VATICAN INSIDER: THE CHOSEN, MEN OF FAITH (PART II)

I will try to find time today or tomorrow to post one of my summer “Specials,” a blog that takes the place of my daily reports when I am away on vacation. I’ve only been off 15 days in the last 20 months so am leaving Sunday for some time with family and friends and, who knows, maybe even a visit to EWTN! The last weekend of September, I’ll give the keynote address at a gala weekend celebration in Cincinnati of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. I am blessed to be a Dame of this Order and honored to have been asked to speak!

Following is the link to the weekly English-language edition of L’Osservatore Romano. There are some really fascinating stories and articles this week, including all of page 1 and page 4 and following on How the Paralympics came to the Vatican over a century ago! Some great photos! ING_2021_035_2708.pdf (osservatoreromano.va)

VATICAN INSIDER: THE CHOSEN, MEN OF FAITH (PART II)

A heads up today to tell you that, as of Sunday, August 29, God willing, I’ll be away for a bit on vacation but my terrific colleagues and friends at EWTN radio will be preparing a “BEST OF” in my absence so sit back in coming weekends and enjoy a Special listening adventure.

This week, however, once again my guests in the interview segment are from the hugely successful crowd-funded TV mini-series on the life of Christ, The Chosen! Two weeks ago I interviewed Jonathan Roumie who portrays Jesus in this multi-year series. This week, in Part II of my conversation with Dallas Jenkins, writer, producer and director of The Chosen and Neal Harmon, CEO of Angel Studios, we hear more great stories, including where they are filming this exceptional series and how they discovered Jerusalem! Like Jonathan Roumie, both are men of great faith and even greater passion for what they are doing.

I observe in our conversation that the Bible stories, parables, miracles that are featured in The Chosen are often fairly short accounts in the Bible but become expanded stories in the TV series – expanded conversations, expanded circumstances, expanded scenery, so to speak. I ask: how is that done so that The Chosen remains faithful to the Bible? Listen to their answers! Believe me, you will be riveted by their stories and insights.

There’s also an unusual ending – as you will hear!

Here we are with Jonathan –

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are serarching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

 

 

VATICAN INSIDER: THE CHOSEN, MEN OF FAITH

Weekly English edition of L’Osservatore Romano: ING_2021_034_2008.pdf (osservatoreromano.va)

VATICAN INSIDER: THE CHOSEN, MEN OF FAITH

It is with great joy that my guests this week on Vatican Insider are again from the hugely successful crowd-funded TV mini- series on the life of Christ, The Chosen! Last weekend I interviewed Jonathan Roumie who portrays Jesus in this multi-year series. This week, in Part I of our conversation, you will hear from Dallas Jenkins, writer, producer and director of The Chosen and Neal Harmon, CEO of Angel Studios, distributor of this TV miniseries on the life of Jesus.

Both, like Jonathan Roumie, are men of great faith and even greater passion for what they are doing. In Part I we learn the story of Dallas’ Christmas production for his church that led to a meeting between him and Neal. We learn how The Chosen was born, how crowd-funding works, how Angel Studios got its name and much more!

With Jonathan:

In EWTN studios: L-R Neal, Joan, Dallas:

I observe in our conversation that the Bible stories, parables, miracles that are featured in The Chosen are often fairly short accounts in the Bible but become expanded stories in the TV series – expanded conversations, expanded circumstances, expanded scenery, so to speak. I ask: how is that done so that The Chosen remains faithful to the Bible?

Believe me, you will be riveted by their stories and insights

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are serarching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

 

 

VATICAN INSIDER: A CONVERSATION WITH JESUS

This week’s English edition of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano: ING_2021_033_1308.pdf (osservatoreromano.va)

VATICAN INSIDER: A CONVERSATION WITH JESUS

My extraordinary guest this week in the interview segment is Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays Jesus Christ in “THE CHOSEN,” the multi-season TV series about the life of Christ that has broken records to become the highest crowd-funded media project of all time. Jonathan and the producers, writers and directors have been in Rome on a summer hiatus and media trip.

A Catholic of profound faith, Jonathan’s Egyptianborn father is Greek Orthodox and his Irish mother is Catholic. Though Greek Orthodox, his father went to Catholic school in Egypt. Jonathan often notes in interviews that, “both of my parents were very devout and when we moved from New York City to the suburbs finding an Orthodox community was difficult so my father was comfortable going to the Catholic Church since he was raised essentially with both faiths. I made my first communion and confirmation as a Catholic and attend a Catholic Church.”

He obviously talks about his faith and prayer, the pillars of his life, in the interview.

As to his portrayal of Jesus in “The Chosen,” one reviewer wrote: “Roumie has such a quiet but commanding presence…he speaks with such calm authority, and it carries throughout the series as he brings such humanity and sincerity to this role.” I might add that this is what you feel when you are in his presence and speak to him.

Aleteia wrote: “A breakout performance of Jonathan Roumie as Jesus. Roumie…brings an unparalleled warmth, gentleness, and humor to this daunting role, lighting up the screen.”

Some photos of the interview on Wednesday, feast of St. Clare, patroness of television, in EWTN studios an just outside our offices on Via della Conciliazione. I thought the olive tree was perfect for the moment! Others are from the gala dinner a week ago when The Chosen cast and crew arrived in Rome. There is also a photo with Neal Harmon, CEO of Angel Studios, myself, Jonathan and Dallas Jenkins, writer, producer and director (you’ll hear them next week)

Some fans came up to Jonathan as we exited the EWTN office building and he was beyond cordial – as if he had been waiting for them. I saw a video where minutes later, fans came up to him near St. Peter’s Square and it was the same experience.

I never took a closeup of Jonathan and asked US Catholic for permission to use one from an interview they did but they do not have the authority to grant it. They got permission from Jonathan and the photographer whose name is at the end of the article but here’s a link to that story: Act the part: Jonathan Roumie as Jesus | U.S. Catholic (uscatholic.org)

I can only end this post by saying if you have not heard of or seen The Chosen, put it on your agenda! This multi-season (7 are scheduled, two have been completed, 8 episodes a season) TV series about the life of Jesus will change your life and undoubtedly your faith by enriching it. You become an observer but also really a participant in each episode.

You will find yourself delighted, amused, enthralled and, most of all, riveted by character development, something that is impossible in a single movie extravaganza about Jesus. You will both laugh and cry, for example, at the character development of Peter and Matthew (among many)! You really feel as if you are in Jerusalem or Judea or Galilee, walking side by side, eating, sitting by the sea or in the huge multitudes that gather to hear Jesus – you are with Jesus, Mary, Mary Magdalene, the Apostles and so many.

If you are addicted to The Chosen, you are in VERY good company throughout the globe!

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are serarching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.

 

 

THE CHOSEN

THE CHOSEN

I attended a magnificent dinner last week on the rooftop restaurant of the Hotel Atlante Star, whose principal guest was Jonathan Roumie who plays Jesus Christ in “The Chosen.” Also present were the producers, directors and writers of this multi-season TV series about the life of Jesus, a series that has become the largest crowd-funded media project of all time.

I’ll be interviewing Jonathan Roumie tomorrow afternoon, and will have a separate interview with producer and director Dallas Jenkins and with Neal Harmon, CEO of Angel Studios.

I’ve spent considerable time since that dinner, watching the episodes of Season One online to become familiar with the story line – one we basically know all too well through Sunday Gospels – the calling of Peter, Jesus and children, the wedding feast at Cana, and countless more, and to see why and how The Chosen is different from any film you will ever see on the life of Jesus. You already know this if you’ve watched any episodes. You found yourself delighted, amused, enthralled and, most of all, riveted by character development (The Chosen 12, for example, Peter and Matthew!). You really feel as if you are in Jerusalem or Samaria or Galilee, walking side by side with all of them, with Jesus, Mary, Mary Magdalene, the Apostles.

I took these photos of Jonathan Roumie as he spoke of his life’s story and answered questions. (What would you ask him as an actor in this role?)

And a few more of the views of Rome from this rooftop restaurant

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PS, You can watch by downloading The Chosen app, or follow on Youtube.