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Media Catholics of the 20th century

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Ven. Patrick Payton (center) is pictured with Jack Benny and Lucille Ball, who appeared in one of his Family Radio productions, in the 1940s. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Father Rob Jack, host of the new afternoon drive-time show on Cincinnati’s Sacred Heart Radio, lists the following “media Catholics” as his models:

Ven. Fulton Sheen
Bishop of Rochester, New York, and titular Archbishop of Newport, Wales, Sheen hosted one of the most popular television shows ever to air, “Life is Worth Living,” after two decades of hosting “The Catholic Hour” on NBC Radio. The Cause for his sainthood was opened in 1998.

Frank Duff
After founding the now-worldwide Legion of Mary in 1921, Duff wrote several books and pamphlets, hundreds of articles, and thousands of letters about Marian devotion. The Cause for his sainthood was opened in 1996.

Frank Duff’s pamphlet on “The DeMonfort Way” is one of his many Marian pamphlets and letters. (COURTESY PHOTO)


Mother Angelica
Foundress of Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), Mother Angelica of the Annunciation was the head of a community of Poor Clare sisters in Alabama when she began her cable network in 1981. It expanded into international television, radio, and newspaper publishing before her death in 2016 at age 92.

Ven. Patrick Payton
Known as “the Rosary Priest,” the Holy Cross Father founded the Family Rosary Crusade, recorded many radio programs and films, held massive rosary rallies, and originated the motto, “The family that prays together stays together.” The Cause for his sainthood was opened in 2001.


Bl. James Alberione, who founded numerous Pauline religious institutes, was known for media apostolates. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Bl. James Alberione
Founder of more than 10 religious institutes in the Pauline Family, Father Alberione was known for using mass media to evangelize. Two of his communities, the Society of St. Paul and the Sisters of St. Paul, are particularly known for publishing and other media apostolates. He was beatified in 2003.

Click to read our companion stories, “Station’s longtime goal: a priest on the radio every day,” and “Don’t touch that dial: Catholic radio station seeks to own drive time.”

Archbishop Fulton Sheen, one of the most popular broadcasters of all time, appeared on the cover of this 1951 issue of TV Guide. (COURTESY IMAGE)
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