Successful Producer Devoted to Evangelization

By Marc Massery

Having worked for popular channels like MTV, VH1, and Discovery, Mario Costabile of Hillsdale, New Jersey, has enjoyed decades of success running his own video and music production company.

Amidst his success, he managed to raise his children Catholic while neglecting his own Catholic faith. But a reversion late in his life remedied that. "I was kind of just going through the motions, like many people do," he said. "But then there were some things that happened that made me look hard at who God was, and I knew I needed to make some changes."

He started to learn more about the Sacraments and the teachings of the Church and began going to daily Mass. "That was a pivotal moment in my life -receiving that daily grace. Over a period of time, it was a complete 180-degree turn," he said.

During this reversion, he took an opportunity to produce music for a Christian band, which brought him to Nashville. There, he met other Christian artists like Casting Crowns, Mercy Me, and Amy Grant.

"I spent time with them, worshiped with them, got to know their hearts. I was very impressed with not only how devout they were but their ability musically," he said. "Since I'm a musician and a content creator, I was very impressed with the quality."

Thinking about his success in secular media, Mario had an overwhelming inclination that God was asking him to help the Catholic Church evangelize through quality music and media. So, Mario founded his own non-profit Catholic media company, Array of Hope, intending to produce quality Catholic music and video to reach the youngest generation.

"We created a two-and-a-half-hour multimedia concert event that evangelizes the various components of our faith," he said. "I discovered that the greatest tool to evangelize is live witness and sharing stories. That combined with music and film was a grand slam, and we started to convert hearts."

Mario and Array of Hope also teamed up with the late Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, to create a 13-part series on Fatima called "Fatima Gems," which Mario says explains the meaning of Our Lady's apparitions at Fatima in terms anyone can understand.

"I knew very little about Our Lady's apparitions. But the Lord put me in touch with Fr. Andrew, and I felt the Lord saying to me, 'You need to know My mother.' I was deeply moved; I had never really had a relationship with Our Lady," he said.

Since producing that series, Mario has consecrated his non-profit to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In fact, every day together, Mario and his employees recite the consecration prayer to Our Lady found in the book 33 Days to Morning Glory, by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC.

"Doing the Lord's will and work is so deeply fulfilling. My life is completely changed," he said. "What I was doing in the business world, in the secular world, relying on myself and stressing about whatever it is, finances and projects - now there are still worries, but it's different. You give that worry to our Lord."

After his own reversion, Mario was disappointed to realize how few Catholics understand the importance of Marian devotion. "The ordinary Catholic is often disengaged from the importance of who Our Lady is," he said. "Who would not want the Mother of Christ, the Mother of God, to be our ally, to stand by our side and advocate on our behalf?"

Mario hopes that "Fatima Gems," which can be viewed on the Catholic media library, conveys this sentiment. "I really tried to make it relevant to the culture today," he said.

For several years, Mario and Array of Hope have enjoyed helping Catholic youth come to a better appreciation of Mary and the Sacraments through media.

"Our culture today, we have an attention span of five seconds. We have to be good at understanding our customer to retain the business," he said. "It's not any different with engaging Catholics that are already disengaged. We have to be that much more creative when getting in front of them. If they see poor quality, corny graphics, or things that are not up to their standards, they'll disengage in a matter of seconds. Our competition is the secular media."

Mario believes that the message of our Catholic faith is profound, but we need to convey it better. He says, "We at Array of Hope feel that we need to share our faith in a contemporary and relevant way in order to capture and transform hearts.

"We have the Sacraments. We have the traditions of the Church," he said. "When people come back [to the Church], there is so much for them to be fulfilled. It's deep, rooted content. That's what our mission is here at Array of Hope, to draw people back to the Church into a deeper relationship with Christ.


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