Champions of Faith
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Sports activities are the number one extracurricular activity among today's young people. The industry of sports attracts millions of viewers each year and has become a multi-billion dollar business. The once innocent and heroic form of leisure activity is now marked by the scandals of talented athletes who fall short of heroic accolades. In many instances, our favorite sports have been hijacked by steroid abuse, sexual immorality, and illegal activity and in the seediest of cases, murder.

ABOUT THE CHAMPIONS OF FAITH MOVEMENT

The Champions of Faith movement expects to showcase how the world of sports, despite the behavior of some, is still an environment of discipline, leadership and virtue. Champions of Faith endeavors “to reclaim the ideal of sport as a real school of humanity, education and virtue” (The World of Sport Today: Field of Christian Mission, Pontifical Council of the Laity).  Through its film projects, books, interactive website and catechetical resources, the Champions of Faith movement will showcase our beloved sports as metaphors for life and will provide parents, teachers, religious leaders and catechists with the tools needed to teach our young people and other sports lovers that the ultimate athletic prize is Heaven and not a Heisman.

The Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition on DVD is a multi-award winning film that showcases the intersection of sports and faith in Major League Baseball by profiling many of the most accomplished and devout figures in the game both on and off the field. Major League baseball champions Mike Piazza, David Eckstein, Jeff Suppan, Mike Sweeney, Jack McKeon and Rich Donnelly lead an All-Star line-up in this moving and uplifting sports special that tells the story of faith in baseball like no other film ever made.

Shot in breath-taking Hi-def video and set to a rousing musical score and soundtrack featuring Grammy Award-winning Third Day and legendary recording artist Bob Dylan, Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition serves to humanize some of the most celebrated and accomplished ballplayers of our time and restore the “sports hero” to its proper place in the American culture. You will laugh, cry, stand, cheer and be awed by the captivating personal stories captured in these interviews and the thrilling game highlights provided by Major League Baseball Productions. This inaugural production of Catholic Exchange's new film & video division provides some of the big­gest names in our national pastime with a unique forum to discuss faith, family, teamwork, sac­rifice, leadership, humility and the many virtues and spiritual lessons they have learned from the game.

The players, coaches, and managers interviewed for this project and featured in this film include Mike Piazza, David Eckstein, Mike Sweeney, Jeff Suppan, Jack McKeon, Tom Glavine, Craig Biggio, Sean Casey, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Jim Leyland, Mike Scioscia, Lance Berkman, Tim Salmon, Juan Pierre, Mark Prior, Carlos Beltran, Ozzie Guillen, A.J. Pierzynski, Chris Speier, Rich Donnelly, Sandy Alomar, Sr., Sandy Alomar Jr., and former player Darrell Miller. Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition provides an emotionally powerful, action-packed glimpse into what makes a baseball player – and a human being – great.

Tom Allen , president and editor-in-chief of Catholic Exchange, dis­tribution executive of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ , and co-author of the million-sell­ing A Guide to the Passion , is the Executive Producer of this unique sports special. Veteran Chicago television and radio sportscaster and former host of Catholic Exchange Today, John Morales, narrates this powerful film. The production team of Emmy-winning producer Lino Rulli and photojournalist Dean Krueger bring over 20 years of television experience to the project. They have won some of the nation's top awards in journalism working for NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, CBS Television, and network stations and affiliates across the country.

Champions of Faith:  Baseball Edition comes to DVD just after the start of the 2007 Major League Baseball season. Please visit the official “Champions of Faith” website at www.ChampionsofFaith.com to find out about the nearly 30 current and former major league players, coaches and managers featured in the film, along with more information on bulk sales, catechetical materials for schools, parishes and organizations and a host of opportunities to get involved with the Champions of Faith movement.

 

   

Tom Allen - Executive Producer / Director

Tom Allen, editor-in-chief of Catholic Exchange, a leading Catholic media organization, CEO of The Maximus Group, distribution finance executive of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, and co-author of the million-selling A Guide to the Passion, is executive producer and director of Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition.

Anthony DeBellis - Executive Producer

Anthony DeBellis, treasurer and co-founder of Catholic Exchange oversaw the financial operations and was responsible and assisted in Champions of Faith: Baseball Edition's investor financing.  He serves on several boards and consults on a financial and operations standpoint. He is President of DeBellis Financial Services, Inc., a Financial Planning practice that specializes in Taxes, Investments and Business Consulting. He resides in Carlsbad, CA with a wife and three daughters.

John Morales - Writer and Narrator of Champions of Faith

John Morales co-produced “Champions of Faith” and conducted many of the in-depth interviews in the film. Morales is a bilingual former sports reporter with an extensive 20-year background in radio and television. During his time in sports broadcasting he met and interviewed some of the greatest and most well-known athletes and coaches in recent history, including Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Jack Nicklaus, Gordie Howe, Pete Rose, Sammy Sosa, Roberto Alomar, Tommy Lasorda, Walter Payton and Mike Ditka.

Lino Rulli - Producer

Three-time Emmy award winner Lino Rulli was host and executive producer of Generation Cross, a nationally syndicated Catholic comedy tv show, from 1998-2004. In 2005, he was co-executive producer on "The Last Flagraiser"; a documentary aired nationally on CBS stations. The piece won the Emmy award for Best Documentary, the Scripps-Howard National Journalism Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and the National Headliner Grand Award. He currently hosts a daily radio program, "The Catholic Guy", heard across North America on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Dean Krueger - Director of Photography

Dean Krueger served as Director of Photography and Senior Editor on Champions of Faith. Dean has served as photographer and editor for various news outlets, including Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. He earned an Emmy with NBC for a documentary special on Native Americans. For the past ten years, Dean has been a free-lance editor and filmmaker, whose client's include Nike, Wendy's, Discovery Channel and PBS. Dean lives with his wife Sarah and three boys in Oceanside , California.

The Champions of Faith series helps Catholic Schools. Dioceses share in 50% of the profits from Champions of Faith film sales. Is your diocese on board?

 
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