Three men studying for the priesthood at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity will appear at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 22, on “The American Bible Challenge,” a Game Show Network program that tests contestants’ knowledge of Scripture.
The seminarians, the only Catholics among the show’s 54 contestants, are Deacon Marc Paveglio of Palmyra, Penn., Chad VanHoose of South Shore, Ky., and Mark Pavlak of Minneapolis.
Thursday’s episode is the first of “The American Bible Challenge’s” third season. The seminarians traveled to California for the competition last November, and are contractually obligated to not talk about how they did until their segments are aired on television.
A friend of VanHoose works for the show’s casting company and encouraged him to form a team and audition. They “trained” for several months, sometimes with the help of Jeff Cavins. Creator of “The Great Adventure: A Journey Through the Bible,” Cavins had directed a catechetical institute at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity and recently became director of evangelization for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Contestants on the program don’t try to win money for themselves, but for a charity of their choice. The Sons of Thunder played for NET Ministries, a retreat ministry for young Catholics that is based in West St. Paul.
The program’s website described the seminarians this way:
“Nicknamed ‘The Sons of Thunder,’ these young athletic guys are not your stereotypical priests-in-training!! They work hard, pray hard, and play hard! Because they live exciting yet wholesome lives, they are great role models for their charity, NET Ministries.
“NET Ministries is a Catholic organization that holds retreats for young people across America, teaching them about faith in Jesus and virtuous living in a positive, encouraging environment. Chad works closely with NET because he attended retreats as a teenager and served full-time with NET for six years after college.”
This online channel finder can help you find the local television channel for the program.
The School of Divinity, created through a 1987 affiliation of the St. Paul Seminary and the then-College of St. Thomas, today enrolls men who are studying for the priesthood and lay men and women preparing for service in the church.