By Amanda Carly Olson
Not long ago, I regarded Salt + Light as a Catholic television station that was reserved for my parents’ generation. However, upon delving a little deeper since I started volunteering at S+L, I’ve come to realize that I had been missing out on a tremendous resource for growing in my faith and staying updated on current Church events.
After starting at S+L, I quickly discovered that all I knew about it was that it was a Catholic television station. Subscribing to TV channels is not a typical task for high school or university aged young people. I didn’t even have a TV then. I didn’t know which kind of events it covered or what programs were shown, or that you don’t even need a TV to access it. I didn’t realize how incredibly relevant this station is to a young Catholic like myself. I now know that Salt + Light covers so many topics that are important in the Church today, things that a young Catholic will find incredibly exciting!
Salt + Light’s mission is to be our Catholic Channel of hope. The station was born from World Youth Day 2002, with inspiration from Pope John Paul II’s call to embrace technology in sharing the gospel message and teachings of the Church. The faces behind Salt + Light are people who are living out their call as missionaries and evangelizers today. It is a comfort to know that they bear such missionary spirits. A chapel sits right in the heart of the S+L television station, and it is there that the S+L staff participate regularly in daily mass and have the opportunity to visit the chapel throughout the day to always bring the focus back to God. I have come to know many of these staff members on a personal level and have been greatly inspired by them. It is an atmosphere that is truly conducive to becoming a saint. Great saints cover the walls of this workplace, their images serving as daily reminders to each of us of our own call to greatness.
This October is an exciting month at Salt + Light. This month the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization is being held at the Vatican. This is compelling for those of us who are trying to live out our call to evangelization. After all, the Church “exists to evangelize”, as our Holy Father proclaimed in his Homily at the opening mass of the Synod. I was personally very excited to hear these words from the Pope, and I encourage everyone to check it out. The S+L team is present in Rome, providing regular updates from the Synod on their new program Inside the Synod. The Synod comes to a close on Sunday October 28th, so don’t miss out on this important event in the Church.
This month also marks another very significant and exciting event for Catholics everywhere; on October 21st, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha will join the ranks of our Canadian saints. Beatified in 1980 by Pope John Paul II, it is a much-anticipated canonization indeed! To celebrate this incredible event, Salt + Light is coming out with a documentary about her life entitled: In Her Footsteps: The Story of Kateri Tekakwitha.
I was privileged to watch a director’s cut of the documentary and was deeply moved. I had little previous knowledge of Blessed Kateri. I found the documentary to be strongly informative, yet very personal, as the people sharing Kateri’s story are not historians – they are people who are devoted to this young saint and people whose lives have been greatly affected by her intercession. I have to admit, I cried several times during the viewing of this documentary and was inspired by her devotion and sacrifice for our Lord.
The premiering of this new documentary is very exciting for the staff at S+L because it has become more than just a project. They have journeyed and grown in relationship with Blessed Kateri along the way and are very excited to share her story and canonization! The canonization Mass will air live on Sunday October 21 at 3:30am ET, 00:30am PT. It will repeat at 10:00am ET, 7:00am PT and 9:00pm ET, 6:00pm PT. The Documentary will make its World Television Premiere that same day at 8:00pm ET, 9:00pm PT, only on Salt + Light.
The events mentioned in this blog are all things that affect us as young Catholics and things that are relevant in the media. So many other stations do not give us viewing material that can so positively affect our souls and foster our faith. I am grateful to have a fantastic Catholic resource in Salt + Light. I am excited about the resources I have already discovered on the Salt + Light website and especially about the ones to come for the future generations. I encourage you all, in this Year of Faith, to use Salt + Light as a resource to grow in your own faith, and as Pope John Paul II encouraged, to spread a message of hope to the modern world!