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This series began airing on network TV (ABC) in 1952. I don't know when
ABC canceled it, but it is still produced every week and broadcast on
cable channels in 18 states as "Christopher Closeup".
The weekly half-hour series featured individuals from various walks of life who used their gifts to make the world a better place. Shows were theme-based, covering topics involving how people translate ideals into everyday life. It was (and is) a definite religiously oriented program -- The Christopers organization was founded by Merryknoll priests -- but it presents largely non-sectarian spiritual values and how they can be used to solve everyday problems. The tagline -- "It's better to light one candle than to curse the darkness" -- was taken from an ancient Chinese proverb and encapsulates the show's general theme.
Issues addressed are such matters as family life, facing difficult economic situations, looking after the poor and homeless, substance abuse, etc. The thematic material has remained contemporary, including problems like AIDS and meth addiction.
It's a poor comment on modern life and television, when one compares this show to modern televangelism. It has never denigrated other groups or spiritual beliefs, pounded the viewers with requests for money, been involved in scandal, or otherwise failed to live up to the ideals that it espouses.
In 1945, "The Christophers" began their weekly half-hour radio program. The group was formed that year by Maryknoll priest Father James Keller. Beginning in 1952, the program began being aired on ABC TV with "You Can Change the World," with founder Fr. James Keller, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and others. Through many short television plays starring many of the top-billed names in show business, Father Keller sought to embrace not only those who accepted a Judeo-Christian faith, but in particular those he called the "hundred million"; those with no ties to any organized faith or whose personal convictions had soured through bitter experiences.
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