WASHINGTON - God may have needed just six days to make all of
creation, but for the new video series "Creation," well, it
took a bit longer.
Salt and Light Media started working on the project in 2010,
according to Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann, the producer and host
of "Creation," a six-part series. "We shot the pilot in 2011,
and started working on the next two" episodes in the series.
And then came word that Pope Francis was writing an
encyclical on the environment, "Laudato Si'," issued last
"We thought, 'Can we time it?'," Deacon Guevara-Mann told
Catholic News Service from Salt and Light's studios in
Toronto, noting the Canadian Catholic cable channel wanted to
be able to have its episodes coincide with the encyclical's
release. "When we found out it was coming out in June, we
said, basically, let's put the pedal to the metal. But we
were able to have only the first three done."
But "Laudato Si'" proved to be a great boost for interest in
"Creation," the deacon said. The initial three episodes
premiered in June to dovetail with the encyclical. "We
cracked down on the last three last year," he added, which
allowed Salt and Light to present them in late November and
early December, as the world's gaze was shifting to the world
climate summit in Paris.
"Creation" highlights stories from all over North America
focused on Catholic environmental principles, drawing
attention to such issues as waste management, species
conservation, urban and local farming, water shortages,
contamination and wastewater treatment.
"It was such a huge project," Deacon Guevara-Mann told CNS.
"Try to compile all the teachings of the church - St.
Bonaventure, (St. Thomas) Aquinas, St. Gregory of Nyssa,
anyone, that includes all the social justice teaching -
especially when you're trying to distill everything into six
And take into account the fact that "we didn't used to have
an encyclical" when the project started, he added. "We had
another pope," Benedict XVI. "He was called 'the green pope.'
He was the one who put the solar panels on the Paul VI
audience hall" at the Vatican, Deacon Guevara-Mann said.
In assembling the series, "we tried to make it appealing to
everyone as possible. We didn't just speak to Catholics, we
speak to biologists, zookeepers, shrimpers, obstetricians,
waste management people, farmers. ... Some are Christian,
some are Catholic, some are nothing," he added. "If we think
there's an ecological problem, it cannot be solved just by
politicians. All these voices have to come together in
dialogue. That's how we come up with viable solutions. "
Feedback on "Creation" has been positive. "It's just really
beautifully shot - that's the first thing people say about
it," Deacon Guevara-Mann said. "Press coverage has been very
favorable," he added, including from secular media.
"Even when I talk to secular people about it, they're like,
'Yeah, the church has something to say about that.' I don't
have to explain it."
Individual episodes can be seen at saltandlighttv.org/creation.
DVD and Blu-ray sets, complete with a study guide for parish-
or school-based programs, can be purchased for $49.95 by
clicking on "Creation" under "Feature Products."