US bishops’ Christmas special to air on NBC stations

An hour-long Christmas special, produced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC), will be distributed to NBC-TV stations Dec. 19.

Washington’s newly renovated Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle is the setting for the program. “Christmas from the Cathedral of St. Matthew” features two programs, which explore the meaning of the Christmas season and celebrate the rich diversity of the Church in the United States

Told through the use of charming clay animation, "The First Christmas" tells the traditional story of the birth of Jesus, beginning with Mary and Joseph's trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Produced by Billy Budd Films, with support from the CCC and the Christophers, "The First Christmas" is a past winner of the American Library Association's Andrew Carnegie Medal as the Best Children's Video of the Year.

The second program, "La Gran Posada," brings this biblical story into the present day by exploring the Mexican tradition of Las Posadas (the lodgings), which recreates Mary and Joseph's search for shelter on the eve of the birth of Jesus.

Produced by the Hispanic Telecommunications Network of San Antonio, "La Gran Posada" focuses on the oldest of San Antonio's nine posadas and offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the community keeps this tradition alive. It is also a compelling story of personal transformation and compassion – the moving story of Mexican immigrants who, like Mary and Joseph, have left their homes seeking a better life.

Hosted by Carole Lehan, co-host of the CCC's Catholic Radio Weekly, "Christmas from the Cathedral of St. Matthew" also features traditional Latin American music performed by the Cathedral's Capilla Musical Iberoamericana.

"Christmas from the Cathedral of St. Matthew" will be scheduled at the discretion of NBC-TV affiliates. Viewers can contact their local NBC-TV station for broadcast times.

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