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Cable TV Network Airing Friar’s Videos

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“Breaking in the Habit” is not only a blog — it is now part of Blink Block, a segment of a cable network’s weekly schedule.

Thanks to the interest of a bishop and a Catholic network, videos made by student friar Casey Cole, OFM, are being aired by Catholic TV, the Massachusetts-based Catholic cable channel that aims to connect people of faith around the United States.

The videos, produced over the past year, focus on a variety of subjects aimed at describing Casey’s life as well as educating viewers about the Franciscans. The network has aired several videos over the past few weeks and will continue to air them when time permits.

“Since most of the videos are fairly short and are unable to fill an entire block of programming, they’ve decided to use them as necessary to fill open blocks of time,” said Casey in a blog entry titled “It’s TV Time.”

“The videos that Br. Casey made are currently airing and will be airing all the time as interstitial programming,” said Rebecca Damon, the network’s programming director, who said Casey provided the station with 12 videos. “The videos have been a wonderful addition to our programming.”

CatholicTV, is “a beacon of hope and a unique herald of the simple, yet profound message of Jesus Christ, Who is made truly present among us in the breaking of the bread,” according to its website. Through relevant, inspiring and prayerful programming we educate, teaching the wisdom of God in the Catholic Tradition, endeavoring to move people of all ages, cultures and attitudes toward the fullness of life.”

The network’s programming staff learned about Casey’s videos through its president, Bishop Robert Reed of the Archdiocese of Boston, who recommended Casey’s videos to Damon. She said she thinks their themes and Casey’s style are appealing to the audience.

“The CatholicTV Network functions as a 24/7 billboard of all that is life-giving and great within the Catholic community,” said Bishop Reed. “I am thrilled that we are able to share the reflections of friar Casey Cole as he ‘breaks in the habit’ and I hope this effort will inspire many young men and women to consider a deeper commitment to the living of their Catholic faith.”

“Br. Casey’s youth comes across in the videos with vibrancy,” Damon said. “Because Casey is young, he picks topics that interest young adults and he delivers his information in a relaxed way.”

“CatholicTV requested to air some of my videos on their network and started to do so in late June,” said Casey, who is in Mexico this summer, working at La72. “The ‘Work’ one highlights the many ministries of Holy Name Province and has many pictures of our friars within the video. This is very good promotion at a good hour.”

Earlier this month, Casey said on his blog “Breaking in the Habit.” “While I may be in Mexico right now and unable to post any new videos, that doesn’t mean that new things aren’t happening with the ones I’ve already made.”

The 24-hour cable channel, which reaches about 13.5 million homes throughout the United States, is available via web streaming on the website at CatholicTVLIVE.com as well as Roku and AppleTV, according to Damon, who said “A page on our website shows where readers can check to see if we are available in their area by submitting their zip code.”

One of Casey’s videos will be aired at the top of the station’s Blink Block for four weeks in August, according to Damon, who provided a list of the 16 times that they are scheduled to be aired.

Casey has been producing videos since spring 2015, using the communication tool to describe what Franciscans do and how they live. “My motivation for starting the videos was to evangelize in a new medium. Videos attract a wider audience than blogs and are much more easily shared,” he said.

In May 2015, Casey and another student friar, Edgardo Jara, OFM, traveled across the United States and recorded their adventures by video.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.

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