Grace in Action. Living Catholic Stewardship
Catholic playwright rights cultural wrongs
When playwright Cathal (pronounced Cal ) Gallagher could not find a theater company to stage a play he had written about a Catholic cardinal, he decided to found one. Now known as the Quo Vadis Theatre Company, Gallagher’s troupe has been staging Catholic dramas in the Diocese of San Jose, Calif., since 1995. A native of Ireland and father of five, Gallagher turns to the saints for subject matter. He has written plays about St. Margaret Clitherow, Blessed Margaret of Castello and St. Oliver Plunkett.
The lives of the saints are very inspirational,” he said. “But people have the wrong idea: They think of saints as very holy people who pray, but saints are very tough people who have overcome great obstacles.”
Gallagher’s plays entertain and evangelize.
“It’s almost like an apostolate, though we didn’t intend it that way. There certainly is a need for us to make an impact on the culture. People see terrible stuff on TV and terrible movies, lots of pornographic stuff; and they lose hope,” Gallagher said.
“This is a grassroots approach. We don’t put on the plays in the church hall and preach to the converted. We put Catholic plays out in city theaters, right in the middle of the culture; and the culture takes notice. We do get publicity in secular newspapers, and people who aren’t religious see the plays.”
Quo Vadis has official nonprofit status, making donations tax deductible.
“If anybody is interested in establishing a Catholic theater company, we will help them. It’s not hard. It only takes one person to begin with: I was one person,” Gallagher said. “I think if there was a Quo Vadis-type theater in every city, this is a way to get our message out.”
For more information, contact Gallagher at Quo Vadis Theatre Company, P.O. Box 9023 , San Jose , CA 95157 408-998-5553
Grace in Action was a monthly publication of Our Sunday Visitor during the mid-2000s.
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