From Staff Reports
Viewers of the newest episode of Cristo Para Todos, the Diocese’s Spanish-language television program, might notice the new set, new cast members and new musical talent.
But the same engaging format and compelling content for which the show has become known will be clearly recognizable in the first episode of CPT’s new season, set to begin airing Feb. 10 on Telemundo in Philadelphia and other channels in the U.S. and beyond.
A creation of the Diocese’s Department of Multimedia Production, Cristo Para Todos is a half-hour talk and variety show that explores diverse topics from a Catholic perspective. Since its debut in 2006, the show has broadened its reach and continues to strive to be an evangelization tool for people of all ages.
Each episode incorporates Scripture, music, comedy and in-depth conversations to help people grow closer to Christ from wherever they are watching. Cristo Para Todos has been recognized nationally with three Gabriel Awards for excellence in Catholic broadcasting.
The season’s premiere episode is called “Bench Warmers,” according to Matthew Greeley, the show’s co-host and member of the production team. He explained, “All of the components will break open the idea that Catholics are called to transformation. That is to say, a person should not come out of Mass the same as they went in. The experience of the Mass calls people of faith to strive to be and see Christ more intentionally each day. Cristo Para Todos offers a tool for people to recognize this and reflect on their own experiences, so they can move from there.”
Special guest Freddie Chavarría is a Catholic singer and song writer who travels the world evangelizing equipped with a guitar and God’s word. Freddie shares his story with Cristo Para Todos and sings in this episode as well.
Yanci Merkel, a parishioner of St. Mary of the Lake in Lakewood, serves as the show’s new co-host. Merkel originally appeared on the program several seasons ago when she was interviewed for an episode on letting things go. The team remembered her spirit and ability to express herself and her faith, and encouraged her participation for this latest season. Greeley said of his co-host, “Yanci shines on camera and has been a great addition to the team.”
The new season of Cristo Para Todos enjoys the talents and presence of Jossie Ramos, the show’s new correspondent for the Christians Under Construction segment. Jossie travels around the four-county Diocese interviewing the faithful about the diverse episode topics.
Musically, the show continues to feature the talents of Elmer Santos and the ensemble ministry Getsemaní. Santos writes original music to accompany the episode themes. For half of the season’s episodes, the show also relies on the musical talents of Chavarría, who shares his original music, tying his popular songs into the Catholic topics.
The 12 new episodes, most of which were filmed at Hill Studio in Paulsboro, will air throughout the coming months on Philadelphia’s Telemundo every Saturday at 11:30 a.m., as well as on a number of channels both in the United States and internationally. The new episodes will be plugged into a schedule of encore shows. Viewers are encouraged to check out all of the shows on the YouTube channel and to walk together on Facebook at Cristo Para Todos DOT. The companion blog, EspatiEspami.com, is another vehicle of evangelization further fostering the belief that Christ “Is for you and is for me.”