Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

Easy Listening. The 66th annual Christopher Awards ceremony, which took place in New York City recently, will air as a two-hour special on SiriusXM’s Catholic Channel/129 today (5/26) at 2:00 PM (ET) and 9:00 PM (ET).  The program will also feature original interviews with award winners and Christophers’ Director of Communications Tony Rossi. Comedy writer Tom Leopold (Cheers, Seinfeld) will host the broadcast and provide commentary throughout. Leopold, whose daughter has struggled with anorexia, won the Christopher Spirit Award in 2014 for his work in support of  families struggling with eating disorders.

Created in 1949, the Christopher Awards are presented to writers, producers, directors, authors and illustrators whose work “affirms the highest values of the human spirit.” The Christopher motto is “It’s better to light one candle than curse the darkness.”

This year’s honorees include the books The Invisible Front: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War by Yochi Dreazen, Jesus: A Pilgrimage by Father James Martin, I Forgive You by Nicole Lataif and Katy Betz and Eliza Bing is (Not) a Big, Fat Quitter by Carmella Van Vleet., as well as the feature films The American Nurse, Selma and St. Vincent. TV side honorees include CBS’s 48 Hours: The Whole Gritty City, The CW’s pilot for The Flash, Lifetime’s inspirational biopic The Gabby Douglas Story (about the U.S. gold medalist), Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas  and the PBS documentaries POV: When I Walk and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler: Lourdes.

In addition, special honors went to Patrick Donohue, who created a school for children with traumatic brain injuries—and to the ABC News docuseries NY Med which covered stories at New York Presbyterian Hospital’s Weill Cornell and Columbia campuses that highlighted ideals like love, service, gratitude, and seeking fulfillment in helping others.

Dunn deal. UP TV has greenlit a new series with the working title Last Hope with Troy Dunn. The show will follow Dunn, a real-life missing persons and relationship expert, as he tracks down lost loved ones and facilitates their reunions.  Produced by DunnDeal Studios, Last Hope with Troy Dunn is planned to debut in the fall. People who wish to be reunited with loved ones or want to be considered for Dunn’s upcoming new series may submit their request for his help at or at

Fall romance. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries has started production of its original film Hello, It’s Me. Slated for a fall premiere, the movie stars  Kellie Martin (ER, Life Goes On) as a mother whose late husband communicates with her from above. The script by Julie Sherman Wolfe is based on a novel by New York Times bestselling author Wendy Markham.

Hello, It’s Me is a WhizBang Films Production in association with Lee Distribution.  Frank Siracusa, Orly Adelson and Jonathan Eskenas are the Executive Producers. Andrea Raffaghello is the producer.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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