The School Seen ‘Round the World

Julia Fassero, Editor In Chief

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Editor’s Note:  As soon as the episodes of The Church Universal are available online, this story will be updated to contain their links.  

Early on the morning of May 9, Mrs. Laura Berquist, Mrs, Kimberly McCarthy, Mrs. Mary Mellein, and Mr. Chris Sebastian headed to LAX, ready to fly halfway across the country.  They landed in Birmingham, Alabama, just 10 minutes from where they would film two television episodes the next day.  Mrs. Mellein, director of the Teacher Review Program and long-time friend of Mrs. Berquist, described what awaited them.

“We . . . arrived in the evening.  We were picked up at the airport and taken to our own little house on the EWTN campus, where a hot dinner awaited us,” she said.  After dinner, they met Fr. Joseph Mary Wolfe, MFVA, the host of The Church Universal.  According to EWTN, The Church Universal is “. . . a show spreading the good news about Catholic Lay Movements and their central role in the new evangelization.”  During their meeting, they discussed the filming of the episodes and decided to film in a discussion format.  They were initially given a script, but that night, while talking to Fr. Joseph Mary, the group decided that a less rigid approach would work well.

The morning of May 10, the foursome made their way to EWTN studios.  Mr. Sebastian, Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator and teacher for MODG, and Mrs. Mellein both agreed that Fr. Joseph Mary was a calm presence while filming.

Mrs. McCarthy thought the EWTN studios “. . . were so impressive.”   The two episodes, Introduction to Mother of Divine Grace School and The New Evangelization, focused on MODG and the impact MODG has on the world.
“Parents should not be fearful of taking control of their children’s education.  Yes, it can be daunting, but the payoff is huge,” said Mrs. McCarthy, consultant, journalism adviser, and teacher for MODG.




Mrs. Mellein wanted to convey the message that using the MODG methodology works, and it’s best to approach it “. . . little by little.”

Besides educating those unfamiliar with MODG, filming these episodes also educated people already related with the Catholic distance-learning program.  Mrs. McCarthy said that she learned so much about the beginnings of MODG just listening to Mrs. Berquist and Mrs. Mellein.

While Mrs. Mellein does not plan to be on another TV show, Mr. Sebastian said that while he was nervous, he enjoyed the experience and would do it again.  Mrs. McCarthy, who previously worked at NBC, said, “[It] was fun to be in a network studio again, but . . . I prefer being behind the camera and asking the questions. It’s a little less intimidating.”
After filming the episodes, the MODG representatives met with Mrs. Sharon Williams, a MODG consultant and teacher from the area.  Mrs. Williams showed them the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and they visited Mother Angelica’s crypt.  Mrs. Mellein, when speaking about this pilgrimage said that she will be “. . . ever grateful to Sharon for taking so much time to ensure that we got to see the Shrine.”  Mr. Sebastian agreed, saying that this trip, which he had expected to be more work-focused, turned into something of a pilgrimage when they visited the Shrine.

Click on the image above to watch VOX’s interview with Mr. Chris Sebastian himself!

VOX interviewed Mr. Sebastian via Adobe, and you can see the interview by clicking the photo of Mr. Sebastian above, and following the directions.  If you saw the MODG episodes on EWTN, share your thoughts below!

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