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Award-winning Documentary Re-released in HD on PBS Stations

BERNARDIN, the Gabriel-award winning documentary film that tells the dramatic story of Chicago’s Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, returns to PBS stations in November. The rebroadcast coincides with the 15th anniversary of his death on November 14, 1996. bernardin

Joseph Cardinal Bernardin was born the son of Italian immigrants and rose to become the ranking Catholic leader during a time of significant change in the American Catholic Church. He is honored as a “reconciler” but may be best remembered when, as the Cardinal of Chicago, he was accused of sexual misconduct by a former seminarian. On the Friday morning when the Cardinal knew the accusation was to be made public in a press conference, he prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, as he usually did. He felt he was being called to his own Way of the Cross, and thus to his own living of the Mysteries. Despite the media frenzy, Bernardin calmly denied the charges. The accuser later recanted and the Cardinal forgave his accuser further enhancing his reputation as a man of peace.

However, the accusations and trial-by-media took a physical toll on the Cardinal, and, not long after, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

During his health struggle, President William Clinton bestowed on Bernardin the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor awarded to a US citizen.

When Joseph Bernardin died at the age of 68 on November 14,1996, thousands of people, Catholic and non-Catholic, braved the Chicago cold lining the streets to say goodbye.

BERNARDIN is a joint production of Family Theater Productions and Journey/Frost Productions. For more information please visit our website:

Or if you’d like to purchase a copy of this DVD please visit our online store: