Rosary Stars

It’s time to man up and say the Rosary every day. Pope John Paul II urgently asked for daily rosaries (citing Our Lady of Fatima in his Rosary letter), and Pope Benedict XVI reiterated the call.

Family Theater Productions is debuting a new “Rosary Stars” video soon. (Here’s the trailer.) The stars leading the mysteries are, according to the site:

Voice over — Chris Balish is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, prime-time network TV host and best-selling author of the book How to Live Well without Owning a Car. Chris has received more than 30 awards for excellence in journalism, on-air hosting and broadcasting. He is a nationally known speaker on green living and related topics. His green lifestyle has been featured on more than 800 radio and TV stations and in 140 magazines and newspapers.

The Joyful Mysteries

I. The Annunciation — Jeff Suppan is a starting pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers. He is a 2006 World Series Champion and National League Championship Series MVP with the St. Louis Cardinals. He has also played with the Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates. He spoke in Rome at the first Vatican conference on church and sports, and he met Pope Benedict XVI. Jeff is the Vice Chairman of Catholic Athletes for Christ.

II. The Visitation - Ali Landry has acted in 23 films and TV shows and has hosted or otherwise appeared in 24 TV programs. She had a significant role in the feature film Bella, which her husband, Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, directed and co-wrote. They have one child. She is a former Miss Louisiana and Miss USA (1996) and was known as the Doritos girl. In 1998, People magazine named her one of 50 most beautiful people in the world.

III. The Birth of Our Lord — Lourdes Benedicto, born in Brooklyn, N.Y., of Filipino and Dominican/Spanish descent, is an actor who has had recurring roles on 16 television series, including 24 (11 episodes as Carrie Turner); Cashmere Mafia; Dawson’s Creek, ER and 22 episodes of NYPD Blue. In all, she has performed in 95 TV dramas and five theatrical films. She is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania. She married Matthew Curley in June 2006.

IV. The Presentation in the Temple — Luke Vercollone is in his fifth season of professional soccer, playing for the Richmond Kickers of the United Soccer League. He played two seasons each with Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution and USL’s Charleston Battery. He earned All-State soccer honors in high school (Kingston, Massachusetts), and All Big East honors at Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J., where he was a four-year starter. He and his wife, Andrea, married on March 28, 2008.

V. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple — Mike Sweeney is a 14-year veteran of Major League Baseball and a five-time All-Star selection. In 2008, he signed with the Oakland Athletics after serving 13 years with the Kansas City Royals as a first baseman and designated hitter. He is the Advisory Chair of Catholic Athletes for Christ. Mike and his wife, Shara, have a son and a daughter, and Mike Jr. appears with his dad in this Rosary Stars video program.

The Lumininous Mysteries

I. The Baptism in the Jordan — Chris Horn is the only football player from Notus High School in Idaho, or Rocky Mountain College, Billings, Montana, to play in the NFL. In three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs (2003-2006), he scored an NFL touchdown and was selected special teams captain in the final game of Dick Vermeil’s legendary NFL coaching career. Chris was also with the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers. He and his wife, Amy, have two children.

II. The Wedding at Cana — Mario Macaluso is a New York restaurateur, film producer and actor. He has appeared in 19 films and TV shows and is a co-founder with TV personality Jimmy Kimmel of the San Gennaro Festival, Los Angeles. He was the co-producer of Whiskey School (2005) and the associate producer of Saved by the Rules (2003). He starred in Couples, a short film showcased at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, and Mysterious (2007) opposite James Brolin.

III. The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God — Matthew Marsden has acted in some 28 feature films and TV dramas. He will co-star in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), and he co-starred with Sylvester Stallone in Rambo (2008). Other films include DOA: Dead or Alive (2006), Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004), Black Hawk Down (2001) and Shiner (2000), starring opposite Michael Caine. A former recording artist in England, Matthew, his wife, Nadine, and their son live in Los Angeles.

IV. The Transfiguration — Matt Gallant is a TV show host and actor, hosting five seasons of the Animal Planet’s popular series The Planet’s Funniest Animals and hosting ABC’s primetime reality show American Inventor. He has hosted Hangin’ with MTV, and the magazine-style program for teens Like We Care and others. In 2004 he received an honorary degree from the University of Rhode Island for his fundraising work with the Make A Wish Foundation. He is also a sculptor.

V. The Institution of the Eucharist — Christina Romero is an actor from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Before coming to Hollywood, she received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame and then she earned a masters degree from Harvard University. She has been working in Los Angeles as an actor the last six years. She has spent much of her time acting in independent films and has starred in dozens of national television commercials.

The Sorrowful Mysteries

I. The Agony in the Garden — Lauren Bauer is a former member of the 2001 U.S. National Softball Team, being named “Softball Athlete of the Year” by the U.S. Olympic Committee. She became an All-Star in the professional National Pro Fast Pitch league for the N.Y./N.J. Juggernauts and the Arizona Heat, retiring in 2005. In 2006 she was inducted into the University of Arizona Sports Hall of Fame. She now practices law for the Office of County Counsel, Orange County, California.

II. The Scourging at the Pillar — Immaculée Ilibagiza is a world-renowned lecturer, humanitarian and author. Her book, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, relates her dramatic story as a survivor of the 1994 genocide. She hid with seven other women in a tiny bathroom for 91 days, praying the Rosary. Through the power of the Rosary, she’s forgiven the killers of her family, helped rebuild Rwandan communities and taught humans everywhere how to overcome hatred with love.

III. The Crowning with Thorns — Jessica Rey is best known for playing Alyssa, the White Ranger, in the Power Rangers Wild Force TV series (2002). She has guest starred in episodes of such TV series as Days of Our Lives, The Young & the Restless (2004), Las Vegas (2004) and Rules of Engagement (2007). She has an MBA degree from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, has launched a line of swimwear (Rey) and is writing a book, Decent Exposure.

IV. The Carrying of the Cross — Justin Fatica is a co-founder of Hard As Nails Ministry (HANM), Paramus, N.J., developing programs for youth and young adults. An international speaker, his message to young people is that “if Christ saved me, He can save anyone!” In January 2009, Random House will publish his first book, Hard as Nails. A 78-minute film, Hard as Nails, aired on HBO during the winter of 2007. He resides in Syracuse, N.Y., with his wife and two children.

V. The Crucifixion — Patrick & Molly Nuo married in 2005 and are expecting their second child. Patrick is a pop star/recording artist in European and Asian countries, such as Germany, Switzerland, Thailand and Singapore. A native of Switzerland, Patrick has recorded three hit albums. Molly is a U.S. actor who has been in two feature films. After majoring in theater at Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, S.C., she moved to Los Angeles where she met Patrick.

The Glorious Mysteries

I. The Resurrection — J. Omar Castro, a first generation Honduran-American born in New Orleans, has been in nine feature films, including Hurricane Season opposite Forest Whitaker, Way of War opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. and Bad Lieutenant opposite Nicolas Cage. He has appeared in 14 TV shows, including two episodes each in 2007 of The Young and the Restless and Desperate Housewives, and an episode each of Without a Trace and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, both in 2006.

II. The Ascension of Our Lord — Alejandro Monteverde, born in Mexico, directed, co-wrote and co-produced Bella, the theatrical release that won the People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. The director of the Department of Citizenship gave Alejandro the “American by Choice” award for Bella’s positive contribution to Latino art and culture in the U.S. Alejandro married American actor and former Miss USA, Ali Landry in April 2006. He is a film graduate of the University of Texas.

III. The Descent of the Holy Spirit — Chris Kramer is a Canadian actor who starred in the Canadian TV series The Collector, (40 episodes, 2004-2006), which is now in syndication in 66 countries. He has appeared in two independent films, Stellina Blue (2008) and Afghan Nights (2007), and he has guest starred in approximately 30 TV shows, including Jericho, 24, and Saving Grace. Chris, who now lives in Hollywood, not only appeared in this production, he volunteered daily as a crew member.

IV. The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven — Samia “Sam” Doumit starred in Family Theater Productions’ Taylor’s Wall (2001). Born in Sacramento, California, she was an honors student at Emerson College before attending the California Institute of the Arts. Sam performed in The Hot Chick (2002), starring Rob Schneider, and in several TV episodes, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2004), Dawson’s Creek (2003), Boston Public (2002), ER (2001), Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show (2000) and Beverly Hills 90210 (1998).

V. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary — Eduardo Verástegui, an actor and recording artist from Mexico, starred in the award-winning film Bella (2006), co-starred in the film Meet Me in Miami (2005) and starred in 20th Century Fox’s film Chasing Papi (2001). Before coming to Hollywood, he toured the world as a singer with the Mexican music group Kairo and as an acclaimed solo recording artist. “People En Español” voted him one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world.