Joseph Pronechen is staff writer with the National Catholic Register since 2005. His articles have appeared regularly in a number of national publications including Columbia magazine, Faith and Family, Catholic Digest, and Marian Helper. His religion features have also appeared in Fairfield County Catholic and in one of Connecticut’s largest news dailies. He holds BS and MS degrees and formerly taught English and courses in film study that he developed at a Catholic high school in Connecticut. Joseph and his wife Mary reside in Connecticut.
Move over Oscar. Move over Tony. Make room for Gabriel. Three Gabriels, that is.
The winners of the 2012 Gabriel Awards have been announced, and EWTN Global Catholic Network has been awarded three Gabriels.
EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world. The Register is a service of EWTN.
The Gabriel Awards are sponsored by the Catholic Academy of Communication Professionals. The awards are open to all television and radio stations and producers in the U.S. and Canada.
EWTN was awarded a Gabriel for “Religious Television Station of the Year” for its total programming and community service, an honor it shares with Boston Catholic Television Center’s CatholicTV.
EWTN also won two Gabriels for television programs.
Saints Alive! St. Robert Bellarmine (Episode 1), produced for EWTN by Arcadia Films, garnered a Gabriel in the "Religious: National Release" category.
The Way of the Cross for Kids won the Gabriel in the "Children’s-National Release" category.
The Catholic Academy's judging criteria is faith-focused: “The single most important criterion of a Gabriel-winning film or program is its ability to uplift and nourish the human spirit.
"A Gabriel-worthy film or program affirms the dignity of human persons; it recognizes and upholds universally recognized human values such as community, creativity, tolerance, justice, compassion and the dedication to excellence.”
Other criteria include the material’s honesty, clarity, overall quality and effectiveness.
“We are honored that the Catholic Academy has recognized EWTN for upholding such values,” said EWTN CEO Michael Warsaw, who is also the Register's publisher.
“As a nonprofit seeking to live the Catholic values we espouse, community service is especially important to the network,” Warsaw also said.
Even though EWTN Global Catholic Network is available in 200-million-plus television households in more than 140 countries and territories, it is deeply committed to the local community around its Irondale, Ala., headquarters.
Last year, when tornados ravaged the Birmingham metro area, Warsaw made a substantial contribution to Birmingham Bishop Robert Baker’s Tornado Relief Fund, and EWTN employees volunteered to help with the clean-up effort.
Richard and Stephen Payne, father and son producers and co-directors of Saints Alive!, were honored their program received a Gabriel.
“For us, it gives witness to the deep sense of the saints that exist at the grassroots level of the Church, this living communion of saints that Catholic folks everywhere have,” said Stephen Payne.
The Gabriel Awards will be presented on June 21 at the Catholic Media Convention at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Indianapolis.