“What brings true happiness is true connection with each other.”
Frank Desiderio is the director of the Paulist Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and is a member of the Paulist Fathers. Prior to that, he served as president of Paulist Productions in Los Angeles, and his executive producer credits include both movies of the week and documentary projects such as ABC’s Judas, the series The Jesus Experience, A&E’s Healing and Prayer: Power or Placebo, the History Channel’s Visions of Mary, Joseph: The Silent Saint, St. Peter: The Rock, and Judas: Traitor or Friend? Fr. Desiderio also served as president of the Human Family Educational and Cultural Institute, which awards the prestigious Humanitas Prize to film and television writers. He has served as the rector at St. Paul’s College and as the director of campus ministry at the University Catholic Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, and produced two weekly religion and public affairs programs for Paulist Communications. He is also a poet whose verse has appeared in the National Catholic Reporter, Prairie Messenger, Bread of Life, and Spring Hill Review. His latest project as a producer is the award-winning documentary The Big Question: A Film About Forgiveness, which launched him into his current ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation. (www.ForgivenessRetreats.org)
Father Frank’s story is the last one in the book. We decided to do this because the book probably wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for him. Fondly referred to as the “Hollywood Priest,” he has been a colleague and friend of mine for years. I hadn’t really spoken with anyone about my idea for Epiphany, and remember the summer night perfectly, standing on a street corner in New York City and asking Frank what he thought about this idea I had for a project where I asked people throughout the years on the various sets I was working on, on my travels, going about life, etc. about their greatest epiphanies in life and filming them and that I wanted to call it Epiphany. From that moment on, he has been one of the project’s greatest champions, and has continually pushed me and provided opportunities that kept me going with developing the idea. Because of his continuing belief, encouragement, and early active role in pushing this project forward from the second he heard this “random idea” I had, Epiphany became a reality. It is such appropriate timing, for as I write this (right before the new website launches), I am looking at my finished book on my desk that just arrived in the mail from the publisher. From a summer night bouncing an idea off a trusted friend to an actual project that has meant more than I ever imagined…the journey still never ceases to amaze me.