Catholics in Action

For His eyes are upon our ways,

and all our steps He sees. Job 34:21

Kellyanne Conway

 

Kellyanne Elizabeth Fitzpatrick was born on January 20, 1967 in Camden, New Jersey.  When she was just three years old, her parents divorced. From that point on, Kellyanne was raised by her mother and her grandmother.  The absence of a father figure absolutely did not stop Kellyanne from pursuing excellence in everything she undertook.  She graduated from Trinity College in Washington, DC and then obtained a Law Degree from George Washington University. She married George T. Conway III on April 28, 2001. They have four children.  

Kellyanne was raised as an Irish Catholic.  Throughout her political career, she has unwaveringly adhered to the Catholic values instilled in her as a child.  These Catholic roots have informed her policy stances on many important issues in her position as Campaign Manager to the Trump Campaign and, subsequently, as Counselor to President Trump.  Foremost among her beliefs is the notion that all life is sacred, as she is steadfastly pro-life.   Kellyanne is a standard bearer for Catholic principles in the new administration.

Kellyanne shows us that we must be relentless in our pursuit of living out our values even when they appear not to be the most popular- or politically convenient- thing to do.

Mel Gibson

Jim Caviezel

James Patrick Caviezel was born on September 26, 1968.  Jim, as he prefers to be called, was catapulted into worldwide fame in 2004 for his roll as Jesus, in Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ.  With three sisters and a younger brother, Jim grew up in a faithfully Catholic home where mass and the sacraments were central tenets of life.  Caviezel began his acting career performing in plays in Seattle.  Subsequently, he tried his luck in Los Angeles.  Though the 1990's brought Caviezel a more significant acting workload than he had experienced previously, it was not until the early 2000's that his life was about to change forever.  

When Mel Gibson was considering casting Jim as Jesus, the director reassured Caviezel that the role may be the most challenging endeavor of the young actor's life. Gibson even went to guarantee to his potential leading man that playing the Son of God would greatly hurt his acting career.  Nevertheless, Jim stepped up to the plate and rendered, according to many, the best performance in any film of Christian denomination.  Such was Caviezel's work ethic in playing Jesus, that he endured broken bones, a dislocated shoulder, a severe scourging accident, and even a lightning strike while on the cross.

Ever since Jim's performance in "The Passion of the Christ" he has worked hard to spread the message of the Gospel.  In so doing, he and his wife, Kerri Browitt, adopted three children and continue to practice their Catholic Faith fervently.  In 2005, Jim served as the spokesman for the first ever Catholic Men's Conference which was held in Boston.  One year later in 2006, Caviezel actively advocated against the Missouri Constitutional Amendment which made legal any form of embryonic stem cell research and therapy in that state.

Jim Caviezel reminds us that, in order to practice our faith, it is not enough simply to pretend to act like Jesus; we are called to and carry out His example by abiding by and spreading the Message of the Gospel.

Mel Gibson

Mel Cumcille Gerard Gibson was born on January 3, 1956, in Peekskill, New York, to Hutton and Ann Gibson, Roman Catholics of Irish descent.  Mel's father relocated their family to Australia in the 1960's due to the country's preservation of the Latin Tridentine Mass after Vatican II. In Sydney, he attended St. Leo's Catholic College, an all-boys Catholic high school. Without any prior acting experience, he was accepted into and enrolled in a prominent drama school.

In 1980, Gibson married Robyn Moore.  The couple had seven children. In 2004, Mel directed and produced one of the most powerful renditions of our Lord's Passion:  "The Passion of the Christ", while only utilizing his own personal funds since the movie industry wanted no part of producing such a film. As a result, Almighty God rewarded Gibson for his faith and drive with the film having grossed the largest profit in movie-making history at that time.

 

Despite his stellar production of "The Passion," the regretful separation from his long-time partner in 2009 spurred great controversy and scrutiny from an unforgiving public.  The difficult divorce was the first incident of many which placed Mel in what he's come to characterize as the toughest moment of his life.   However, Mel did not let adversity deter him from continuing to serve God through his greatest talent - filmmaking.  Mel thereafter directed a film called "Hacksaw Ridge," a true story about a World War II soldier who refused to take up arms because of his Christian faith.  In a recent interview, Mel proudly explains that he intends to dedicate the remainder of his career to producing only films that contain Christian messages.  Thus, Mr. Gibson shows us that it is never too late to serve God in our own unique way, handing Him over our gifts and talents for the good of His Kingdom.

Tony Melendez

 

José Antonio Meléndez Rodríguez was born on January 9, 1962 in Rivas, Nicaragua. His mother was prescribed Thalidomide while pregnant to help with nausea; this seemingly harmless medication caused Tony to be born without arms.

 

As a child, Tony often watched his father play the guitar.  Tony pondered on why God had let him be born without arms- why He would give other children arms but took his.  Tony began to explore using his feet for all tasks that would have otherwise involved the use of hands.  Soon enough, he took on the guitar with his feet and, after much practice and dedication, started to play tunes of his own.  Tony performed all over Los Angeles in 1985.  Two years later, Tony played the song "Never be the Same" for Pope John Paul II. This performance moved the Holy Father so much that the pontiff got up from his chair and lovingly embraced Tony, saying to him "My wish to you is that you continue to give this hope to all the people."  This event catapulted Tony into the global limelight.

Tony has won countless awards and accolades throughout his ministry. The gifted guitarist has used this recognition and attention to shine a light on the great problem of abortion, using his own life as a testament to the fact that every single child of God deserves a shot at living a fulfilling life. 

Archbishop Sheen

Fulton John Sheen was born in El Paso, Illinois, to Newton and Delia Sheen. As an infant, Fulton contracted tuberculosis. This condition did not stop Fulton from becoming fully involved in his parish, as he served as altar boy as soon as he was old enough to do so.

Fulton decided to enter the priesthood; he was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria in 1919. Sheen rapidly turned into a well-known theologian, earning the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923.  As a result, he was hired by the The Catholic University of America to teach theology. In 1951, he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York.

For two decades, Monsignor Fulton hosted the night-time radio show, The Catholic Hour, before making his debut on television in 1951 on his show, Life Is Worth Living.  Father Fulton was so excellent in broadcasting and hosting that he won two Emmy Awards for Most Outstanding Television Personality.  Fulton's Christian teachings profoundly touched many lives for the better; his example encourages us to go out into the world and shine the light of the Gospel for all to see.