Priest, journalist, and CEO of Salt + Light Television Network, Fr Thomas Rosica consults to the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications. He spoke to America magazine about the future of Catholic media.
You’re currently the CEO of Canada’s national Catholic television network, the president of a Catholic university, and an English-language spokesman for the Vatican. Where do you spend most of your time nowadays?
Sometimes on a highway or on a plane, but my home base is Toronto, so a lot of the work I do is from there. For the past three years, I’ve had to serve as president of Assumption University in Windsor, Ontario, which is an institution of my religious congregation, the Basilian Fathers. The university was in some difficulty, so my role was to help reorient its mission, establish policies for governance, fortify the Catholic chaplaincy and put the university back on track—which is what I’ve done.
But that was a good opportunity for Salt + Light because we used the university as a venue for a number of things. We brought back to life the Christian Culture Series at Assumption University, which was one of the big contributions of that university to the Canadian church.
In restoring this historic series, we televised all of the lectures this year and suddenly there’s a buzz about the lectures and about the mission of this Catholic university that exists within the University of Windsor. We’ll continue that in the coming year as well.
My role at the university is adapting to the situations now present at Assumption University and my primary responsibilities are Salt + Light Television and serving as Fr Federico Lombardi’s assistant at the Holy See Press Office.
We’re in our 12th year. It’s been a tremendous project, a project of great surprise. I don’t think anyone, including myself, imagined it would develop into what it is. It’s not only a television network, but a Catholic media foundation. We operate on seven platforms.
The selling point, the best thing about Salt + Light is that it’s ledby a group of young adults. It was the first fruit of the World Youth Day in Canada in 2002, which I was privileged to be the CEO and National Director of that blessed event and project.
I had no idea I would be asked to start Salt + Light immediately after the adventure of World Youth Day 2002. Really, I have no television background; I’m a university lecturer in Scripture! So all I can say is that God has a great sense of humour. But the beauty of Salt + Light has been the young Catholics from all across Canada and from several countries around the world who have formed our team.