Mar 9, 2017 / 02:36 pm
The path to priesthood doesn’t often include stops on the sets of soap operas. But for Father Don Woznicki, a stint as a production assistant for the NBC soap “Sunset Beach” in 1998 (the same year he entered the Mundelein Seminary to begin his formation as a priest) was a pivotal part of his exploration of his “calling within a calling” – his deep-seated desire to evangelize through the entertainment industry.
“While I was in my pretheological studies at Loyola University in Chicago, I sensed the Holy Spirit moving me to somehow be involved in an outreach ministry as a priest to Hollywood,” recalled Father Woznicki. “I always loved entertainment, and it was at that point in my life, as I discerned the priesthood, that I had a deep conviction that somehow the Church needs to be more present because of that influence it can have on people and cultures.”
As the South Bend, Indiana-born Father Woznicki assumed an associate pastor role at a Chicago-area parish, he (with the permission of then-Chicago Archbishop Cardinal Francis George) proceeded to trek to Los Angeles three or four times a year, for one week at a time during his spring and summer breaks, to continue his PA job with “Sunset Beach,” work with Act One (a mentorship program for aspiring Christian screenwriters) and soak up as much additional exposure to the entertainment industry that he could get.
Twenty years and a handful of IMDB credits later, Father Woznicki is now not only the pastor at Christ the King Church in Hollywood (where he began serving last July), but also the director of New Ethos, an advocacy effort that strives to drum up support throughout the Catholic community for films that, as St. Pope John Paul II (who was an actor in his youth) once put it, “bring us to a personal encounter with truth, goodness and beauty.” …
Go here for the rest of the story.