Frank Runyeon delivers Scripture the way it was meant to be

By  Luc Rinaldi, The Catholic Register
  • July 14, 2010
Frank RunyeonBRAMPTON, Ont. - In the time of Jesus’ ministry, people of all ages and walks of life would gather in seemingly ordinary places simply to hear Jesus speak.

In a “more modern and secular world that holds a media-driven mindset, ignoring or even rejecting the values Jesus taught,” Hollywood TV star Frank Runyeon shows no shame in his faith. Instead, he uses his talents and industry experience to spread the same message Jesus was preaching 2,000 years ago.

On July 23, Runyeon will bring his one-man show The Sermon on the Mount to St. Anne’s parish in Brampton. He has presented his one-man biblical theatre in some 2,000 parishes in the United States, performing The Sermon on the Mount and giving a presentation that follows called “Hollywood vs. Faith.”

Runyeon is well known for his role opposite Meg Ryan as Steve Andopoulos on the soap opera As The World Turns, as well as for various other parts and appearances on television since the mid-1980s. In the early ’90s, however, Runyeon decided to temporarily leave an industry “obviously hostile to faith” and enter the seminary. Most of his work since then has been comprised of performing five different plays he has adapted from the New Testament in parishes and venues across the United States and Europe.

With The Sermon on the Mount, Runyeon seeks to emulate the way Jesus spoke to those who had gathered at the mountainside. His goal is to allow people to experience Scripture as it was meant to be experienced: spoken. In modern times, he says we are more accustomed to reading or hearing Scripture recited.

“It’s like going to a concert and seeing the musician sight-read the sheet music,” said Runyeon. “It’s not the same.”

By using his own interpretation, acting skills and injection of humour, Runyeon avoids making the Sermon on the Mount seem like a monotonous lecture, and instead, simply tells a story.

The presentation that follows, Hollywood vs. Faith, is an outline of Runyeon’s personal struggles and a collection of lessons he has learned in what he describes as a “tug of war between what we hear in church and what we hear as soon as we leave and turn on the TV.” Humourously commenting on modern media’s portrayal of our world, he uses the presentation to inform Christians on how to live their faith while, at the same time, enjoying what the media has to offer.

Runyeon’s show is appropriate for all age groups and entertaining for people of all different levels of faith commitment. The evening begins at 8 p.m. on July 23 as part of the St. Anne’s Feast Day celebration that will run all weekend at the Brampton parish.

For more information, call (905) 453-1303 or visit

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