By Francesca Norsen Tate
New Evangelization Television (NET-TV)’s Emmy-Award winning series “City of Churches” resumes next week. Its new host is Brooklyn born-and-raised Anthony Mangano. NET is a branch of DeSales Media Group, the communications arm of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.
“City of Churches” focuses on parishes in and around the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and celebrates their place in local history. It’s a unique type of documentary program that explores the variety of church architecture in our city from a historic context. The church building is really the star of each episode. The significance of how these churches originated, why they were built, their artistic treasures and relics, plus the vital relationship with their surrounding communities sheds light on the legacy of Brooklyn’s Catholic people.
Host Anthony Mangano is authentically Brooklyn born and raised. Many will recognize Mangano from his roles on mainstream TV and in feature films. He portrayed Detective Mike Grey on “Bluebloods,” Officer Ed Laughlin on “NYPD Blue” and Anthony currently plays Detective Kane on the hit series “Person of Interest,” starring Jim Caviezel.
His motion picture credits include “Inside Man,” “The Dictator,” “Point Break,” “Raising Helen” and “The Family,” a comedy by Robert DeNiro. Mangano was bitten by the show-business bug at an early age because his father was the popular romantic singer Tony Mann. While Anthony enjoys acting, he also loves to sing and paid tribute to his dad when he portrayed him in “Heart and Soul,” a short film about Tony Mann’s nightclub career. The film was well received, winning several media awards and much well-deserved praise.
However, it is his Catholic foundation that gives Mangano joy. Raised in Park Slope, he attended St. John the Evangelist Catholic Parish and school, where he served as an altar boy.
“The most memorable moments of my life are growing up in Brooklyn, being an altar boy and going to Catholic school,” says Mangano. “My new role as host of City of Churches is especially close to my heart because we’re sharing the beauty and joy of God’s presence in Brooklyn.”
In the first 2014 City of Churches episode, which airs Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. Anthony takes viewers to his historic neighborhood and childhood parish. TimeWarner Channel 97 and Cablevision Channel 30 carry NET-TV. City of Churches is also broadcast nationally on Verizon FiOS On Demand, which includes the Top 10 markets of Baltimore, Boston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. To watch on Verizon FiOS, select the “Religion” folder, then “NET Catholic.”