The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Could the next big reality TV star be a priest?

Check this out, from (of course) California:

Kardashian. The Situation. Father Steve?

With a little help from on high – and the green light from a high-ranking TV executive – that third name soon might fit just fine among pop culture icons mined from reality television.
20101017_112601_a1.jpgThat’s because the Rev. Steve Porter of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church and Derek Christopher of Lighthouse Blues Television Productions have spent the last nine months filming, editing and pitching a reality TV series tentatively titled “Divine Intervention” to big-time networks.


“I often say if the Bible were written today, no one would publish it, and what’s more, no government would allow it to be published because there’s not just the sexy stuff in there, there’s also

The Rev. Steve Porter speaks from his office at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Rialto on Friday. A production company has been filming him in hopes of producing a reality TV series called “Divine Intervention.” ”

I often say if the Bible were written today, no one would publish it, and what’s more, no government would allow it to be published because there’s not just the sexy stuff in there, there’s also radical revolutionary stuff in there, and no government would want to read that and think `This is about me,”‘ Porter said Friday.


He said this, of course, while sporting a Hawaiian shirt, which he often wore while speaking with strangers on the streets or parishioners in the pews about life, love and a lot of other serious and not-so-serious stuff during the months of filming.

Sure, he counsels couples in broken marriages. But he also gets requests to baptize pets.

Spend enough time with the 61-year-old native of South Africa, and one instantly picks up on the charming traits and quirky contradictions that inspired Christopher to create a show based on a Roman Catholic priest he ran into at a funeral.

With a Bible on his office desk, Porter easily expounds on the TV series “House.” He’s as familiar with “Star Trek” as he is with St. Peter. He preaches from the Good Book, and posts on Facebook.


“A friend of my wife’s passed away and so we came here to the church for the funeral,” Christopher said. “And the next thing I know, this guy transformed this terribly sad situation into a complete celebration, and people were laughing and they were celebrating and all I could think of was, `My God, this guy needs his own show,’ because he was funny, he was witty, intelligent, he was a great storyteller.”

They exchanged e-mails and embarked on a project to capture the daily life of a priest ministering to the flock, the lost sheep and just the plain old lost.

Daniel Elias, president of New York-based Hybrid Films (responsible for the shows “Dog The Bounty Hunter” and “Parking Wars”), signed a deal with Porter and Christopher to produce the show after he was drawn into the footage of the priest who “plunged into the daily lives of others, sometimes at their most joyful of times, but often at their most desperate of times.”


Porter said the show always comes back to one theme.

“It’s going to be about spiritual life and how to grow in the spiritual life and how to use the spiritual life to overcome life’s problems,” he said. “I want to be able in this show to face real questions people have.”

Find out more.

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posted October 18, 2010 at 10:48 am

Great idea, but won’t happen.
Sadly, here’s why. Folks who liken themselves more Catholic than the pope will complain and raise boycotts the first time this priest confronts a tough situation and uses his lived experiences that may put him at odds with traditional church teaching.
Petitions. Boycotts. Cries about anti-Catholic bigotry.
Remember ‘Nothing Sacred,” the award-winning TV show that so-called Catholic watchdogs claimed wasn’t Catholic enough. Now, that was fiction. Imagine the hoopla for a reality show.
Too bad.

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