Bishops’ meeting not on EWTN

I just heard that the November meeting of the USCCB will not be broadcast on EWTN.

Any news?

Something about Telecare TV?


Here is a story:

Broadcast by Telecare TV in Conjunction with USCCB
Will Air Public Portions of Meeting November 16-18
USCCB Will Post Updates on Blog, Twitter, Facebook

Coverage of Bishops’ Meeting Available Via Satellite, Internet

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will work in conjunction with Telecare, the television station of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, to provide live coverage of the U.S. Bishops’ Fall General Assembly, November 16-19, in Baltimore. This coverage will be “free to air” via satellite.

Telecare will cover the public sessions of the U.S. Bishops’ meeting, airing coverage Monday, November 16, from 1-6 p.m., Tuesday, November 17, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Wednesday, November 18, 9-11 a.m.

The hosts of the event will be Msgr. Jim Vlaun, CEO and President of Telecare, Sister Mary Alice Piil, C.S.J., a noted national speaker in liturgical formation [?! … not"noted" to me!  Who is she?] and Director of Faith Formation for the Rockville Centre Diocese, and Msgr. Robert Brennan, Vicar Gen eral of the Rockville Centre Diocese.  [Is this the Rockville Centre show?]

Television stations wishing to air this telecast are asked to contact the office of Joseph Perrone, Telecare General Manager at 516 538-8704 x 145 for transmission details and satellite coordinates. All requests must be submitted by Thursday, November 12.
Along with Telecare’s coverage, the USCCB Web page will post document, vote tallies and link to live streaming at USCCB Office of Media Relations will provide Web coverage of the meeting via Twitter ( on Facebook ( and on the USCCB Media Blog ( The Twitter handle will provide updates of the meeting’s proceedings in real time, while the blog and Facebook posts will include longer reports and photos.

UPDATE 14 Nov 1545 GMT:

It seems that Sr. Piil (who will be commenting on the liturgical issues discussed during the bishops’ meeting, has written at least one book review for America Magazine.  FWIW.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. zgietl says:

    This does not make any sense. Most households across the country probably do not have access to Telecare and I would imagine that most providers are not going to be in a hot hurry to add it to their lineup. While I do not receive EWTN at my university (it’s not Catholic), I do receive it at home as I would imagine many people do. This seems like another example of the USCCB trying to avoid dealing with Mother Angelica.

  2. Peggy R says:

    They’re hiding from Ray Arroyo and EWTN I presume.

  3. TNCath says:

    This sounds like the USCCB is trying to distance itself from EWTN. In years past, EWTN has provided coverage of the Bishops’ meeting with ongoing commentary from Raymond Arroyo. Over the years, Mr. Arroyo’s comments about the USCCB and the guest commentators he has interviewed over the years have often asked tough questions about the bishops and their agendas. The “Rockville Centre show” sounds to me like an attempt to control and contain the editorializing and interpretation of the coverage.

  4. I am from Leesburg, VA. As such, I have no Telecare channel whatsoever, because I’m not obviously in that area of NY! What are they thinking?

    Indeed, if they want to distance themselves from EWTN’s editorializing Raymond Arroyo (according to TNCath), then at least try to air it live by doing a simulcast on radio or something! I don’t think that they need EWTN to do that, no?

    But I think in the end, since Telecare is allowing other television stations to broadcast this, EWTN might join in after all. It’s just that we’re probably not going to hear Arroyo as much. But I don’t know anything about the business — I don’t claim to be an insider at all, so take it with a grain of salt.

  5. John V says:

    A quick Google search shows this previous WDTPRS encounter with the name Sister Mary Alice Piils. She was a member of the executive committee of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy in 2007 when the Academy hosted Bishop Trautman as keynote speaker at a meeting in Toronto. (You probably don’t need to click on the link to know what the bishop said.)

  6. patrick_f says:

    I agree with TN Cath. Mother Angelica and EWTN have long had their Differences with the USCCB. I remember reading some where she was almost ridiculed by certain prelates for requiring her sisters to wear full habits. How dare they dress like nuns LOL

    I can only imagine, this is a pivitol time for the translation. If I had certain agendas, or had possibly been convinced of others’ agendas, I would want the variables of influence contained.

    Much like the secular administrations closed door meetings with health care providers

  7. ipadre says:

    Something smells funny!

  8. markomalley says:

    This makes complete sense. The USCCB has always wanted to, unsuccessfully, to editorially control EWTN.

    And, like Obama & Fox News, when they can’t control the story, they will isolate the messenger.

  9. tzard says:

    EWTN’s weekly schedule still lists all day Monday and Tuesday for the Bishops. See:
    9am to 4pm except for a 2 hr break at Noon with Mass and Fr. Corapi.

  10. I wonder how perhaps a few wonks could get together a USTREAM feed commenting on the USCCB… hmmmm….

  11. tioedong says:

    Yup…sounds like they want to control the “spin” by putting their own PC type as commenters.

    Sister Piil is a pill: a NotreDame /America Magazine type.

    Of course, none of the “official” stuff will be available to those of us who live overseas (although maybe I can check the internet between typhoons ;-) )

    And a related “headsup” on the liturgical reform: check the discussion on 2Blorwhards blog, about Benedict’s plan to meet with artists; and especially read the comments.

  12. genxrevert says:

    From its website: “Telecare is part of the Catholic Television Network, which includes more than a dozen diocesan television systems, such as Brooklyn, Detroit, Boston, Buffalo, California, and Youngstown, Ohio.” Telecare is going to be a much more comfortable fit for the bishops than EWTN. The coverage will be just want the bishops want with no pesky ‘orthodox’ types asking any prying questions. As a local familiar with Telecare’s programming, I can only say this is going to be interesting…..

  13. tzard says:

    It could be for a dozen other things, most of them innocuous. Without more information, this commentary is leaning uncomfortably in the direction of gossip.

  14. vincentuher says:

    After seeing Cardinal George recently on EWTN with Raymond Arroyo, I am not terribly surprised that EWTN will not be covering this event.

  15. Geoffrey says:

    Tele-what?! I’ve never heard of it!

    Considering the “better batch” of bishops that make up the USCCB now, I am surprised they would purposely shun EWTN. [I suspect this has little to do with the bishops, and a great deal to do with the staff of the USCCB.]

  16. catholicmidwest says:

    I will not watch any network put together to air propaganda from the USCCB. Period. Not for one single minute. I have better things to do with my time. Furthermore, I hope the USCCB loses a whole boatload of $$$$$$$$ on this project. It’d serve them right and keep them from spending it on more dangerous things.

    The whole USCCB meeting, televised or not, is strictly out of my control–and yours. Watching them is just an aggravation and that’s why I haven’t for several years now. You must remember that the members of the USCCB do whatever they want, regardless of who’s watching and how little sense it makes. They’re darned near in schism and anyone with two eyes and half a brain can see it.

    Sour Grapes Award

    Luckily, whatever nonsense the USCCB engages in affects the lives of most ordinary Catholics much less than the members of the USCCB apparently think. They, after all, don’t amount to too much in their current state. And actually, writing ridiculous position papers on things about which they have no clue actually keeps them out from underfoot, so it’s all good. All they have to do is just keep the buildings open and not harass our priests too much to say mass on a regular schedule.

    The Vatican will eventually have enough of it, I hope, and over-rule them on the translations. Until then, we’ve learned to get along in the desert and we can outlast them. They’ve trained us to be survivors all these years–probably their most enduring achievement–albeit unwitting on their part.

  17. catholicmidwest says:

    I’m incredulous. I don’t believe that anyone from the USCCB could actually compose an alphanumeric string having < or = to 140 characters (let alone one with content!).

  18. Virtually nothing the USCCB does surprises me.

  19. markomalley says:

    Fr. John Zuhlsdorf Says

    I wonder how perhaps a few wonks could get together a USTREAM feed commenting on the USCCB… hmmmm….

    markomalley Says

    Far more interesting would be a camera hidden in the “Executive Session.” [I suppose that’s because we wonks wouldn’t be very interesting. I get it.]

  20. adagio48 says:

    Please pray to the Holy Spirit for USCCB. The gifts of the Holy Spirit belong in their fullness to Christ, the Son of David. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Fear of the Lord.

  21. As a seminarian (1996) , we were sent to a Spanish Immersion language school for six weeks. During the week, the school organized a field trip to Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington for vespers and dinner. There were were told our breviaries were not necessary, since Sr. Mary Alice Pill has created a special breviary that is used in the seminary chapel. She was there for Vespers that evening, and the Rockville seminarians lived in fear of her. One raised eyebrow from her could get them thrown out of the program. [Thanks for that. I am sure we will be hearing more.]

  22. irishgirl says:

    I only get EWTN on my computer when I go to the library-no Internet or TV at home in the evening.

    Never heard of ‘Telecare’.

  23. Calm down, folks. EWTN has partnered with a ton of other television stations in the past, if I recall correctly. Vatican Radio/TV is the most prominent, but a lot of the local church Masses that they’ve shown have also been produced and fed by local broadcasters to EWTN. It’s strange that we didn’t hear about this before; but there’s plenty of stuff that goes on under the radar. It’s not like it’s easy to find _anything_ on the USCCB site.

    It says that the coverage is free to broadcast to any TV station that wants to. Judging by EWTN’s schedule, they must want to. Of course, it seems silly not to just let EWTN do it also; but eh. Let’s give this Telecare a chance to prove themselves.

    Also, as long as EWTN is getting the feed, and the feed is showing all the public meeting stuff, there’s nothing stopping EWTN from running their commentary on top of the Telecare feed.

  24. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Oh yes, something smells funny alright – and it is the USCCB’s unfortunate support of the CCHD.

    If any watched Raymond’s show The World Over last night on EWTN you saw – in my mind anyway – the main reason the USCCB has “distanced” itself from EWTN.

    He had two gentlemen as guests during the secong half of the show who were showing more evidence that the CCHD is still giving money to blatant anti-Catholic organizations. (all the while with the USCCB “logo” in the upper right hand side of your TV)

    Mr. Arroyo is to be commended for continuing to expose this non-sense which started many months ago (as well as The Wanderer). He is not affraid to ask the “tough questions” and now, it seems, he has reaped his reward.

  25. If EWTN isn’t given access to the feed, of course, We Shall Know What to Think.

    But honestly, if you wanted to put spin on the meeting, you’d want to get your spin aired on EWTN. It’s not like CBS is going to run the USCCB in place of daytime television. Spin that nobody ever sees is ineffective spin.

  26. hicwat says:

    I don’t get it. It says right in the article that:

    “Television stations wishing to air this telecast are asked to contact the office of Joseph Perrone, Telecare General Manager at 516 538-8704×145 for transmission details”

    So why does everyone think that EWTN won’t simply call Mr. Perrone and get the free feed?

  27. I’m in agreement with hicwat above.

    Are we reading more into it than is there?

    Look – no one thinks anything of it when EWTN uses a CTV feed out of the Holy See. It may be that Telecare is simply contracted to offer the feed the same way. From there, EWTN could easily have scheduled commentary in between the sessions, and using that feed.

    When Archbishop Vigneron was installed in Detroit, EWTN took the feed from CTND – our local Catholic Television station. This saved EWTN loads of money. Imagine the equipment that needs to be hauled across the states to provide a direct feed, rather than using one from a local source.

    I see it listed in the programming schedule of EWTN as pointed out earlier by tzard.

    Bottom line: Tune in to EWTN starting at 9:00am Eastern (or set your DVR according to the schedule shown in the link above)

  28. mpm says:


    Pretty level-headed observations, but….

    Unless I heard wrong last night, Arroyo mentioned that EWTN will NOT be covering the daily meetings.

    If anyone has an email correspondent at EWTN perhaps this point can be clarified?


    Here’s a podcast feed of a talk show that the Telecare people run, or ran. If anybody wants to listen and report, be my guest.

    Sr. Piil has a co-written book called “A Ministry of Consolation” about parish funerals. In the previewable parts, it doesn’t seem too off-base, although it’s more jargon-y than it should be. She has at least one book review in America magazine, but in a burst of common sense that most reviewers eschew, she actually points out that several chapters are totally off-topic! So even though there are some definite “scary sister” vibes being given off, that doesn’t mean her commentary will be un-useful.

  30. I looked on the site of EWTN where they post special programming.  Nothing.

  31. BenFischer says:

    EWTN is not helping here. The Bishop’s meeting is not listed on their Special Program section, which is where I’ve been looking for it, and it’s not in the DirecTV program guide. EWTN runs on a shoestring budget and their DirecTV guide is often incorrect, especially when there’s a lot of special programs around Christmas and Easter. But it’s easy to think that they are not covering it. However, their program guide for next week does indeed show the conference, so I set my DirecTV DVR to record the individual shows from 9AM to 4PM Eastern and hopefully it’ll be there when I get home.

    Last year, the Bishop’s conference WAS listed on DirecTV but I still missed a lot of it because of all the extra sessions related to ACORN. It stretched an extra hour or two so my DVR didn’t record it because according to the program guide, the show was over. That was the part I wanted to see!

    Technology still isn’t perfect.

  32. Supertradmom says:

    Raymond Arroyo announced last night on his show that, indeed, for the first time in many years, EWTN was not asked to cover the meeting next week. The announcement was short, but clear. EWTN is being excluded from the event. We watch television only on the computer, and not regularly. I have no clue where to find Telecare on the Net.

  33. catholicmidwest says:

    Fr Z, I’m pretty sure that any group of “wonks” that tried to do that would get bounced out of the conference hall in short order as soon as they were found out. If there’s anything the more extreme members of the USCCB hate more than EWTN, it’s got to be blogger/twitterers of the citizen kind. [You might want to relax your tone in your comments a bit. Also, with today’s technology, you don’t have to be there to be able to comment on what is being broadcast.]

  34. Frank H says:

    Supertradmom, Google is a pretty cool invention! I found that the Telecare stream will be here…

  35. BenFischer says:

    Supertrad Mom, I didn’t see WOL last night, but from what you say it doesn’t mean that the meeting won’t be ON EWTN, just that they weren’t invited to the meeting. As has been mentioned, EWTN can still pick up the raw feed from telecaretv and add their own commentary, if they wish. Deacon Bill has been on TV lately asking for money because they are broke. Maybe this is a way to save cash?

    Off topic, I’m not sure about that name “telecare”. Sounds like a mix of teletubbies and carebears.

  36. Supertradmom says:

    The way Raymond announced it indicated that it would not be on EWTN at all. I do not think money is the problem. WOL is repeated on many Catholic radio stations across the states. I recommend we try and find the radio repeat for clarity.

  37. Supertradmom says:

    WOL is rebroadcast on the radio twice on Sunday. Here is the schedule link for EWTN

  38. catholicmidwest says:

    But, will it be worth it for EWTN to pick up a highly sanitized feed for continuous hours of their programming time, rather than excerpt/interrupt it and ask the questions that need to be asked?

    And what will be the consequences of that in terms of ability to broadcast the feed or obtain “the tape & replay” air rights? You know the USCCB is manic about copyrights etc. (Among other things, the new translation of the mass is copyrighted and cannot be excerpted without permission, you know. This is one of the reasons for getting American word exceptions ok’d from the Holy See. No more pesky side by side comparisons on the net. And lots of $$$ from hard copies sold, some of which feeds the solidly entrenched dissident wing–Sr. Pill and her extended gang.) I expect all this is what Raymond Arroyo and his colleagues are thinking about today. I bet if EWTN broadcasts through Telecare, they will have a backup plan loaded on the side just in case.

    Some factions of the USCCB are not above trying to use the exclusion of EWTN from the meeting as an aspersion on the fidelity of EWTN, as well. Keep your eyes open because implications of this sort could occur, which would be ridiculous.

  39. Father Totton says:

    Last night Raymond Arroyo did indeed say that “we will not be covering the meeting” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will not be AIRING the coverage provided by another feed. Maybe there is cause for concern here, maybe not. Nevertheless, if you are unhappy with what you see, you may boycott the next second collection for social communications.

  40. catholicmidwest says:

    Yeah, if it’s a separate collection, which in many dioceses including this one, it’s not.

  41. David2 says:

    I can’t get the stream from Telecare for some reason. However Sister Piil’s photo at the website shows her wearing the ubiquitous blue / black business suit and the Sr-Chittister / Golden Girls hairdo.

    Liturgist Nuns in civvies (who almost always look like they remember the first Vatican Council) always set off alarm bells for me. Then I read what Fr Toborowsky wrote….

  42. catholicmidwest says:

    Who’s Fr. Toborowsky and what did he write?

  43. mpm says:

    Comment by Fr. J. Toborowsky — 14 November 2009 @ 9:06 am

    on this thread.

  44. The bureaucrats in DC, secular or ecclesial, NEVER seem to learn. You do not make criticism go away by pretending it doesn’t exist.
    I am curious as to how the make up of the Bishops’ Committee on Communications affected this. I seem to recall the the ultra-liberal Gambino Zavala of LA is either now the chairman or the heir apparent.
    Also, having a liturgist nun as one of the commentators leads me to worry more about Trautman’s obstructionism than I might have otherwise.

  45. If I had a place to stay near the venue and airfare, etc. I would try to go for the meeting as press.

    But no… the deadline I see is 6 Nov.

  46. catholicmidwest says:

    Ah, I see it above. I thought that David2 had picked up a quote from the Telecare website.

    What Fr. Toborowsky wrote doesn’t suprise me in the slightest.

    In the first place, many “retreat houses” have their own pamphlets (etc) which are used instead of the real breviary/LOH. They generally consist of paraphrases, more or less, and sometimes have additions to the text. (And I’m not talking about the parts that can be changed or the parts that might be specific to a religious order. For instance, Franciscans etc have their own adaptations to the LOH. I’m talking about substantial changes.) I don’t know how many retreats and other organizational things you all have been on, but it’s not at all unusual at these things for this to happen with religious in attendance. Sometimes special pamphlets are drawn up for events such as annual gatherings of religious orders, and so on. IN some places, the LOH is at least as abused as the Mass, sometimes even more.

    Secondly, not so long ago it was de rigeur in American parishes for the prospective seminarians to be routinely screened by a dissident sister with full diocesan authority before being accepted into the program. Many dioceses still have this arrangement. (Luckily we got rid of ours.) Now some of them have a psychologist gatekeeper as well, or in addition.

  47. catholicmidwest says:

    Fr Z,
    Probably the best thing that can happen is that the Holy See be tipped off so that they can watch. They need to know what’s happening.

  48. catholicmidwest says:

    And…how far past the front door do you think a reporter from the Wanderer would get? =)

    [The Wanderer has often had reporters at the meetings of the bishops. Often. And during the pressers they have often been called on with the knowledge that they were from The Wanderer.]

  49. catholicmidwest says:

    I just saw your comment Fr. Thanks for the calibration. I’ll sit this one out for a while.

  50. vincentuher says:

    Perhaps EWTN would schedule programming looking at the recently erected structure that is now called ‘USCCB’ and ask when such structures will be refashioned into another structure more in keeping with the continuity of the sacred Faith as expressed in the life and witness of the local diocese.

  51. cuaguy says:

    Father Z- you get your stream up with it and I will gladly watch yours over anyone elses :)

  52. If the feed does not show up on EWTN, then it is likely EWTN’s choice not to run the feed.

    I found this article in which someone from Catholic Television Network (of which Telecare is a part):

    For this year, Telecare will also transmit its coverage to other Catholic television systems at their request without cost, Msgr. Vlaun said. “So we are looking for donations to cover our expenses.”

    Here’s the full article which explains further

    Granted, this had me raising my eyebrows:

    In addition to covering the various sessions, Perrone said, Telecare will use the opportunity to educate viewers about the USCCB, “who the bishops are, what the conference of bishops is, why they meet every year, and what it does.”


  53. Also, I will check my Comcast schedule to see if it appears when I get home tomorrow afternoon. Right now, everything is TBD after tomorrow night.

    I was hoping to set my DVR for all sessions.

  54. In the article cited by Diane, there is this telling quote,
    ‘Joe Perrone, Telecare station manager, pointed out that Telecare developed the capacity for satellite transmission only within the last five or six years. Since then, Telecare has featured USCCB officials on its “Everyday Faith Live” show. “They have had the opportunity to see the level of professionalism we provide in our news coverage.”’
    Yup, it’s nice to have the media in your pocket.

  55. At the end of the day, as long as there is a feed – an uninterupted feed, I’ll be happy.

    I just hope these folks don’t chatter during some of the most interesting parts trying to “explain” what is going on. Any commentary they want to add in between the bishop’s talking is fine.

    But, when the bishops are talking – just the feed please.

  56. As an aside, I just noticed this from that same article:

    Telecare is part of the Catholic Television Network, which includes more than a dozen diocesan television systems, such as Brooklyn, Detroit, Boston, Buffalo, California, and Youngstown, Ohio. It will provide the transmission to CTN members.

    Here in Detroit, we get CTND – Catholic Television Network Detroit. I’m willing to bet they will be carrying it.

    Once again, Comcast scheduling doesn’t go past about a day and a half so I will check mid-day tomorrow to see if it shows up on either one.

    I really want to set my DVR so I can go back to hear something again.

  57. B Knotts says:

    One sure way to get people not to pay attention to the proceedings is to provide commentary from a liturgist.

  58. Dave N. says:

    Telecare sounds like something pending in the healthcare bill. I will check out the feed link above.

  59. Dave N. says:

    Here’s a fun link to one of the Telecare programs (see link list on the left-hand side):

  60. I am not a paranoid or pessimist by nature; but something is definitely going on here…with the rumblings of Bishop Trautman and the previous criticisms by a particular Archbishop regarding his brother Bishops re: Obama at Notre Dame, something smells fishy. Could be wrong.

  61. JimGB says:

    Telecare, as many know by now, is the cable television channel of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York, which comprises Long Island. as far as I know, it is not available outside of that area through cable operators. I live in the Archdiocese of New York and I am not able to receive it. It is not a national operation like EWTN. It is curious that they would be broadcasting this, since this seems a stretch for them. As far as I know, they do not even cover Long island Catholic events in this manner, except for events at the Cathedral in Rockville Centre (a beautiful norman gothic church built in the 1930s and then subjected to an awful interior “wreckovation” under the late Bishop John McGann in the early ’80s, but that’s another story).

  62. I just checked my cable schedule this morning to see if EWTN lists the conference, or if Catholic Television Network Detroit has it scheduled (sister network of Telecare).

    On the EWTN schedule, it has large blocks of time as follows:

    9:00am – Noon (To Be Announced)

    Then they show the Mass at Noon, followed by Fr. Corapi.

    2:00 – 4:00pm (To Be Announced).

    Folks, I think EWTN will be airing the conference during those blocks using the feed from Telecare.

    The public session is from 9:00am until 6:00pm. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t show the whole thing, unless the schedule is yet to be further modified, or if those blocks of time could be something other than discussion/debate.

  63. OK – It’s now on my Comcast schedule for EWTN – USCCB Fall Plenary Session from 9am – Noon and from 2:00pm until 4:00 local time.

    Set your DVR’s to EWTN!

  64. Something is odd though. Telecare says it is broadcasting from 1-6pm on Monday. But, EWTN coverage of it is from 9am – 12pm and from 2-4pm. Hmmmm…

  65. TNCath says:

    Diane at Te Deum, I think the EWTN coverage schedule is wrong because of the change in schedule made by the USCCB. I think the Telecare times are correct.

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