The Faithful Traveler: Exploring the California Missions
The Faithful Traveler: Exploring the California Missions
A travel series exploring the history, tradition, and spiritual significance behind all 21 of the California Missions
A travel series exploring the history, tradition, and spiritual significance behind all 21 of the California Missions Read more
About this project
“These buildings and the men who gave them life, especially their spiritual father, Junípero Serra, are reminders of an age of discovery and exploration. The missions are the result of a conscious moral decision made by people of faith in a situation that presented many human possibilities, both good and bad, with respect to the future of this land and its native peoples. It was a decision rooted in a love of God and neighbour. It was a decision to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ at the dawn of a new age, which was extremely important for both the European settlers and the Native Americans..” --Pope St. John Paul II
THE FAITHFUL TRAVELER: EXPLORING THE CALIFORNIA MISSIONS will be a 10-13 episode travel television series, produced in both English and Spanish, that will explore and tell the history behind all 21 of California's historic missions in high definition. Starting in San Diego and traveling up the coast all the way to Sonoma, near San Francisco, the show's host, Diana von Glahn, will present the history of the creation of these missions in a fun and informative way that will inspire viewers to visit the missions themselves.
Beginning in 1769 with the first mission in San Diego, the Franciscan missionary Father Junipero Serra built the Missions with the dual goals of establishing Spain's foothold in California and introducing the Catholic faith to the Native Americans living in that land. Today, most of California's missions still operate as churches, but their beauty and historic significance attract visitors from far and wide of all or no faith backgrounds.
In January 2015, Pope Francis announced that he would be canonizing Blessed Father Junipero Serra in September of 2015 on his first visit to the United States. We would love to be able to produce this series in time for the canonization, to provide people around the world with a well-produced, high definition series that tells the story of Father Serra's adventures, as well as the unique and fascinating history behind the missions that he built and inspired.
We have contacted all 21 of the Missions, as well as every diocese and archdiocese in California to let them know about our project and to ask for their prayers and help, and we've gotten some great feedback and excitement! We've begun researching the missions and planning our filming expeditions. We've made a budget, a list of interviewees, and started to make plans for what to do with our dog, Nemo, when we're gone.
Because we both have full-time jobs, we'll have to produce this series on our vacation, so we plan on breaking the filming up into two blocks of two weeks. Your generous donation will help support the following:
- Travel expenses: airfare to and from California, car rental and gas, hotels and food
- Filming fees and Insurance
- Equipment needs
- Post Production: music and image licensing, graphic design work, sound clean-up
- Research costs: books and DVDs
The Faithful Traveler is a unique travel series for television that takes viewers to some of the most amazing Catholic sacred sites around the world. Hosted by Diana von Glahn, the series explores the history, tradition, and spiritual significance behind each location in a joyful and spirited manner. No other travel series combines the majesty of the world’s sacred sites with a down-to-earth explanation of their religious aspects and is simultaneously entertaining and enlightening.
- The Faithful Traveler in the United States: East Coast Shrines: Thirteen half-hour episodes featuring some of the most historic and awe-inspiring shrines on the East Coast, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and New York. Premiered on EWTN March 2010.
- The Faithful Traveler in the Holy Land: Six half-hour episodes featuring the sacred sites in Israel and Bethlehem. Premiered on EWTN February 2014.
- Untitled Special on Pope Francis’ Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in May 2014: Sponsored by the Israel Ministry of Tourism and Jordan Tourism Board. Anticipated release: May 2015.
- The Faithful Traveler in Portugal: Filmed in October 2014, this series explores the sacred sites throughout Portugal. Anticipated release: Spring 2015.
- Untitled series of shorts featuring Catholic historic sites in Philadelphia: Anticipated release: August/Sept 2015 for the World Meeting of Families.
Diana von Glahn is the creative force behind The Faithful Traveler, as the show’s writer, host, second cameraperson, editor, and producer. As the series’ entertaining and vivacious host, Diana imbues The Faithful Traveler with an exuberance that attracts viewers of all ages and backgrounds and makes them excited to join her on her travels. She is a lifelong Catholic who uses her knowledge of her faith, her English and legal degrees, and the marketing and publicity skills she has honed in the last seventeen years as a book editor in trade and professional publishing markets in all of her roles with The Faithful Traveler. Diana received a BA in English at Pepperdine University and a JD from the University of Notre Dame Law School. She has been a book editor since 1998, and currently edits books for a publisher in New York City.
David von Glahn is the director and lead cameraman for The Faithful Traveler. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Telecommunications, and he brings his expertise with film and television and his business and marketing acumen developed over the last twenty-two years in the world of publishing and non-profits. As a convert to Catholicism, David brings the inquisitive perspective of a non-Catholic to the series. He heads up video development and training and e-learning productions for a large, international nonprofit society.
While there have been a few DVD programs and specials on the California Missions, many of these were filmed in standard definition, making viewing them on today’s high definition televisions less than ideal.
The Faithful Traveler is the only travel series on television, DVD, and online that looks at travel through the lens of faith. Furthermore, Diana’s infectious enthusiasm and love for her faith has imbued The Faithful Traveler with a lively and energetic feel that is missing in earlier produced series. The Faithful Traveler appeals to Catholics and non-Catholics alike in that it engages on a non-religious level, while simultaneously addressing Catholic tradition and teachings.
No other series contains these elements—high definition presentation, faith-filled look at history, and Diana’s enthusiasm and joy.
Filming and producing a 10-13 episode series in five months is ambitious, but the timing is right and with your help, we know we can make this project happen!
Please help us spread the word about THE FAITHFUL TRAVELER: EXPLORING THE CALIFORNIA MISSIONS, and please keep us in your prayers!
For more information, to watch our previous two series, read Diana's blog, or look at photos from our travels, visit our website, www.thefaithfultraveler.com.
Stock Photography by jejim, littleny, Ken Wolter, and RCPPHOTO, from Shutterstock.com.
Stock footage by Rick Ray, Fotosearch Footage, Shawn Riley, and Atomazul, from Shutterstock.com.Stock Music by Bensound.All other footage and photos copyright The Faithful Traveler, LLC
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we face is funding. That's why we're reaching out to you! We've got an excited community that would love to see the story of the California Missions told in a fun, inspiring manner. We just need the funds to make its creation possible.
Weather is always an issue in film productions, but we hope to be filming in California in April-June, so the odds of extreme weather are slim. Earthquakes, on the other hand...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (45 days)