Inspired by my post last week on Donna D’Errico, of Baywatch and Playboy fame, my former Franciscan University classmate and Ignitum Today columnist Jared Q. Tomanek interviewed D’Errico to get more of her story.
Jared talks to her at some length about her new devotion to exploration, in particular as regards her much-publicized search for Noah’s Ark and the documentary she’s been making about another seeker of the Ark who disappeared in 2010. D’Errico speaks glowingly of her change in status. After being interviewed on Good Morning America about her search for the Ark, she was stunned to be headlined as an “explorer.” ”I’m so used to being referred to as an actress, former Baywatch ‘babe’, etc.,” she said, “that I was caught off-guard. It’s nice to be recognized as an explorer.”
When Jared asks her to tell more about her Catholic faith, she offers an even deeper insight than we saw in the Fox News interview that was the basis of my original post:
JQ Tomanek: The Catholic grapevine heard you pray the Rosary everyday with your children. Please explain your process and how you accomplish such a great goal. I know many Catholic parents seek or tried (pointing my figure over at myself) that out as a goal but fall short.
Donna D’Errico: We pray the Rosary along with our evening prayers every night as a family before bed. There’s no coercion; it’s just part of our routine by now. At 19, my son is certainly no child. But he never skips evening prayers. It strengthens us as a family.
JQ Tomanek: Ok, an easy one. Who is your favorite saint?
Donna D’Errico: Saint Monica.
JQ Tomanek: I have noticed you wear a brown Scapular. Is there a particular reason you have a devotion to this sacramental?
Donna D’Errico: I was enrolled in the Brown Scapular years ago, and have never removed it since.
JQ Tomanek: To end our interview, I would like to ask a question for our feminine audience. Our culture sends us many messages of false hope. Many of our readers are young Catholic women that struggle with many of today’s social problems like self-esteem, eating disorders, being objectified, etc. What are some good ways to stay the course and hold onto the Faith in today’s troubled waters?
Donna D’Errico: Pray the Rosary every day. Attend Mass every Sunday. Go to Confession regularly. If you do these things, you will be able to withstand and get through anything. I know what it’s like to be led astray and fall into a life of sin. I know how easy that is. I’ve lived it. I also know what it’s like to come back.
To me, this is an unflinching and incredibly impressive testimony. D’Errico still works in the TV and Film industry, which is not known for being particularly hospitable to believers. It is such a rarity to see someone with such a high public profile make such an authentic appeal for Catholicism.