Passion Producer McEveety to Found New Catholic Arts Academy in L.A.

Steve McEveety, producer with Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey of last year’s blockbuster film classic, The Passion of The Christ, is laying the groundwork for the establishment of a suburban Los Angeles-based Catholic Academy for Communication Arts.

In a speech at the New Evangelization of America conference on January 23 in Dallas, McEveety explained to an audience of clergy and lay media professionals that the high school will offer a curriculum designed to prepare high school students for meaningful careers in an industry in which Catholic values are in short supply.

The academy, which will be run by the Legionaries of Christ, will endeavor “to form the Catholic person and teach the high school curriculum while training students in the arts of mass media: film, television, music, radio and journalism,” McEveety explained.

“In order for Catholics who want to spread the Word of our Savior through the media to succeed, they must be pro-active — not just at the development stage, but through the whole process. There is great interest across the country in the success of endeavors like The Passion as Christians everywhere realize that there is a huge market for Christian entertainment out there. People see that if we can affect the artists of today and mold the artists of tomorrow, then for decades to come the good news will be spread.”

McEveety has enlisted the support of key organizations such as Panavision, Delux and e-films to help realize his vision. He has also attracted a range of media, government and business leaders to commit intellectual support to the endeavor, including Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, syndicated radio host Michael Medved, Barbara Nicolosi of Act One, Inc., Dieter Huckestein of Hilton Hotels, and Kevin J. “Seamus” Hasson, Chairman of the Beckett Fund. “We’ve also had discussions with film and television colleges at several universities that promise great placement opportunities for our students upon graduation.

“If you can inform the Catholic mind at an early age and excite young people to the possibilities in the media, then they just might take that Catholic philosophy to work with them someday,” McEveety explained to sustained applause. “We’re committed to building this school because, as they say, ‘If you build it they will come.’ And when they do come, we hope to build another and then another.”

Tom Allen serves as editor-in-chief and president of Catholic Exchange.

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