Sharing Faith - Cast members of Realfaith TV said they learned a great deal while filming this season's episodes. Pictured are (back row, from left) Ken Dziminski and Tiffany Britton and (front row, from left) Charlotte Fairchild and Matt Rhodes. Monitor photo
Sharing Faith - Cast members of Realfaith TV said they learned a great deal while filming this season's episodes. Pictured are (back row, from left) Ken Dziminski and Tiffany Britton and (front row, from left) Charlotte Fairchild and Matt Rhodes. Monitor photo
The cast and crew of the diocesan teen talk show Realfaith TV wrapped up its 10th year of production for the 2009-2010 season Aug. 20. Set to begin Sept. 26, the 26-episode season, featuring such compelling topics as “The Lure of Drinking,” “Texting: Opportunity or Barrier” and “When Someone You Love is Ill,” was produced by a team of 65 teens hailing from parishes across Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

Production began in July, bringing members of the talent team to Riverview Studios in Bordentown for four taping sessions each week. The last day of taping was marked
in the studio with a Mass celebrated by Father Eugene Vavrick, pastor of St. Anselm Parish, Wayside, and a dinner. Participating teens, who served throughout the season in a number of roles both in front of and behind the camera, spent their last day together exchanging phone numbers and e-mail ad- dresses, and reflecting on their summer production experience.

In his homily for the closing Mass, Father Vavrick stressed how the young people tie in with the recently-launched diocesan Pastoral Plan, “Led By the Spirit.” Explaining that the plan calls all Catholics to join together and build up the Church, he stated that young people are the future of a strong Church.

Father Vavrick encouraged them to stay involved in the work of the Church and continue on their spiritual journeys. He told the teens, “We will make mistakes and we will need Jesus’ help. We must always have patience. To be followers you must be forgiving and always have a daily commitment to Jesus.”

Newcomer to the show and spotlight guest on the episode “Looking for Light in Dark Times,” Tiffany Britton, a member of Sts. Francis and Clare Parish, Florence Township, tells her story of how the bad economy impacted and forever changed her life.

The 15-year-old sophomore in Florence Township Memorial High School said she hopes her story might be of some help for other teens going through a similar situation.

Tiffany reflected on lessons she’s learned through her experience, sharing that something good always comes out of something bad and that you need to keep your faith through all of it by staying close to God, family and friends.

She said her involvement with RFTV gave her a more positive outlook on
life and she liked sharing her thoughts with other cast members and the viewers. She cherishes the new friendships that she made and the overall media experience, and is looking forward to next season.

Ken Dziminski, a member of St. Ann Parish, Lawrenceville, and one of the hosts of several of this season’s shows, said he found the experience to be enlightening. He expressed how he was able to share his faith with other teens and hoped he will be able to reach out to teens trying to find their faith.

Returning for a second season, Ken, a 16-year-old junior in Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, found the most meaningful episode was “When Someone You Love is Ill.” Suffering the recent loss of his grandfather gave him a special connection to this episode and talking about the subject in the studio helped him to get over the death. He said he will take away from this the spiritual aspect that helped him to grow in his faith and reach out to other teens.

He will also take away from this experience the new friendships and interesting people he met on RFTV this season.

Looking toward a media career, Charlotte Fairchild of St. Veronica Parish, Howell, found her experience
to be both enjoyable and a blessing.

The home schooled 18-year-old is a newcomer to the show and a spotlight guest on the episode “Building a Culture
of Life.”

Charlotte, whose birth parents
chose life for her when they put her up for adoption, expressed a sense of gratitude for being involved in an episode that stressed the value of every human life. Embracing a love for all of God’s creation, she shared that “going green” and living an environmentally responsible life are very important to her. Involvement in this RFTV season brought to light for her the importance of her role in her faith community.

No stranger to the show, Matt Rhodes of Our Lady of the Angels Parish,
Trenton, a junior at Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, hosted several episodes this season. Declaring that RFTV is “great,” Matt added, “This is my third year and I have a blast every season.”

The episode that made the greatest impression on him this season was “Our Place in the Universe.” Matt said he didn’t realize how much science has to do with our faith. He said he will take away from this season his new friends, growing, learning and understanding his faith.

RFTV can be seen on local cable channels, or you can visit www.realfaithtv.com to view the newest episode each week and an archive of past award-winning programs.