Reverend Peter Zalewski: 2012 Lumen Christi Award Finalist

Zalewski

“Father Pete has been a tremendous leader and faithful servant to the entire NW Florida community. He is making the teachings of the church available to countless people across the region.”

“Father Pete is a wonderful priest and more importantly a wonderful person. He has always been there for my family and me. We feel truly blessed that he is in our lives.”

Reverend Peter Zalewski, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, FL

Between pastoring two parishes, overseeing 12 others and serving as an Air Force Reserve Chaplain, Father Peter Zalewski has celebrated the Catholic faith with thousands of people in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee and beyond. It is a wonder, then, that he could even find time to develop a method that would reach millions more.

In 2004, Father Zalewski envisioned and created the St. Dominic Media Production Center with a mission to extend the Church’s presence throughout the country’s Gulf South region. The result was Catholic in America, a thirty-minute weekly television program that covers a wide-range of topics relating to Catholicism. Father Zalewski puts Catholics of all backgrounds behind the screen. He invites local parishioners, lay and ordained leaders, and religious experts to weigh in on the teachings of the church and the latest “hot topics” relating to Catholicism in the news.

The program is a proven success in the Gulf South region, where Catholics comprise less than 10% of the population. Catholic in America reaches 2.36 million viewers and is the highest rated program in its timeslot. Father Zalewski has noted this success, and uses the latest technology and social media outlets to extend his reach even further—the supplemental iPhone app has been downloaded in five countries, and the YouTube site provides an additional resource for catechesis across America.

Father Zalewski’s Catholic in America program does more than just educate its viewers. It unites Catholic parishes, schools and organizations under one thoughtful voice, serving as a reminder that each Catholic entity is just one part of a universal Catholic Church.