Weekly TV Picks

All times Eastern

APRIL, VARIOUS DATES

The Face: Jesus in Art

PBS, check local listings

First shown in 2001 and partly funded by our U.S. bishops' Catholic Communication Campaign, this documentary surveys portraits of Christ around the world and throughout history, from the cata-combs of Rome onward, in paintings, sculpture, mosaics, frescoes and icons. Narrators include Patricia Neal, Ricardo Montalban and, yes, Mel Gibson.

SUNDAY, APRIL 4

The Ten Commandments

ABC, 7 p.m.

Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 epic is a gripping history of Moses, the first Passover, the exodus from Egypt and God's bestowal of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. This film won an Oscar for best special effects, including the parting of the Red Sea. Charlton Heston as Moses and Yul Brynner as Pharaoh give truly definitive performances.

APRIL 5, 7-8

Stories of Hymns

EWTN

Father George Rutler moving-ly explains the origins of the Catholic hymns Pange Lingua (Monday, 4 a.m.) and “O Sacred Head Surrounded” (Wednesday, 6:30 a.m. and Thursday, 2:30 p.m.).

APRIL 5, 7, 9

Miracles of the Cross

EWTN

On Monday at 5:30 a.m. and Wednesday at 6 p.m., Bob and Penny Lord and EWTN's Doug Keck discuss martyrs and the cross. On Friday at 2 p.m., the Lords explore what the beloved St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) said in a sermon about the true cross.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7

Shroud of Christ?

PBS, 8 p.m.

This episode in the “Secrets of the Dead” series chronicles the work of Swiss fabrics expert and textile restorer Mechtild Flury-Lemberg on the Holy Shroud. Invited to Turin in 2002 to repair the shroud, she oversaw removal of the backing and patches. She and her team found in the shroud a style of stitching they had seen only once before: on cloth from Masada, the famed Holy Land fortress the Romans destroyed in 74 A.D. Additionally, discoveries by bacteriologists and experts in forensics suggest the carbon dating tests in 1988 were wrong and that the shroud is two millennia old after all.

THURSDAY, APRIL 8

Frontline: Diet Wars

PBS, 9 p.m.

This program analyzes the Agriculture Department's current pyramid chart of recommended food propor tions, examines today's competing diets and tries to make sense of their contradictory advice.

SATURDAY, APRIL 10

The Real Cowboy: Portrait of an American Icon

History Channel, noon

From North America's early Spanish and Mexican vaqueros up to today's working cowboys, host Bill Kurtis and historians of the Old West paint us a vivid and accurate picture of cow-pokes' actual way of life versus the Hollywood screen version.

Dan Engler writes from Santa Barbara, California.

The Earth is Not Our Mother

“The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.”—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy