Arts & Entertainment
Local media company launches with 'ABCatholic'
A local businessman has felt called to use his talents to start a Catholic company selling faith-based media products for children and families.
Zachery Brakefield, a parishioner at St. Michael Church in Gastonia, said he felt called to leave his job at Saint Benedict Press and recently start his own company: Maximilian Media and its children-oriented division of ABCatholic opened its doors May 1.
"I really had the urge. I feel that this is the way God is calling me to follow this path. It's only a month old, and I'm very excited for what we're doing," Brakefield said.
The company is based on the belief that media is an art, and through positive art, society can not only be entertained, but enlightened, he said. With this in mind, ABCatholic's products feature Catholic-specific Christian imagery, characters and themes to entertain and teach children from birth.
The products educate babies and children from the Roman Catholic standpoint, through DVDs, CDs and an upcoming book.
"It's like Baby Einstein (a Disney-owned entertainment products marketed to babies and toddlers) – just a Catholic version," he said. "We're starting out with the basics. Learning to count, teaching ABCs, and we even have a 'Baby Latin' coming out. It's very basic, but really cute.
"My goal is to be able to touch the lives of little kids from the time they are born. That's why I started this age group of products. There's lots of bad media out there, and I want to make a positive impact through media. I wanted to create some good Catholic media, to counter the Hollywood stuff out there."
Local artists and talent contribute to ABCatholic's products, including unique and locally produced hymns on "A Marian Lullaby," an audio CD of peaceful hymns honoring the Blessed Mother. Other products include "Learn to Count" DVD and "Baby Latin," which presents basic Latin, especially targeted toward young children in their language developmental years.
ABCatholic's first product, "My Catholic ABCs," employs bold imagery and bright colors to engage even the youngest Catholics in the Church. The alphabet is presented using traditional letter-word-picture associations such as "A, Angel" and "B, Baptism."
Lissette Yellico, a Catholic homeschool mom, said her children thoroughly enjoy the videos.
"The Catholic imagery and lovely music instruct my little ones as well as entertain them," Yellico said. "I will definitely recommend ABCatholic to all families wanting an edifying alternative to preschool programming."
— Kimberly Bender, online reporter
Online at www.ABCatholic.com: Products available to sample and order. Parents can also download and print free coloring and activity pages for their children.
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