Jim Caviezel — Hollywood’s ‘Jesus’ — to speak at Catholics at the Capitol in February

| November 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

Actor Jim Caviezel will take the stage at the St. Paul RiverCentre in St. Paul for Catholics at the Capitol in February.

Known for his role in playing Jesus for “The Passion of the Christ” in 2004, Caviezel will talk about witnessing to the Catholic faith in Hollywood and the call for all Catholics to evangelize. A Minnesota Catholic Conference event, Catholics at the Capitol is a day of reflection on and training in political engagement from a Catholic perspective and a chance to visit with state legislators. MCC announced Caviezel’s participation Nov. 13.

Jim Caviezel

Rachel Herbeck, MCC policy and outreach coordinator, said Caviezel will help attendees get behind “the ‘why’ behind our Catholics at the Capitol event.” She said the purpose of Catholics of the Capitol is for Catholics “to engage, inspire and educate people.”

“So we want people there to be able to engage their legislators on important issues,” Herbeck added.

Caviezel’s success in Hollywood climbed in the late 1990s through roles in “The Thin Red Line” in 1998 and “Ride with the Devil” in 1999. He became public about this Catholic faith in the early 2000s when he refused to be in a “love” scene for “High Crimes” in 2002.

Since the “The Passion of the Christ,” he has been in other faith-based films such “Paul, Apostle of Christ” in 2018 but hasn’t been in mainstream Hollywood films regularly since the early 2000s.

“Those are not things that are easy to do, so we thought it would be a great inspirational time to help encourage Catholics and say, ‘Yeah, this is part of who we are essentially as Catholics to go out and to take risks to love our neighbor,’” Herbeck said.

Caviezel has reached beyond Hollywood to speak with Catholic and Protestant organizations. Earlier this year, he spoke at a conference for national college campus ministry Fellowship of Catholic University Students, or FOCUS, earlier this year in Chicago. An adoptive father of two children with special needs, he has also spoken at various pro-life events.

“We have views on human dignity or human life or other things that are unpopular,” Herbeck said of Catholics. “Getting involved in the public arena is a way that Catholics are going into the peripheries.”

The Feb. 19, 2019, event will mark the second Catholics at the Capitol. The first one in 2017 drew more than 1,000 to the St. Paul RiverCentre and the Minnesota State Capitol, where some participants met with their state legislators. MCC hopes that more than 2,000 to attend this time.

“I think a lot of people realized at Catholics at the Capitol how integrated politics … and being out in the public arena is with the faith, and that it’s not this separate thing that you do, and that it’s not ‘OK, well, just if I’m interested in politics, that’s something that I do,’” Herbeck said.

Legislative topics for Catholics at the Capitol have yet to be announced, but the event will focus on the dignity of human life. Speakers include Archbishop Charles Chaput Philadelphia and Catholic media personality Gloria Purvis, who also spoke at the 2017 event. Catholic musician Danielle Rose will also perform.

Caviezel’s participation remained a secret until Nov. 13. The MCC provided clues on its Twitter feed leading up to the announcement. Besides the keynote presentation, Caviezel will also join some attendees for a fundraising breakfast before Catholics at the Capitol.

MCC is the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota.

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