Our Lord called on his disciples to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world”. Now, two millennia into the advance of the Kingdom the challenge of this call is as formidable as it has ever been. Indeed, with the mind-numbingly indiscriminate and instantaneous communication of everything from the absurd to the sublime, savor and clarity are easily obscured. Even societies once mindful and proud of their Judeo-Christian heritage at times appear to wander blindly in landscapes enshrouded in anomie.Over the past seven years our friends to the North, the Canadians, have witnessed a solid response to this call to imbue the world with the flavor of the Gospel and the light of Christ. Inspired by the vibrancy of the World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002, Fr. Thomas Rosica, a member of the Congregation of Priests of St. Basil, sought an effective way to use modern means of communication to evangelize. Under his guidance and leadership the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation was formed.
Governed by a dedicated group of Catholic business leaders, and with the full support of the Canadian bishops and of the Vatican, this Catholic Media Foundation uses the many tools of modern communication, including television, radio and the Internet, to disseminate stories of hope and inspiration and to connect Catholics to their faith.
Salt + Light Television is a digital television network and is Canada’s first, national Catholic station. It broadcasts 24 hours a day in English and French. The Salt and Light Chinese department “Fountain of Love and Life” has produced over 40 episodes of catechetical programs in Cantonese and dubbed in Mandarin. These programs are broadcast in Canada for the large Chinese Catholic community in Toronto and Vancouver. The Chinese programming is also used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China. Salt and Light also produces numerous programs in Italian to respond to the large Italian community in Canada. The content of Salt + Light Television is entirely consistent with the Catholic faith and the Church. It is also accessible to viewers across Canada and throughout the world. Given that Canada’s 12.8 million Catholics represent about 43 percent of that nation’s population, this is not an insignificant accomplishment.
Salt + Light Television has become an internationally recognized and respected reality in the communications arena, not only for its television series but also for its documentaries, promotional videos and radio programming. Reflecting the youthful vigor and promise of the World Youth Day event that inspired its creation, Salt + Light has a program and production staff consisting principally of young people.
The Basilian Fathers were founded in post-revolutionary France in 1822 for the purpose of teaching and evangelizing. In creating Salt + Light Television Fr. Rosica in a remarkably effective way is promoting the charism of his Order. What is especially encouraging is that under his leadership Salt + Light Television pursues these objectives in a way that eschews the triumphalism, juridicism and clericalism (perceived or real) that have alienated so many in the past.
Isn’t it wonderful that television can assist, rather than retard, the advance of the Kingdom!