Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2012, 9:00 am
TV producer bringing her message to Q-C
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By Leon Lagerstam, firstname.lastname@example.org
DAVENPORT -- The reality of God's existence helped a reality TV producer rediscover her faith.
Christina Georgotas, 27, of Ridgewood, N.J., combined those realities to film her first documentary, titled ''Queen of Peace,'' a historical account of Virgin Mary sightings in Medjugorje, a village inBosnia-Herzegovina.
The Blessed Virgin reportedly has appeared to six visionaries over the past 31 years, and more than 40 million people have flocked to the site, including some led by Greg Hansen, of Davenport.
Mr. Hansen, described by Miss Georgotas as a ''generous, good-hearted person that Our Lady must be looking at with a smile on her face,'' persuaded the young filmmaker to share her story and documentary at a 6:30 p.m. program Sunday, at Holy Family Church, 1923 Fillmore St., Davenport.
Refreshments will be served after the video to be shown on a large projection screen with a high quality sound system.
The free event, sponsored by the church's Legion of Mary, will include a drawing for a free trip to Medjugorje to someone who never has visited it before, Mr. Hansen said.
First hearing about Medjugorje in 2008 and visiting it in 2010 led Ms. Georgotas to ''experience a conversion,'' she said. ''I had fallen away from my faith, but on Oct. 12, 2008, it struck me that God did exist.
''Like a lot of people in high school, I had started to question my belief, and started to doubt there even was a God,'' she said.
A YouTube video -- ''Medjugorje: Are You Listening, No. 5" -- that her mother showed her had a huge impact on her life conversion.
Mother and daughter visited the village on June 24, 2010, the first anniversary of Miss Georgotas' father's death.
"When I first got to Medjugorje, I was in shock that I was actually there,'' Miss Georgotas said. ''It was the most peaceful place I've ever been in my life, so it was incredible from that standpoint alone.''
She also made her first confession there as an adult, which she said gave her an equally incredible feeling.
''After I went to Medjugorje, I knew I wanted to do something to share what I had seen and felt,'' Miss Georgotas said. ''None of my friends had heard of it before, which, in this day and age of being able to know everything that's going on in the world at the push of a button, I found was surprising.''
So she decided to put her reality TV experience to use to film the ''Queen of Peace'' documentary.
Miss Georgotas has worked as a personal assistant, associate producer, creative producer and creative executive at Milojo Productions, which is owned by actress Kelly Ripa and her husband, Mark Consuelos.
The experience featured some amazing opportunities, such as selling a show called ''Homemade Millionaires'' to the TLC network in her first year as a creative executive, Miss Georgotas said.
Other shows she's had a hand in included ''Masters of Reception,'' ''Jersey Cheer'' and ''BBQ Pitmasters.''
'"But as I look back now and see the amazing progression I made, I see God's hand in the whole process,'' Miss Georgotas said. ''I would have never been able to make this documentary if it hadn't been for all those opportunities, both in terms of experience and financially.''
She's never been to Iowa or the Quad-Cities before, but looks forward to visiting and explaining ''my personal experiences and why I decided to make the film,'' she said.
''A lot of what I plan to talk about is why Medjugorje is important, and what Our Lady has been telling us.She is preparing us for something really big. We don't know what it is, but she is preparing us for whatever is to come, and we have to listen.''
The Virgin Mary's main message is a call to prayer, ''not just with our words, but with our hearts,'' Miss Georgotas said. ''She calls us to go to confession and grow in our faith, and she calls us to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. She calls us to go to Holy Mass, and to read the Bible, and she calls us to convert our hearts and bring them back to God.''
It's an incredible miracle that Our Lady is appearing, and that her apparitions have continued for so long and have reached such enormous proportions, Miss Georgotas said.
''Whether or not you believe Our Lady is appearing, I would ask everyone to come and listen with an open mind,'' she said. ''If there's even a remote possibility in peoples' minds of this actually happening, why won't you at least come and see.''