Family Theater Productions, a co-sponsor of the Gabriel Awards, named TV and film actor Eduardo Verastegui as the 2013 recipient of the Gabriel Award for Personal Achievement. The Gabriel Awards, sponsored by the Catholic Academy of Communication Professionals, were held during the Catholic Media Conference in Denver June 19-21. The Gabriel Award for Personal Achievement is presented in memory of Holy Cross priest Servant of God Patrick Peyton and is awarded to an individual who helps brings a deeper appreciation of the dignity of the human spirit and works to strengthen families through radio, TV, and/or film.
Eduardo Verastegui is among the actors and actresses featured in Family Theater’s “Rosary Stars – Praying the Gospel.” The film featured professional athletes and celebrities sharing their inspirational reflections on how they live and pray the Mysteries of the Rosary every day.
Personally, Eduardo is on a mission to only participate in projects that elevate and support his Catholic faith. In 2004, he co-founded the production company, Metanoia Films — Metanoia is the Greek word for conversion. Eduardo says the film company’s mission is to make films that entertain, uplift and above all, respect human dignity. Metanoia Films’ first project, the pro-life feature film “Bella” won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and ranked among the top 10 grossing films of 2007.
Eduardo was born and raised in Xicotencatl, a tiny village in northern Mexico and went to Mexico City at age 18 to pursue a career in entertainment. He enjoyed success as a singer and actor in “telenovelas.” When he got to Hollywood, he enjoyed success as lead actor in 20th Century Fox’s “Chasing Papi,” was featured in episodes of “CSI Miami,” “Charmed,” a Jennifer Lopez music video and was even named one of the “50 Most Beautiful People” by People En Espanol.
Accepting his award from Family Theater’s National Director Fr. Willy Raymond, C.S.C., Eduardo recounted that while he seemed to have it all, there was something deep down that was missing. He credits his English teacher, who was a devout Catholic, with challenging him and reigniting the “spark to his dormant Catholic faith.” Eduardo made a vow that he would no longer accept roles that would compromise his Catholic faith or perpetuated harmful stereotypes of Latinos. The result … Eduardo didn’t work for four years! But his faith in God persevered and Eduardo has been producing and acting in successful films through his company, Metanoia Films, since “Bella” in 2007. Eduardo is also the the founder of Manto de Guadalupe (Mantle of Guadalupe), a non-profit organization that sponsors many programs, including a free medical clinic for pregnant women in Los Angeles.
Fr. Raymond, a long-time member of the Catholic Academy, praised Eduardo and said that he truly exemplifies Fr. Peyton’s memory of enriching society through quality, faith-supporting media.
Family Theater Productions is a ministry of the United States Province sponsored by Holy Cross Family Ministries in North Easton, Mass., which also encompasses Family Rosary and Father Peyton Family Institute.