EWTN, the ‘Eternal Word Television Network’, is the American television network which broadcasts Catholic-themed television programming.

The network has come under some attacks and criticisms since Mother Angelica, the pithy nun who founded the network in 1981 and grew it into the most recognizable world wide media voice of the Catholic Church, left the network in 2000 due to health concerns.

These attacks have generally been from that ultra-conservative wing of the Church that sees Vatican II as a form of blasphemy and its modernization as a bastardization of the faith.

The facts are, of course, far from what these radicals would have you believe. God inspired not only the early Church leaders in the time of Christ, but also many holy men and women prior to His arrival here on earth, and many more since He died for our sins, rose from the grave, and moved on to His kingdom in Heaven.

The very modern EWTN mixes rebroadcasts of traditional Catholic elements, such as a taped version of Mother Angelica herself leading a saying of the rosary, with more modern stylized programming. The goal of course is to not only grow the Church, but reinforce its teachings and its principles to today’s Catholic community.

One particularly insightful and well done show that highlights this combination of modernity with tradition is the Friday night “Crossing the Goal”. The show uses a sports talk show inspired styling and theme to direct spiritual teaching particularly towards today’s men.

“Crossing the Goal” was created by and features former New Orleans Saints pro bowl wide receiver Danny Abramowicz who discusses a wide variety of Catholic and life topics with his regular panelists Brian Patrick, Curtis Martin, and Peter Herbeck. The men conduct their discussions with frankness and honesty, and with a confidence that is specifically focused on the role of men today in the Church.

The set itself and the panelists make today’s American men comfortable with their personalities and stylings based on the many sports talk programs from ESPN, Fox, and other networks. But rather than talking about football and baseball, the panelists talk about love, family, responsibility, and other such topics. “Crossing the Goal” brings the teachings of the Church to a level that can be easily understood even by the most neanderthal of men.

It also is easy to watch for those busy guys who might normally only concern themselves with working all week, yard chores on Saturday, and the Eagles game on Sunday. It makes important, sensitive topics palatable to the regular work-a-day male, but also is interesting and informative enough for the highest thinkers in our midst.

Bottom line is that “Crossing the Goal” is a touchdown for the Church, for EWTN, and for anyone who gets into the habit of watching regularly. It broadcasts at 9pm on Friday nights, but also rebroadcasts at numerous times during the week. Just click into the title of this entry above, which as always is a link to more information, to find out when you can enjoy and be inspired by this outstanding program.

NOTE: This is a continuation of the Sunday Sermon series and the TV Watch series, prior items from which can be read by clicking into the below label.