Category Archives: 12 Catholics To Watch in 2012

12 Catholics To Watch in 2012: Mark Wahlberg

What’s his next move?

For actor, film and television producer Mark Wahlberg, Catholicism is the most important aspect of his life.

“The first thing I do when I start my day – I get down on my hand and knees and give thanks to God,” Mark stated in The Catholic Herald UK. “If I can start my day out by saying my prayers and getting myself focused, then I know I’m doing the right thing.”

Catholic People Magazine Mark Wahlberg

Actor Mark Wahlberg and guest arrive at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards held at the Gibson Amphitheater on August 7, 2011 in Universal City, California.

According to an interview published in London in 2010, Mark’s focus on faith has reaped many rewards over the years.

“I don’t mean professionally – that’s not what it’s about,” said Mark, who attends Mass regularly. “I’ll be in church and people will come up to me and say, ‘do you mind if I pray with you?’And they’ll start praying and it’ll turn out they’re praying for their new movie to be a success or whatever.” However, “this is not what I come here for. For me to sit down and ask for material things is ridiculous. It’s a much bigger picture than that…being a good actor or a good producer: that’s not going to help me sleep at night or get me into heaven.”

Catholic People Magazine Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg

Initially known as “Marky Mark” for his 1991 debut as a musician with the band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, he has since become known for roles in films such as Boogie Nights, Planet of the Apes, Four Brothers, The Departed and The Fighter.

He was also the executive producer of the HBO television series Entourage, as well as Boardwalk Empire and How to Make It in America.

“I want to serve God and to be a good human being…that’s what I’m praying for, and I recommend it to anybody.”

12 Catholics To Watch in 2012: Martin Sheen & Emilio Estevez

FATHER & SON

Catholic People Magazine Martin Sheen Emilio Estevez

Martin Sheen & Emilio Estevez

For father and son actors Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez, doing a movie that looks favorably on God wasn’t difficult due to their Catholic backgrounds.

Raised with a devoutly Catholic father, “I grew up as a kid hearing many arguments about religion,” Emilio said in an interview for the National Catholic Register. “I have yet to declare myself. I’m on a spiritual journey and am very much in touch with that.”

For Martin, the reversion to Catholicism began after his illness in the Philippines while filming Apocalypse Now.

“I began going to church because I was afraid of dying. Then I stopped going for a long time,” Martin stated in the National Catholic Register. “Then, in 1981, while in Paris, I read the book The Brothers Karamazov… After reading it, I went to see a priest and told him I wanted to come home…I went to confession with him and wept.

“I came back to a Church that was very different. I left a Church of fear and returned to a Church of love.” – Martin Sheen

12 Catholics To Watch in 2012: Father Edward Siebert

FILMING GOD IN ALL THINGS

For Father Edward “Eddie” Siebert, it’s always a pleasure working with Catholic and Jesuit organizations because there’s sense of trust and knowing that their goals are common and united. “So, together we are all making a real difference in the world.” Catholicism “gives all of us…a sense of belonging to Christ and using his graces to help others find their own spiritual identity in a very challenging world.”

Catholic People Magazine Father Edward Siebert

Father Edward Siebert

As the CEO of Loyola Productions, Inc. – a nonprofit media company that builds on the Jesuit tradition of effective involvement in the communication arts – “I want to make an impact, in our community, our nation, our world. I’d like Loyola Productions, Inc. to become the go to place for thinking Catholics – people who are interested in quality media, excellent resources on spirituality, inspiring stories. Catholics quite often share a sense of social justice, and within that view, I can use Loyola Productions to bring attention to various causes.”

His interest in film has allowed him to express his faith through some relatively cutting edge material. “It’s a fine line I walk between mainstream entertainment and spiritually empowering content. As a Jesuit priest, I am fortunate enough to be working pastorally as a filmmaker and combine my love for service with my desire to work in the media.”

Catholic People Magazine Father Edward Siebert

Father Edward Siebert, CEO of Loyola Productions, Inc., a nonprofit media company that builds on the Jesuit tradition of effective involvement in the communication arts.

As a Catholic to watch in 2012, “I will continue to search for God in all things. It is through this willingness to be open to finding God in unexpected places that I continue to mature in my faith and at the same time to find really interesting subject matter for films. It is a blessing that my interest in film and my faith have come together to form such an interesting life path.”

Catholic People Magazine Father Edward Siebert

Fr. Eddie with Carol Rowe of the Catholic Education Consortium and Kathleen Kelly of Loyola Productions.

12 Catholics To Watch in 2012: Monsignor Craig A. Cox

A MAN WITH A PLAN – GOD’S PLAN

For Monsignor Craig A. Cox, life is a response to God’s call.

“Being Catholic is who I am – my faith is the center of my life. First and foremost, I want to be open to God’s plan, God’s will.”

Catholic People Magazine Monsignor Craig Cox

Monsignor Craig A. Cox

The Rector and President of St. John’s Seminary, his entire life has been dedicated to living his faith in fidelity to God’s call and the needs of the Church.

“Being Catholic is being a disciple of Jesus Christ in a communion of fellow disciples…It is a universal communion that exists worldwide, includes all human cultures, adopts what is good in them and challenges what is contrary to the gospel in any and all of them. Catholics take seriously the fact that God has reached out to human beings in our very humanity – body and soul.”

On a personal level, “faith has taught me to see God’s presence in the midst of life, to see the face of Jesus in every human being, to have a special compassion for those who suffer…to cherish truth, justice, goodness and beauty…to appreciate that forgiving is of the essence of the gospel – it has shaped my value system in ways very different than those of our all too materialistic world.”

Catholic People Magazine Monsignor Craig Cox

Monsignor Cox known to most as “Fr. Craig” reminds the audience of the importance of forming great priests at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo.

As a Catholic to watch in 2012, his chief goal is to make St. John’s Seminary the best seminary possible, so that the seminarians receive an excellent formation to help them discern their calling. “And, if indeed it is a calling to priesthood, to give them an excellent foundation for living faithful, holy, fruitful priestly lives. As part of accomplishing this, I want to continue building the quality of our faculty, enhance our programs, and build a financial base that allows us to do what is necessary to provide excellence.”

Catholic People Magazine Monsignor Craig Cox

Monsignor Craig Cox, Rector/ President of St. John’s Seminary, presents Cardinal William Levada a picture of the Chapel at St. John’s, during the Cardinal’s recent visit to Los Angeles from Rome.

12 Catholics To Watch in 2012: Maria Shriver

WHERE WILL SHE BE IN 2012?

For Maria Shriver, the Catholic faith is the foundation of inspiration for numerous endeavors, from writing best-selling novels to serving as California’s First Lady.

Catholic People Magazine Maria Shriver

Maria Shriver

“I believe in the compassion and justice of Jesus Christ, I believe in the social justice of the Catholic Church,” Maria told The Washington Post.

Maria was educated by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. “They believed in the power of young women long before anyone else seemed to,” stated Maria in California Catholic Daily. “I am the woman I am today in large part due to the fact I was educated by the nuns. So blame the nuns!”

12 Catholics To Watch in 2012: Ryan Bristol

HOLDING TO A HIGHER STANDARD, AND BETTER RETURN ON INVESTMENT

Raised in a Catholic household with thirteen years of parochial Catholic school, Ryan Bristol believes Catholicism is a way of life in the principles he follows on a personal level – and how he raises his children now that he’s a father.

Catholic People Magazine Ryan Bristol

Ryan Bristol & daughter

“In my professional life it has enabled me to surround myself with people who have a similar philosophy and in my family life it helps me be an example to my kids. If an organization I want to support is associated with the Catholic Church then I know my effort is focused in the right area.”

As Vice President of Bernstein Global Wealth Management, Ryan works with individuals, companies and non-profits to help them plan and manage their finances. “By and large the business world is not an environment driven by Catholic principles or any religious principles for that matter,” he said. “Being Catholic in my professional life causes me to consider my Catholic principles in the way I conduct myself and who I choose to work with on a professional level. By being selective in the quality of people I surround myself with in the work environment, I am enabled to be a better Catholic and make a bigger difference.”

Looking back on his life so far, Ryan said “there are a number of people I have encountered who don’t hold themselves to a higher standard. If Catholicism was not a guiding force in my life I would not have the examples for living an exemplary life and my entire belief system could be very, very different.”

Catholic People Magazine Ryan Bristol

VP of Bernstein Global Wealth Management Ryan Bristol

As a Catholic to Watch in 2012, his goal “is to do more to help people who have a difficult time helping themselves. To be more specific, I want to think big to make an impact in the areas of poverty and education. Through financial literacy I am able to help those in poverty seek a better life. Education is a very different challenge, but it is crucial to our ability to compete and be relevant in the future.”

12 Catholics To Watch in 2012: William Shaw

USING HIS CATHOLIC COMPASS

For William A. Shaw being a Catholic has provided a structure for his entire life.

Catholic People Magazine William Shaw

William A. Shaw

“I began my professional life as a lawyer and the moral grounding provided by my faith was all important as a criminal prosecutor and later in the general practice of law. After I left the practice of law to become a real estate developer and real estate investor, my faith sustained me
during good and bad times.”

The Catholic Church has also played a crucial role in his family life.

“The sharing of the Catholic faith as a family has guided our marriage and guided the raising of our two daughters. It has provided our daughters with the proper philosophy with which to lead a good life and has given them a moral foundation for their development as good children, good citizens, good students and good friends to their peers.”

Catholic People Magazine William Shaw

Bill and John Lockhart share a laugh at Catholic Comedy Night at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood in November.

Looking back on his life, Shaw believes that “God has blessed me in so many ways, I was raised in a devoted Catholic family and I have been blessed with a wonderful Catholic wife and children and have been allowed by God to pass this wonderful Catholic faith on to our daughters. I pray that they will retain their faith throughout their lives and pass on the Catholic faith to those who follow.”

As a Catholic to Watch in 2012, Bill looks forward to his continued participation in many Catholic organizations that allow him to give back for all his many blessings. He looks forward to his oldest daughter, Catherine, going off to college and his youngest daughter, Genevieve, competing
her high school years. Bill also prays for the continued success of his business, Roxbury Properties.

Catholic People Magazine William Shaw

The Shaw Family at the Queen of Angels Foundation’s Grand Marian Procession. Daughters Genevive, Katherine, Bill and wife Debra.

“I am closer to the end than to the beginning of my life and I pray that my faith will lead me to eternal life with my family.”

12 Catholics To Watch in 2012: Yolanda Brown

“We can do this with God’s help”

As a 2012 Cardinal Award recipient, Yolanda Brown believes “the Holy Spirit has yanked me here and there, and I have always tried to be open to what the Spirit is telling me.”

A former banking executive, Yolanda now works as the Parish Life Director at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood with pastor responsibilities. The daughter of a Navy officer who was born in the Philippines and raised Catholic, she grew up devoutly spiritual – and therefore didn’t mind experiencing other churches.

Catholic People Magazine Yolanda Brown

2012 Cardinal Award recipient Yolanda Brown

“It didn’t bother my parents that I had a desire to learn about other faith practices,” recalled the mother of seven and grandmother of 19. “I could appreciate what they offered and believed, and in the end I was strengthened in my own faith.”

Early in her professional life, Yolanda worked as an executive at Manufacturers Hanover, and was transferred by First Interstate Bank to Los Angeles, where she later joined Union Bank and rose in rank to senior vice president. Her specialty was developing new commercial business, especially in areas that were undeveloped or underserved. “My name seemed to come up whenever there was pioneering to be done. And that’s where the Holy Spirit began to become more prominent. I was becoming more in tune with my own spirituality.”

Catholic People Magazine Yolanda Brown

Yolanda Brown

After leaving the banking profession – and before being installed as the Parish Life Director at Blessed Sacrament Church – she worked for seven years as Pastoral Associate at Dolores Mission. “I really discovered what it meant to serve in a collaborative environment, and I realized that effective parish leadership is truly a shared endeavor. When you are able to enable others, the good things that result belong to all of us.”

“I think about how wonderful the Holy Spirit has worked in my life,” she says quietly, adding with a smile, and I’m pretty sure Grace is not done with me yet.”

12 Catholics To Watch in 2012: Mayor Richard Riordan

CATHOLICISM IS PART OF HIS DNA

“Catholicism is my DNA – my culture – caring for myself and everybody else. This was caused by watching the respect my parents had for the clergy and their adherence to ethics and fairness.” Due to his upbringing, “I believe we must care for every human being – rich, poor, saint, sinner… I believe in natural laws created by God, which we are capable of understanding and acting upon.”

Catholic People Magazine Mayor Richard Riordan

Mayor with Cardinal Mahony, Eli Broad and Archbishop Gomez at his Brentwood home where he sponsored the announcement of the Catholic Education Foundation’s Legacy Campaign in September.

Catholicism has fueled many humanitarian efforts throughout Richard’s lifetime, from mentoring young gang members at Santa Clara University to working in Ethiopia with The Catholic Relief. He worked with five parishes to help them meet their fiscal problems by matching increases in Sunday collections. He was a founding board member of The International Medical Corp, and also spearheaded a $100 million campaign for scholarships benefiting poor children through The Archdiocese education foundations.

Catholic People Magazine Mayor Richard Riordan

The future Mayor of Los Angeles.

“I believe every child that comes into this world has the God given right to a quality education – the tools to compete – and health care,” Richard said. “Through the Riordan Foundation we have contributed almost 40,000 computers to Catholic and other schools throughout the country to teach reading and writing to young children.”

His future goals include encouraging others – particularly the rich – to help poor children. “This can be done by adopting Catholic schools and not just donating money but being hands on in helping them.”

Looking back on his life so far, “I believe God – and therefore myself – will judge me on what I do today and each and every day of my life. I have monetary wealth, quality education and great networking which give me the ability to get good things done. My Catholicism makes me believe I have an obligation to do them.”

Catholic People Magazine Mayor Richard Riordan

Mayor judging the hat contest at his 80th Birthday Party.

“I believe in natural laws created by God, which we are capable of understanding and acting upon.”

12 Catholics To Watch in 2012: Sister Christine Bowman

“I wanted to be a Sister before I was Catholic”

For Sister Christine Bowman, Catholicism is a way to live the Gospel as St. Francis would have done – and a way to model the values of the Franciscan way of life. “It is an integral part of who I am and whatever I do.”

Catholic People Magazine Sister Christine Bowman

Sister Christine Bowman

A Franciscan Sister of the Sacred Heart since 1969, she has lived a full life in the convent. “I wanted to be a Sister before I wanted to be a Catholic. It wasn’t until later that I understood that my religious commitment by the vows I profess were really an intensification of my Baptismal consecration.” Today, “I have great happiness and peace living out my vocation.”

While her mother and siblings were supportive, her father was initially bitterly opposed to her vocation in the church, “which caused a division in our family and he disowned me for a while.” However “I knew in my heart with utter certainty that this was my call in life. Through the years my father mellowed so that by the time he died, you would have thought my being a Franciscan Sister was his idea!”

Catholicism and the convent “were one in the same. The convent led me to Catholicism and in another way Catholicism led me to the convent. I do, however, have great respect and appreciation for the different religions.”

From “My twin and I studied different religions before finally becoming Catholic. There were a variety exposure to different faiths in our family and friends: Methodist, Mormon, Quaker, Lutheran, and even Jewish. The ecumenism that marked my formative years is part of the beauty of my life today.”

Catholic People Magazine Sister Christine Bowman

Sister Christine on stage at the Catholic Comedy Night at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood.

As a Catholic to watch in 2012, Sister Christine will continue to immerse herself in service to others through her ministry at St. Anne’s, developing support for young women, children and families, Rotary service projects, visiting the sick and administering the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Communion. “I will continue to deepen my prayer life and embrace with joy the challenges God sends as I encounter the sacred in my midst.”

12 Catholics To Watch in 2012: David Fields

ON A MISSION TO…IMPROVE PEOPLE’S LIVES

As the Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Los Angeles, David R. Fields believes he would not be in this position without his strong Catholic background.

Catholic People Magazine David Fields

St. Vincent de Paul's David Fields

“There are not many lay Catholics who have the option of living their faith professionally on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “My Catholic upbringing, faith, and culture define who I am – I would be a very different person if it weren’t for my Catholicism.”

Prior to being named Executive Director, David was a volunteer with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for 15 years working through his local parish. He also served as president of the Black Catholic Association of Altadena and Pasadena. David also worked for Xerox Corporation for 25 years.

“Both of these opportunities provided a wealth of opportunities for me and my family to give back to the local community. My wife and my two sons were involved in the various activities associated with both organizations. It included everything from Christmas Adopt-a-Family Programs to Lenten Fish Fries to Kwanza Masses.”

Being a “cradle Catholic” with 12 years of Catholic education, “I was definitely schooled in the faith and the culture of the Catholic Church. This included all of the traditions, institutions, art, literature and beliefs of the church – the culture has been ingrained in me and defines who I am.”

Catholic People Magazine David Fields

(left) David and Eleanor with Fr. Dave O’Connell at Catholic Comedy™ Night at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. (right) Board Member Jim Weiss, Jim Bibb from the Society and David share a laugh at the Catholic Charities Gala at the California Club.

As a Catholic to Watch in 2012, he plans to expand the services that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides to the underserved.

“I am truly blessed to be the Executive Director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. It allows me to live and breathe my faith daily doing the Lord’s work by helping the less fortunate. I could not ask for more.”

Catholic People Magazine David Fields

David and wife Eleanor visit with Cardinal William Levada.

My Catholic upbringing, faith, and culture define who I am – I would be a very different person if it weren’t for my Catholicism.

12 Catholics To Watch in 2012: Sylvia Lopez

Anchorwoman, Catholic & connected to great stories

For anchorwoman Sylvia Lopez, being Catholic is a faith and a culture that has also led to some prime story assignments.

“My news director sent me to Mexico City to cover Pope John Paul’s 2002 visit, and then a few years later, in 2005, I was sent to Cologne, Germany, to cover World Youth Day. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been asked to go if I didn’t know a thing or two about Catholicism.”

Catholic People Magazine Sylvia Lopez

KCAL 9’s Sylvia Lopez

A Mexican American whose husband is Italian American, her family is immersed in each culture’s traditions while honing their Catholic foundation. “They all kind of get mixed up together. I guess it’s hard to know where one ends and the other begins!”

Sunday mass is the most obvious way she and her family are culturally Catholic. “And we all volunteer on a regular basis for Catholic organizations that help others. The girls and I volunteer at the Good Shepherd Woman’s Shelter, among other things…and it comes out of that sense of Catholic social justice. I should also mention that if you walk in our house you see crosses on bookshelves and a large wooden carved statue of Saint Francis!”

Her mother has volunteered with Catholic Charities for more than 25 years, ministering to incarcerated youths at Central Juvenile Hall. “It’s a beautiful commitment she has to helping others, and in the future I’d love to be able to follow that sort of example.”

Catholic People Magazine Sylvia Lopez

Sylvia Lopez and friends gather at 2011 Society of St. Vincent de Paul Gala in Universal City, one of the many occasions where Sylvia transforms into Master of Ceremonies at a Catholic charity event.

As a Catholic to watch in 2012, “my only big goal right now is getting my daughter to turn in her college applications by deadline…our lives revolve around our daughters’ Catholic schools and church activities. So daily our lives are impacted in a very direct way by Catholic organizations and by the many inspiring people who keep them going. We feel blessed to have these priests, nuns, and dedicated lay people in our lives.”

“… our lives are impacted in a very direct way by Catholic organizations and by the many inspiring people who keep them going.”