Catholic upbringing influences script writer’s ‘Blue Bloods’ work

Siobhan Byrne O’Connor enjoys her life as wife to Daniel O’Connor and mother of their three children, ages 12, 8 and 6.

“My children and my family are my greatest joy,” she said. “I have a terrific husband and so I feel like I’ve won some cosmic jackpot.”

She’s also happy in her chosen career as script writer and supervising producer of the popular television series “Blue Bloods.”

Being a devout Catholic in a media world not ordinarily sympathetic to the church presents its own range of challenges; however, Siobhan is personable and competent. She also has a powerful ally in the industry, David Black, creator of “Law and Order,” under whose tutelage she began her career. He recognized and encouraged her talent, and about 18 years ago, suggested I meet this talented newcomer to the world of scriptwriting.

Camille: Siobhan, what is it like for a practicing Catholic to be working in the entertainment industry?
Unfortunately, the Catholic church isn’t held in high regard. The church does so many wonderful things, but most people are unaware of them. It’s becoming acceptable to bash the Catholic church in ways other religions don’t experience. Much of that is a result of the sex scandals and how they were handled and also the negative stereotyping of women religious. Then some Catholics have horror stories about their school experiences. I always insist that mine were just the opposite.

In what ways?
My recollections of Catholic school could not be more different than the widely accepted vision of the nun in black habit brandishing a ruler. I had very kind, socially active, devoted sisters who stayed after school on their own time and for no money to help students who were falling behind. These Amityville Dominicans created “no child left behind.” They went above and beyond not only to teach, but to cater to the students as whole persons. The sisters really helped foster smart, socially conscious individuals. [more]


National  Catholic Reporter