire about their faith as they answer the call of ministry. Father Jack Wall will talk about what’s working in these areas as an example to those in other parts of the country as we continue to grow and strengthen the Catholic Church into the future. This episode is set to air on Sunday, Oct. 19 at 5:00 p.m., with encore showings on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 5:00 a.m. and Friday, Oct. 24 at 10:00 p.m. All times are Eastern.

An episode trailer, photos and bios of Fr. Joseph and Fr. Jack as well as series and network logos also are available. Please contact Lisa Gunggoll at lisa(at)lg-pr(dot)com or for more information on Catholic Extension, visit

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About Catholic Extension: Catholic Extension uniquely contributes to the growth and vibrancy of the Church in the United States by strategically investing in poor mission dioceses. Based in Chicago, this national organization provides funding to dioceses and parishes to support programs and services that invest in people, their ministries and their churches. Since 1905, Catholic Extension has distributed more than $500 million to communities across America. For more information visit

About EWTN Global Catholic Network: EWTN, in its 33rd year, is available in over 230 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website, electronic and print news services, and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.

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Lisa Gunggoll
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