Our Story

How it all started...

Focus Worldwide Network is the exciting new Internet network which will bring family oriented programming consisting of religious, entertaining, informative news and cultural shows to every Catholic. It is in direct response to Pope John Paul II who said, "The means of social communications have become so important that as to be for many the chief means of information and education, of guidance and inspiration in their behavior as individuals, families and within society at large." The pope has repeatedly called upon "God’s faithful people" to use the technological marvels of this age "to serve the human and transcendent vocation of every person and thus to give glory to the Father from Whom all good things come.

Archbishop Hannan

“For the Catholic Church to be absent from TV, is to be absent from the modern world”
— Archbishop Philip Hannan, Founder of Focus TV 
May 20, 1913 - Sept. 29, 2011
Janie Harney and Char Vance, who operated Focus TV for over 30 years, recently announced their retirement. Focus TV, a television evangelization ministry, was located in Covington, Louisiana, north of New Orleans. Archbishop Philip Hannan, who served as the leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans for more than 20 years, founded Focus TV as a way to continue airing his television shows during his retirement. As technology developed, the Focus TV ministry evolved into a major online streaming presence.
According to Harney, the archbishop’s desire was for Focus TV to grow into a station similar to EWTN. But Vance immediately realized the potential the internet gave to the media ministry and committed resources to broadcasting through streaming services. Although Archbishop Hannan’s dream did not materialize in the manner that he envisioned, according to Harney, he slowly began to understand the significance of the internet in reaching a global audience.
Harney and Vance explained that at the time of their retirement, Focus TV was broadcasting throughout the world in places like Europe and Asia. Harney recalls in amusement that the archbishop was not tech-savvy, noting that he frequently requested a typewriter, specifically an IBM Selectric. As for the two computers Focus TV had available for him, Archbishop Hannan never used either. The manner in which Focus TV obtained worldwide recognition was initially beyond the archbishop’s imagination. But Archbishop Hannan believed deeply in Focus TV’s mission, as did Harney and Vance, and he did not stand in Vance’s way as she brought Focus TV to streaming services. When Archbishop Hannan passed away on September 29, 2011, Harney and Vance knew that they had to continue the archbishop’s commitment.
In their full-time roles with Focus TV, Harney and Vance placed a special emphasis on the Blessed Mother in salvation history. Over twenty years ago when they were on a special pilgrimage to St. Sister Faustina’s canonization, Harney and Vance met Guy Murphy, a Chicago-based chemical engineer who leads the Totally Yours Pilgrimages. The pilgrimage included a visit to Medjugorje, the site of apparitions of the Blessed Mother. Like Vance, who after visiting Medjugorje in 1987, was miraculously healed of five breaks in her leg and a completely-crushed ankle, Murphy said a pilgrimage there in 1989 led him to a deep conversion. And also similar to Harney and Vance, Murphy has a deep connection to Medjugorje, having visited the site of the Marian apparitions more than 85 times. Murphy feels as though a visit to Medjugorje is like a return home to be with your mother, and that it is the way to Jesus Christ through Mary.

Where we are headed...

Therefore, upon their retirement, Harney and Vance realized that, in light of their mutual commitment to the Blessed Mother, it was a natural fit to pass the ministry onto Murphy. Working from his home near Chicago, it is Murphy’s intent to continue Archbishop Hannan’s commitment to the media evangelization ministry. With the transition, the name has been changed from Focus TV to Focus on the Immaculate Heart. The name was selected because Harney, Vance, and Murphy believe that we are in the time of “the triumph of the Immaculate Heart in the world.” Murphy explains that this is a time when we love Jesus in the simple and natural manner that a mother loves her child, fully dedicating our whole heart, mind, body, and soul. We go to Jesus through the help of Mary.
It is Murphy’s hope to continue the good work that Harney and Vance were able to create through Focus TV. But he has a few new ideas for the evangelization ministry as well. Murphy sees an important role for the Focus on the Immaculate Heart website, www.focustvonline.com, which he believes will allow the ministry to offer spiritual programs, workshops, and the testimonies of those who have had their lives changed through their relationships with God in addition to the rich programming legacy Focus TV left in his care. Vance continues to bring her enormous talent to Focus on the Immaculate Heart on a voluntary basis.