Your TV eye on the Eucharistic Congress

  • June 18, 2008

News is flowing like a river, as they say, from the International Eucharistic Congress here in a very wet Quebec City (it stopped raining long enough yesterday just to dry up the sidewalks for the next deluge). And much of that news is flowing to the TV world via Canada's Salt+Light TV.

There is a whole gaggle of young people here from Salt+Light TV, as well as CEO Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB. I talked to him Tuesday about the challenge of mounting wall-to-wall TV coverage of this mammoth event for several different international networks.

"Salt+Light Television has been working for the past four years on promotion of and preparation for the congress," he told me. "We have fourteen people from our staff working in various areas of coverage in Quebec City and four in our Toronto Broadcast Centre running the master control room and digital programming organization."

"We have three broadcast areas in the Pepsi Coliseum complex (the venue for the large daily catechesis sessions). On the underground level we have a full master control suite where we are receiving the images provided to us by ECDQ and Solotech, the company hired by ECDQ to serve as a "host broadcaster" of the event. In the Master Control Suite we have our two senior producers, two editors and a sound technician, who are assisted by some of our summer seminarian interns. We are televising the morning prayer, catechesis sessions and Masses live on our network.

"Three roving reporters move around the various buildings at the coliseum complex to film interviews, events and conversations with the congress participants.

"On the third floor of the Pepsi Coliseum, we have a "box" overlooking the entire coliseum from where we do live commentaries and wraps for each of the major moments in the coliseum. Because we have been asked to make all of our coverage available to EWTN in the United States, several television networks in Europe, Vatican Television and several South American networks, we have three commentators in the "Coliseum Box" who are doing voice commentaries and wraps in English, French and Spanish. Five Salt and Light people are working in this area.

"On the fourth floor of the coliseum, we have a studio set up to do WITNESS/TEMOIN interviews with several of the "stars" of the Congress. Earlier this week I did five WITNESS interviews in English, French and Italian with Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France; Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C.; Cardinal Stanislas Dziwisz of Krakow, Poland; Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus; and David Fetter, Consul General of the United States of America in Quebec City.

"Salt+Light is also providing camera back up, editors and switchers to the ECDQ and the archdiocese of Quebec City for the Youth Vigil on Saturday evening.

"One of the highlights of our time in Quebec was the gathering on Tuesday afternoon, arranged by Salt and Light Television, between Cardinal Stanislas Dziwisz and 175 uiniversity students from across Canada who wished to thank Cardinal Dziwisz for the gift of Pope John Paul II (before his appointment to Krakow, he was the personal secretary for John Paul II). It was a very moving encounter that ended with the entire assembly and dozens of others peering in, singing the Toronto 2002 World Youth Day song."

The enthusiasm of this young group of Catholic media professionals is truly catching.


For more coverage by the Catholic Register on the 49th International Eucharistic Congress see:

You’ll know they are pilgrims by their backpacks

This just in from head office

Rain or applause?

There's plenty of elbow room

Why is it always a United Church?

Where are young priests? Right here

Something old, something new

Those clerics are everywhere

The Eucharist is also service

More on the numbers front

Spending a little quiet time with Jesus

New priests bring new life to church

We're all softies at heart


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