Greg gave a synopsis of their journey: "It all began with the Rosary Army," he said. The ministry grew out the Willits' desire to encourage people to grow closer to God by meditating on the life of Jesus Christ through the praying of the Rosary. "Our motto is make them, pray them and give them away," he said.
The non-profit organization gained world-wide attention as they developed an audio podcast to share their mission online.
Throughout the process, Greg and Jennifer kept asking themselves, "How can we use our skills to bring other people closer to God?"
They didn't have to wait long for an answer. The audio podcast inspired a video podcast series, "That Catholic Show." Jennifer and Greg developed a series of six minute videos that offered a witty and enlightening insight into Catholic Church practices and a relationship with God. Jennifer and Greg were involved in every part of the production, from writing scripts to filming scenes and even acting. Their efforts paid off as their audience grew. The couple even served on the board of the production company, StarQuest Production Network. Viewers regularly tuned in to see the creative, entertaining and thought provoking shows on the Willits' website, YouTube and even iTunes. In 2006, they received the People's Choice Podcast Award for Best General Podcast.
During this same time period, Greg and Jennifer became involved in the Archdiocese of Atlanta's Eucharistic Congress. Tens of thousands of Catholics from around the country come together each year to celebrate and renew their faith. "We worked with and built a good relationship with the communications committee," said Greg. Last year, the couple hosted the Catholic New Media Celebration in Atlanta.
"God continued to open doors for our ministry," added Greg. The Willit's work and their show's following were noticed by several radio stations. Among them was The Catholic Channel, run by the Archdiocese of New York and produced by Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Last fall, they were flown to New York to record a demo of "The Catholics Next Door." Soon after, the three hour daily show began. Listeners tune into the live broadcast each Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. EST.
"Our show is a forum for us to talk about living out our faith. It serves a vehicle for validating our perspective as Catholics. " On their website, www.gregandjennifer.com, the show is described as "A unique mix of real life and the Catholic faith, Greg and Jennifer's look at the world covers the gamut of family living, from kids to comic books and from fast food to noisy neighbors, with regular attempts at living out their Faith on a daily basis thrown in for good measure."
That view is just what they'll share at next Saturday's Eucharist Congress in Atlanta. The Willits will be keynote speakers. "We want to help others discover how they can use their skills to bring others closer to God."
To find out more about Greg and Jennifer, visit "The Catholics Next Door" at www.gregandjennifer.com, www.sirius.com/thecatholicchannel and www.archatl.com