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Pope John Paul II to be beatified May 1

 

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The Vatican - A Beautifyul coffee table book showing everyday life in the Vatican

A beautiful coffee table book showing everyday life in the Vatican

Vatican, in promoting values-based movies, states that young people can learn from movies "...how dangerous hatred is, how unacceptable racism is, how destructive religious ignorance is," and reminded us that the Catholic Church "...is always on the side of the weak and the forgotten.  Movies have "...been able to give a voice to many who have been rejected."

Vatican, in keeping with the Church's historical sponsorship of art, will have a pavilion at the 2011 Venice Bienniale International Contemporary Art Festival. "We are reminded of the urgent need for a renewed dialogue between aesthetics and ethics, between beauty, truth, and goodness not only by contemporary cultural and artistic debate, but also by daily reality," said Pope Benedict XVI.

"Designed to be used in the confessional, this app is the perfect aid for every penitent. With a personalized examination of conscience for each user, password protected profiles, and a step-by-step guide to the sacrament, this app invites Catholics to prayerfully prepare for and participate in the Rite of Penance. Individuals who have been away from the sacrament for some time will find Confession: A Roman Catholic App to be a useful and inviting tool." - Little iApps

"Semanarian," a painting by Jean Prachinetti from the art book, The Catholic Priest - Image of Christ through Fifteen Centuries of Art, by Edizioni Cantagalli

"Semanarian," a painting by Jean Prachinetti from the book, The Catholic Priest - Image of Christ through Fifteen Centuries of Art, by Edizioni Cantagalli

The entire collection of the of the Actae Sanctae Sedis (A.S.S.) and the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (A.A.S.)/Acts of the Holy See from 1865 to 2007

Father Gabriele Amorth, President of the Association of Exorcists, has been the Holy See's chief exorcist for 25 years and has performed over 70,000 exorcisms.  "The Devil resides in the Vatican and you can see the consequences. [The Christmas Eve attack on the pope, priest abuse scandals] He can remain hidden or speak in different languages or even appear to be sympathetic.  At times he makes fun of me.  But I'm a man who is happy in his work."  Father Amorth describes someone possessed by the devil: "From their mouths anything can come out – pieces of iron as long as a finger but also rose petals.  When the possessed dribble and slobber and need cleaning up, I do that too. Seeing people vomit doesn't bother me. The exorcist has one principal duty - to free human beings from the fear of the Devil."  Father Amorth said that the 1973 movie The Exorcist is "substantially exact."

Ecce Homo/Behold the Man

Ecce Homo/Behold the Man
Sculpture by Gregorio Fernandez

The Sacred Made Real an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D. C. from February 28 until May 31 consisting of 22 sculptures and paintings from 17th-century Spain realistically portraying Jesus, Mary, and the saints.

The Diocese of Bridgeport [Connecticut] is holding its Second Annual Confession Campaign.  During Lent all 87 parish churches will be open from 7:00 P. M. to 9:00 P. M. to hear confessions.

The Vatican Observatory is launching an iPhone App.  The App will have images of space and Vatican sites as well as daily and weekly audio and video inspirational and devotional content with bonus transcripts, scripture references, and insightful commentary by Father Michael Manning.  The Vatican Observatory, with observatories in Rome and in Arizona in the U. S., was founded by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582.

"Join Father Peter Vasko, OFM, on a pilgrimage of faith: These pilgrimages exploring the Holy Land will provide an opportunity to open a new chapter in your own faith journey and your own response to God's generous grace.  Now is the time to reach out in support of our Palestinian Christians.  Your presence can make a difference. For information or ro receive a brochure call toll free (866) 905-3787.

The Church Heritage Museum  Vilnius Lithuania

The Church Heritage Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania, in Saint Michael the Archangel Church, is located at Sv. Mykolo Street 9.  The museum's collection of monstrances, paintings, and sculptures were supposed to be sent to Moscow during communism but was hidden instead.  Saint Michael's was used as the Museum of Architecture during the Soviet era. 

Simpsons

The Simpsons

Referring to The Simpsons television show, the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, wrote, "serious analysts praise the realism and intelligence of its scripts."

Israel is refusing to return to the Catholic Church the room on Mount Zion in which the Last Supper was held

Israel is refusing to return to the Catholic Church the room on Mount Zion in which the Last Supper was held

"Jazz represents freedom - freedom musically and politically," said Catholic Jazz musician Dave Brubeck who was made famous by Time Out.

Alma Mata Pope Benedict XVI Christmas CD

Alma Mater

Pope Benedict XVI's Christmas CD

The Archbishop of Charm by Robert Kolker in the September 28, 2009, issue of New York Magazine is an article about Archbishop Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York.  In the article, Archbishop Dolan tells how Pope Paul VI gave him a rosary to give to his parents "to thank them for giving their son to the Church."  Archbishop Dolan said his mother keeps the rosary safe in her purse, "...right next to the lottery ticket."  Archbishop Dolan:  "God made me with a particular soft spot for a martini."

 True Compass A Memoir by Senator Ted Kennedy

True Compass: A Memoir by Senator Ted Kennedy was started five years before his death and completed just before he died.

Mary Queen of Scots Letter Written hours before her execution

Letter written in French by Mary Queen of Scots to Henry III of France at 2:00 A. M. before her execution at Fotheringhay Castle in Northampshire near Oundle, England, at 8:00 A.M. on February 8, 1587, will be on display at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh for one week beginning September 15.  "Tonight, after dinner, I have been advised of my sentence: I am to be executed like a criminal at eight in the morning. I have not had time to give you a full account of everything that has happened, but if you will listen to my doctor and my other unfortunate servants, you will learn the truth, and how, thanks be to God, I scorn death and vow that I meet it innocent of any crime."

Chief of Vatican restoration, Maurizio De Luca, upon completion of the restoration of Michelangelo's frescoes in the Pauline Chapel, and upon examining The Crucifixion of Saint Peter, said that nobody could say with absolute certainty, but it is his opinion that the face of the man on the horse is a self portrait of Michelangelo.

Actors Alan Alda and Jon Voight returned to Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York, to honor Father Bernard McMahon, their former drama teacher.

The relics of 39 saints, including Saint Benedict, was found at the British Museum in London inside a 12th century German portable altar which became part of the collection of the British Museum in 1902 but was not opened until now.

The New York Public Library has received a gift from publisher Marilena Ferrari of what is said to be the world's most expensive book 20 of which have sold for $100,000.  It is a 62-pound, handwritten, marble and velvet book which took  Italian scribes six months to create and depicts the life of Michelangelo.  The book will be on display at the New York Public Library's main branch at 42nd Street.  The publisher wants to bring back appreciation for the written book which she believes is being lost due to the internet.

DVD - Rosary Stars Praying the Gospel

DVD Rosary Stars Praying the Gospel

21 celebrities recite the rosary and meditations

This movie dramatizes the everyday practical problems citizens face in the Holy Land.  Because this Golan Heights/Israeli-passport bride is marrying a Syrian, she will never be able to visit her birth family again because once she crosses the border from her home in the disputed territory of the Golan Heights - which both Syria and Israel claim - to mainland Syria, she will never be able to return to visit her family because of passport stamps - neither Israel or Syria allows people with the other's passport stamp to enter.  Movie is in Arabic, English, and Hebrew.

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire Director Danny DoyleOscar-winning Best Picture of the Year Slumdog Millionaire's Best Director of the Year, British Irish Catholic Danny Doyle applied to a seminary but was told by a priest that he did not have a calling.  "Whether he was saving me from the priesthood or saving the priesthood from me, I don't know.  But quite soon after, I started doing drama."  China is allowing Slumdog Millionaire to be seen in its movie theaters.  Only 20 foreign movies a year are allowed into China.

Priests - singing group

Priests

The priests (from left to right) Father Martin O'Hagan, his brother Father Eugene O'Hagan, and their school chum, Father David Delargy, are priests in the Northern Ireland Diocese of Down and Connor.  The priests signed a £1MM contract with Sony BMG's Epic Records.

Three singing Irish priests

Priests

CNS
Vatican on YouTube

Vatican on YouTube

Louis Gossett, Jr. received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Catholics in Media Associates for his 50 years of personal and professional achievement.  Among Mr. Gossett's movies and performances are:  An Officer and a Gentleman, A Raisin in the Sun, Roots, Sadat, Iron Eagle, series, Travels with My Aunt, Toy Soldiers and The Deep. Lou Gosset founded the Eracism Foundation ”whose mission is the eradication all forms of racism by providing programs that foster cultural diversity, historical enrichment, education and antiviolence initiatives."  Responding to the award, Mr. Gossett remarks: “This is a gratifying moment for me, and I am humbled by this award. I believe the gift of acting is from God, my oath to God, and I want to make sure on a daily basis that it is honed and deeply spiritual. I want to believe that the audience believes my acting comes from this special place.”

Catholics in Media Associates Film Award was given to the movie Doubt.  Screenwriter John Patrick Shanley responded,  "I have been fortunate in the uniformly positive reactions I have received from the Catholic community to Doubt, and I am gratified beyond words. American Catholicism has shown itself to be generous and robust in its embrace of new ways of looking at the Catholic experience.”



Stations of the Cross by St. Alphonsus featuring Liam Neeson

Praying the Way of the Cross featuring Liam Neesom

Stations of the Cross by Saint Alphonsus

1. Introduction: The Way of the Cross
Song: The Passion of Jesus Christ (Instrumental)
2. Song: To Jesus in His Passion
3. Way of the Cross, Station One
4. Way of the Cross, Station Two
5. Way of the Cross, Station Three
6. Way of the Cross, Station Four
7. Way of the Cross, Station Five
8. Way of the Cross, Station Six
9. Way of the Cross, Station Seven
10. Way of the Cross, Station Eight
11. Way of the Cross, Station Nine
12. Way of the Cross, Station Ten
13. Way of the Cross, Station Eleven
14. Way of the Cross, Station Twelve
15. Way of the Cross, Station Thirteen
16. Way of the Cross, Station Fourteen
Song: Stabat Mater Dolorosa (Sorrowful Mother, Gregorian Chant)
17. Song: To Jesus in His Passion, Part 2 (Instrumental)

New England Patriots quarterbackTom Brady and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen were married on February 26, 2009, at Saint Monica Church in Santa Monica, California.  This is the church where Bing Crosby was filmed in the movie Going My Way.

L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's newspaper, celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' White Album.  "Forty years later this album remains a type of magical musical anthology: 30 songs you can go through and listen to at will certain of finding some pearls that even today remain unparalleled.  With rock songs like Back in the U.S.S.R. and Helter Skelter, ballads like Julia and Blackbird, and dreamlike pieces like Dear Prudence, the album represents the creative summit of the Beatles' career."

Archbishop John Myers of the Diocese of Newark said comedian Bill Maher misled Our Lady of Mercy Church in Park Ridge, New Jersey, when he asked permission to film in the church by stating that he wanted to film his Jewish mother in Our Lady of Mercy because the church was a big part of her life being married to a Catholic who attended Our Lady of Mercy.  Instead Bill Maher used the filming to mock religion in the movie Religulous.

American Bible Society presented Pope Benedict XVI with the Biblia Polyglotta, a multilingual bible in which the different texts are displayed in parallel columns. The Biblia Polyglotta features the Old Testament in five languages: Aramaic, Greek, Latin, English and Spanish; and the New Testament in four languages: Greek, Latin, English and Spanish.

Catholic reviews of Paul Newman's movies

Regis Philbin, Martin Scorsese, and George Carlin attended Cardinal Hayes High School in The Bronx in New York City.

Chant - Music For Paradise

Chant - Music For Paradise
 Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz

Capuchin Brother Cesare Bonizzi in Milan, Italy, is the lead singer for a heavy-metal band called Brother Metal. "I was overwhelmed and amazed by the sheer energy of it.  I do it to convert people to life, to undersand life, to grab hold of life."

Movie

Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'Tis/Welcome to the Sticks

Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'Tis/Welcome to the Sticks

"This is a comedy that is directed at exposing French prejudices among communities that live in separate regions of France.  It is poised to become the most successful French film ever released in France.  It brings touches of French lightness, warmth, and comic flair that leave you feeling much the better for having seen it."

Rating: Rated M (coarse language)

Peter W. Sheehan, Associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting.

Good Night and God Bless

Good Night & God Bless Volume 1:  A Guide to Convent & Monastery Accomodation in Europe Volume One - Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, by Trish Clark is a beautifully presented and well organised book opening the door on religious hideaways throughout Europe that offer good value accommodation and heartfelt hospitality to tourists and pilgrims alike.  - Marjorie Lewis-Jones, Insights

Route 66

Route 66

What did Catholic ex-Beattle Sir Paul McCartney do for his 66th birthday?  He got his kicks on Route 66 - something he'd always wanted to do.  Sir Paul drove a 1989 green Ford Bronco along the fabled 2,448 mile Route 66 from Illinois to California camping most of the way.  Route 66 was the road taken from Illinois to California before the interstate highway system was built.  Along Route 66, Sir Paul stopped in local shops and talked to people he met just as any tourist would as long as no pictures were taken, (He did ask locals to take pictures of him with his camera), and it was universally agreed that Sir Paul was a gentleman without hubris. When Paul McCartney stopped into Record Rack in Amarillo, Texas, owner Don Dunavin told Sir Paul that he named his son Jude after the Beatles song Hey Jude, whereupon Sir Paul played his harmonica for Jude.  "Jude was smiling.  It was such an incredible moment," said his proud dad.  It seems a favorite of Sir Paul's along Route 66 was a souvenir shop named Things in Tucumcari, New Mexico, which had zany items.  By advance request, John Burros of Nonna's Restaurant in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, prepared a meatless quiche Lorraine for the vegetarian Sir Paul, saying, "I guess now the only person bigger to cook for is the pope!" 

Movie

Oldsmobile's Bonneville

"The Bonneville of the title is a 1966 automobile, one of those massive V8 convertibles that defined American cars in the days when petrol was a pittance. It is driven by three women on an odyssey from Pocatello Idaho to California to deliver an urn of ashes to a funeral service. Writer Daniel D. Davis drew on his own family for the characters even retaining their names. His story, dedicated to the proposition that everyone should have a big adventure, is always affectionate and life-affirming." Jim Murphy, Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting

Movie

Movie Garbage Warrior

"After viewing this film, recycling takes on a whole new meaning. Reynolds uses anything he can lay his hands on (tyres, bottles, tins, and cans) to create eco-friendly structures. His buildings take on an alien look; his structures are earthships (his term) that aim to help people survive in a world that is threatened massively by climate change. You know his cause is right and his personal struggle shows enormous courage, persistence and resilience. Deep down, though, one suspects that people like Reynolds will continue to face almost insurmountable difficulties in pushing the environmental cause significantly further." - Peter W. Sheehan, Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting

New book, The Quest for Shakespeare: The Bard of Avon and the Church of Rome by Joseph Pearce makes the case that William Shakespeare was Catholic.  Full story

X-Files Movie Review by Father Peter Malone

Movie

Brideshead Revisited

24-hour K-Immaculate Heart Humboldt Radio, KIHH, began programming after five years of planning on 1400 AM in Humboldt County, California. The programming will be catechetical, devotional, and inspirational. The catechetical programming will be teachings from Catholic saints, devotional programming of Mass and the rosary, and inspirational programming of people and faith.

Catholic Sir Paul McCartney gave a free outdoor concert on Sunday, July 20, 2008, on the Plains of Abraham in Catholic Quebec City, Canada, to celebrate Quebec City's 400th anniversary.  Beatles music played throughout the day in Old Quebec City.  Also performing were The Stills and Pascale Picard.

Side Effects, a movie produced by Catholic Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau, exposes the marketing techniques of the U. S. pharmaceutical industry:  "For 10 years as a drug rep, almost daily I experienced the comical marketing tactics of the industry as well as their dangerous pursuit of profits that can, and have, come at the expense of patients' lives. It was very difficult because the money and perks are so seductive, but eventually I couldn't look in the mirror any longer."

Mama Mia Movie

Mama Mia movie

"Mama Mia is one film that is definitely critic proof.  There is a lot of exuberant choreography. The whole thing is rather camp in visuals and style.  But, at the end, fans are going to enjoy their favourite [ABBA] songs in a colourful musical." - Father Peter Malone, Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting

Webmaster Father Jeffrey Mickler states, "StPaulsTube is a video, audio and image sharing site that allows users to have their own blogs and blog addresses.  It is a site that prohibits vulgarity, violence, and bigotry.  It has a relaxed and family friendly feel. It was established by the Society of St. Paul, a religious congregation in the Catholic Church dedicated to the use of media. The site will encourage an ecumenical and inter-religious perspective and attacks on other people's religions will be banned."

Catholic News - Prêtre Academy

 Prêtre Academy

Diocese of Besançon in eastern France has launched a new reality television show entitled Prêtre Academy as a recruiting tool.  The show televises the day-to-day life of three newly-ordained priests.

Sister Dominic Dipio, who has a doctorate from Gregorian University in Rome, and who wrote her thesis on cinema, said, "The religious must permeate the secular realm and must use the format of the mainstream to package religious messages.  Our values must enter in this public forum to influence the mainstream culture."

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, retired from the Archdiocese of Sydney [Australia], has been asked by U. S. bishops to cancel his speaking tour to promote his book, Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus. "My book is about the response to the revelations of sexual abuse within the Church.  Sexual abuse is all about power and sex, so it is surely reasonable to ask questions about power and sex in the Church."

Two Picasso prints, his 1933 Minotaur, Drinker and Women and his 1963 The Painter and the Model, were stolen from the Pinacoteca do Estado art museum in downtown São Paulo, Brazil, along with two oil paintings by Brazilian artists Emiliano Di Cavalcanti and Lasar Segal, having a combined value of 1MM reals/$612,000.

Pablo Picasso's The Frugal Meal valued at $150,000 and Jacqueline Lisant valued at $300,000 were stolen from the Gallery Biba in Palm Beach, Florida.

Mary of Nazareth: A Story That Continues is an Italian musical play premiered at the Vatican.  The musical cast has 40 actors, 12 dancers, and a 60-piece orchestra.

Actor Martin Sheen has been awarded 2008 University of Notre Dame Laetare Medal for his humanitarian work.  Describing himself as a Catholic peace activist, Martin Sheen said, "While acting is what I do for a living, activism is what I do to stay alive."  The annual Laetare Medal is given to a Catholic "whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church, and enriched the heritage of humanity."

Croatian pop star, Tatiana, now living in the United States and known as Tajci, sings and writes Catholic inspirational songs and gives free concerts in Catholic churches. 

The Catholic Worker celebrated its 75th anniversary on May 1, 2008.

BBC has awarded $5,000 to Catholic radio, Radio Pacis in Arua, Uganda, for winning first place as New Radio Station of the Year.  “Radio Pacis is a fine example of what a community radio station outside the capital can do. It may have few staff and modest resources, but it still addresses challenging issues including providing advice on medical and health problems. It also offers debate on matters of local interest alongside local and national news,” said BBC World Service's Robin White.  Father Tonino Pasolini of Radio Pacis responded, “We would like to thank BBC World Service for honoring Radio Pacis and making possible the launch of our new frequency.”

Joseph and Chico: The Life of Pope Benedict XVI As Told By A CatJoseph and Chico: The Life of Pope Benedict XVI As Told By A Cat is a book for elementary school children which tells the story of the life of Pope Benedict XVI when he was growing up in Bavaria, Germany.  The story is told by Pope Benedict XVI's next-door neighbor in Pentling, Germany, Chico, the cat, who would visit Pope Benedict XVI often.  Pope Benedict XVI is a cat lover who fed stray cats in Rome and brought one Roman stray cat home with him when he was a cardinal.  The Vatican doesn't allow animals, but when asked whether Pope Benedict XVI brought his two cats with him when he moved into the Vatican, the Vatican had no comment.  The Introduction is by Monsignor Georg Gänswein, Pope Benedict XVI's personal secretary.

Non-Catholic historian David McCullough has received the 2008 Christophers' Life Achievement Award.  "I felt very proud, honored and gratified.  There's also something about that 'life achievement' designation that I hope doesn't mean that this is my curtain call. I have a lot more I intend to do," said the 74-year-old John Adams biographer.

Forced Labor and the Catholic Church 1939 - 1945 is a 703 page book documenting the Church's use of 1,075 prisoners of war and 4,829 civilians as slaves in 800 Catholic hospitals, cemeteries, and as domestics, and on the farms and gardens of monasteries during World War II.  German Cardinal Karl Lehmann said, "It's a burden of history that our Church will keep facing up to in the future.  It should not be concealed that the Catholic Church was blind for too long to the fate and suffering of men, women, and children from the whole of Europe who were carted off to Germany as forced laborers."  Most slaves were from Poland and the Ukraine. The main historian on the book, Karl-Joseph Hummel, said the Church used only a small part of Germany's slave labor and has paid EUR 1.5MM as compensation to the victims and spent EUR 2.71MM on 200 reconciliation projects in eastern Europe.  Volkswagen, Siemens and Deutsche Bank have also acknowledged using slaves.  Karl-Joseph Hummel said between 1940 and 1942, 300 monasteries and other Catholic institutions were confiscated by the Nazis and thousands of Catholics were sent to concentration camps, but the Church, "It should have clearly said how its interpretation of loyalty, honor and the fatherland was not the same as the Nazis' view."

Tenor Juan Diego Florez, called the successor to Luciano Pavarotti, married Julia Trappe in his hometown cathedral in Lima, Peru,  The last wedding performed in the cathedral was in 1949.  The newlyweds were previously married in a civil ceremony in Vienna.  Mrs. Florez was raised in Australia.  In attendance were Peruvian President Alan Garcia, First Lady Pilar Nores, and writer Mario Vargas Llosa.

Angelita Loturco/Museum of Sacred Art
Two mummies were recently discovered in the basement of the Mosteiro da Luz Catholic Church in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Two mummies were discovered in the basement of the Mosteiro da Luz Catholic Church in São Paulo, Brazil

Danielle Steel, best-selling author with 72 published books, had thoughts of becoming a nun when she was growing up.  "I wanted to be a nun when I was young.  Religion is what keeps me going.  I would be utterly lost without it.  I was brought up a rabid Catholic, and there have been times I went to Mass twice a day just to hang on.  It's a very present support system for me."

Catholic News  - Padre Marcello Rossi CD

Padre Marcelo Rossi is the most popular pop recording singer in Brazil.  Father Rossi donates his earnings to charity.

Father Peter Malone review of the movie Son of Man: "It is a contemporary rendering of the Gospel story spoken and sung in Xhosa and English. With this film, African audiences have the opportunity to appreciate the relevance of the Gospel to their own situations. Those from outside the African tradition are offered a chance to look at familiar stories with new eyes, with different perspectives."

Beyond the Color of Skin: Encounters with Religion and Racial Injustice in America is a book by Nigerian Holy Ghost Father Cajetan Ihewulezi.  Father Ihewulezi argues that America's religious leaders are simply not fully addressing the problem of racism, along with its effects, and that their continued silence in the face of increasing prejudice is cataclysmic to humanity. Coming from another country, Father Ihewulezi is shocked at the level of racial prejudice that is still going on in America.  As a sacramental on-call chaplain to various American hospitals, Father Ihewulezi discovered that about 70 percent of his psychiatric patients were poor African Americans, many of whom were dependents of African American veterans of World War II and the Korean War, who were denied their GI rights simply because of their skin color.  To understand the problem in order to offer solutions, Father Ihewulezi traces the history of this quandary from the religious or pastoral point of view, and the memoir is packed with personal stories and recommendations.

Father Ihewulezi's email address:  cajet2001@yahoo.co.uk

Actor Martin Sheen has won the 2008 University of Notre Dame Laetare Medal, an award begun in 1883 to honor a Catholic "whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church, and enriched the heritage of humanity."  Father John I. Jenkins, President of the University of Notre Dame, said of Martin Sheen, "He has used that celebrity to draw the attention of his fellow citizens to issues that cry out for redress such as the plight of immigrant workers and homeless people, the waging of unjust war, the killing of the unborn, and capital punishment."

Father Tim Dean's review of Dreams From My Father by Barak Obama.

The Jammed

The movie The Jammed won 2007 Film of the Year by the Australian Catholic Film Office.  Jury Chair Jesuit Father Richard Leonard said, "The jury felt that The Jammed was a singularly courageous piece of cinema.  Even though the extremely violent world this film portrays means many people would not want to see it, that does not allow us to ignore the sex trade in women and children occurring in our nation. This uncompromising and confronting film illuminates a dark, tragic side of Australian society and thus makes a significant contribution to increasing people’s awareness of an under recognised but important issue of faith and justice.  The Jammed plays the role of raising our consciousness on this issue."

During 2008 Turkish bishops celebrated the 2,000 anniversary of the birth of Saint Paul in Tarsus, Turkey: "This event is for all Christian communities since Paul is a teacher for all the disciples of Christ.  However, the anniversary is of particular importance for us living in Turkey.  The apostle of the gentiles is a son of this land, and it is here he exercised most of his ministry."

Journey to the East: The Jesuit Mission to China, 1579-1724 by Liam Matthew Brockey received the John Gilmary Shea Prize from the American Catholic Historical Association for the best Catholic historical book in 2007.

Brokers of Culture: Italian Jesuits in the American West, 1848-1919 by Jesuit Father Gerald McKevitt won the American Catholic Historical Association's, Howard R. Marraro Prize for 2007.

Catholic movie actor George Clooney received a bronze statue sculptured by Italian sculptor Oliviero Rainaldo for "...efforts in favor of pacifying the tormented region of Darfur and for helping save lives," by former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev's foundation.

Backstreet Boy Howie D/Howie Dorough married Leigh Boniello at Saint James Cathedral in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday, December 8, 2007,with all of the Backstreet Boys in attendance.  Howie D proposed to Leigh Boniello last New Year's.  "She wasn't expecting it, and I was quite nervous, more nervous about proposing to her in front of 40 family and friends than about performing in front of 40,000 people onstage," said Howie D.

Catholic filmmaker Martin Scorsese on his movies: "I am much more interested by the character than by the plot.  There is no plot in Taxi Driver, not in The Last Temptation of Christ and in Gangs of New York there is not a lot of plot. I was very close to my mother.  She was one of seven children, and all her family had a sense of humor. I find that the humor in my films is from that side of the family, from my mother's side whose name was Capa."  Asked about the violence in his films, Martin Scorsese said the violence reflected the world in which he grew up, "a very small group of people in a certain part of Manhattan Island with Italian descendance.  The people I knew, the ones from Sicily who emigrated to America in 1910, 1912, they were still very much involved in a way of life which was very tribal.  What I am saying is that the nature of violence in the world I grew up in was not pointless violence, it was very serious violence. The violence was something that I experienced.  I try to make it look the way I think I saw it on the block."

The World Catholic Association for Communication (SIGNIS) and the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) has awarded Nick Higgins of Scotland the 2007 Human Rights Award for the Best Documentary Film for A Massacre ForetoldThe movie is about the massacre of indigenous Mexicans.  Said Mr. Higgins, "It is extremely gratifying to be recognized in this way by two such prestigious international organizations so active in the world of cinema."

What Every Parent Should Know About "The Golden Compass"

Vatican's critique of The Golden Compass

Father Peter Malone's review of the movie, Ratatouille.

TV comedy series Ugly Betty was honored by Catholics in Media Associates at its 15th annual luncheon.   Executive Producer Ben Silverman said the show "tackles issues unapologetically," and celebrates the "goodness in all of us, wherever you come from, whatever you're about."

Ugly Betty television star America Ferrera addressed Los Angles Catholic high school students:  "Every opportunity that faces you is really defined by how you accept that opportunity."

Ugly Betty will be broadcast in China with the title Invincible Ugly Woman.

Catholic actor and comedian Dick Van Dyke was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Catholics in Media Associates at its 15th annual luncheon.

Father Peter Malone's review of the movie, Eastern Promises.

Vatican condems the movie, Elizabeth: The Golden Age as a "distorted anti-papal travesty."  King Philip II of Spain is depicted as a “ferocious, fanatical Catholic, swinging his rosary like a weapon and roaming the Escorial Palace like a madman, full of impotent fury, dreaming of subjugating the world to the Catholic faith.”

Dominican Father Cayet Mangiaracina, parochial vicar of Holy Ghost Church in Hammond, Louisiana, co-composed the 1950s hit, Hello Mary Lou, Goodbye Heart, made famous by Rickey Nelson.  "The embarrassing thing about the song, which I wrote as Merry, Merry Lou, is that it sounds like I got jilted."  Before Father Mangiaracina entered the seminary, he was the piano player for the rock and roll band, Sparks. Father Mangiaracina sent royalties from Hello Mary Lou, Goodbye Heart to his mother until her death in 1988, and now royalties are given to the Dominicans.  "Last year it was $35,000.  About three or four years ago, I got a check for $90,000," said Father Mangiaracina.

Romanian Father Antoniu Petrescu is a priest in Sorbo, Italy, and an Elvis Presley impersonator.

Movie review by Father Peter Malone:  When Did You Last See Your Father

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross

Aboriginal artist Shirley Purdie won the 2007 $15,000 Blake Prize for Religious Art with this traditional ochre painting of the Stations of the Cross.  Blake Society Chair Father Rod Pattenden said the painting also reflects the massacre of Aboriginees by European settlers in the 1920s and 1930s.  "Within living memory, these people have a very visceral, connected experience of suffering," said Father Pattenden.

New England Cable News in Newton, Massachusetts, received the 2007 Gabriel Award as TV Station of the Year, and KNOM Radio in Nome, Alaska, received the 2007 Gabriel Award as Radio Station of the Year by the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals. The Gabriel Award is awarded for station programming which maintains human dignity and values. 

Sinead O'Connor sings songs from the Old Testament in her CD Theology

Sinead O'Connor sings Psalms from the
Old Testament on this CD

Documentary film Father G and the Homeboys is a movie about Jesuit Father Gregory Boyle and his anti-gang program, Homeboy Industries, in gang-ridden East Los Angeles, California.  Former gang enemies landscape, answer phones, make T-shirts, and knead bread in the bakery.  The movie is narrated by Martin Sheen.

Spider  Man 3

Review of Spider Man-3

Al-Fikr Al-Masihi, an Iraqi monthly, received the 2007 Gold Medal from the International Catholic Union of the Press. "Al-Fikr Al-Masihi, published in Arabic, survived the worst of crises in the history of Iraq, and it did so by becoming a reference point for all peoples: Muslims, Christians, and other religions; and all types of ethnic and language groups," said the International Catholic Press Union.

Catholic Movies - Pope John Paul II Jon Voight

Synopsis of the movie Pope John Paul II starring Jon Voight

Following the premature death of his mother, Karol Wojtyla is brought up by his father in the Polish city of Krakow during the first half of the 20th century. An outstanding student with a magnetic personality, he dreams of becoming an actor.

When his homeland is invaded by the Nazis in 1939, he and his friends secretly oppose the systematic persecution of their Polish culture. But, with the death of his father and the lacerating solitude which accompanies this loss, Karol’s personal “resistance” takes on a new form, and he decides to follow a priestly vocation. At the end of the war, Poland falls into the grip of Soviet totalitarianism.

The newly ordained Karol is constantly surrounded by young people whom he teaches to safeguard and defend human dignity. He could be considered a serious threat to the regime, but the Communist authorities merely see him as an innocuous intellectual and even encourage his nomination for the position of bishop. Karol Wojtyla is the youngest bishop in the history of Poland. When he is appointed Cardinal, Karol is more intransigent in the spiritual guidance of his homeland, becoming a real and proper thorn in the side of the Communist government. And the whole Catholic world begins to wonder who he is.  On the death of Pope John Paul I in 1978, the cardinals of the Conclave decide that Wojtyla is the right man to lead the Church into the new millennium.

Thus Karol leaves his beloved Poland to become Pope John Paul II. His free, unconventional attitude alarms several prelates, but immediately wins the hearts of the people. In an age paralyzed by fear and ideology, the new pope shows everybody again the overwhelming fascination of Christianity.

Pope John Paul II miraculously survives an attempt on his life in 1981, and not even this event curbs his mission. Thanks to his unshakable tenacity, Pope John Paul II helps to change the course of history: The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 decrees the collapse of Communism.

In the following years, however, Pope Wojtyla goes through a period of both physical and psychological sufferings. On the one hand, his physical infirmity and Parkinson disease hinder his travels and prevent him from carrying his apostolic mission through; on the other, his constant appeals to peace and defense of human dignity are disillusioned by a series of wars and international conflicts.

But the tireless Pope goes on witnessing faith and hope.  With the Great Jubilee of 2000, Pope John Paul II accomplishes his promise of taking the Church into the New Millennium. With his journey to Israel, he tries to fill the gap between the Christian and the Jewish, and he conquers the world with his decision not to hide his physical weakness and bear his cross as Jesus did.

The day he dies, on the first Saturday after Easter 2005, a large crowd of young people in love with the Pope gather in Rome under the Pope’s window. Pope John Paul II was the first who went searching for them, and now they’ve come to him.

Life is Beautiful 

Catholic Movies - Life Is Beautiful

Pope John Paul II's favorite movie

 Catholic Movies - Life is Beautiful/LaVita E Bella

Original movie poster

Catholic Movies - The Nativity Story

The movie The Nativity Story premiered at the Vatican in Pope Paul VI Hall on November 24, 2006, although Pope Benedict XVI was not in attendance so as not to apppear to endorse a film.  Keisha Castle-Hughes stars as Mary, Elizabeth is portrayed by Shohreh Aghdashloo, and Joseph by Oscar Isaac. The Nativity Story was filmed partly in Matera, Italy, the same location as the filming of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, and in Morocco.  Regarding consultants for the movie, said Oscar Isaac, "Keisha had one who taught her how to milk goats. I had one who taught me how to use first-century tools. I was actually building that stone house in the film. So when you saw all those cuts and scrapes and bruises on my hands, that wasn't acting."  USCCB rating A-1, General Audience, 93 minutes.

Into Real Silence/Die Grosse Stille

Catholic Movies -  Into Great SilenceCatholic Moves - Die Grosse Stille

The movie Die Grosse Stille/Into Real Silence, set in the Grande Chartreuse in Grenoble, France, was named best 2006 documentary film by the European Film Academy: "Philip Gröning's thoughtful film touches on the mystic quality of belief and our need for stillness and silence in contrast to modern life. It appears that the director, with a lot of patience, gained the trust of this enclosed community and returned with amazing images and sounds.  Die Grosse Stille/Into Real Silence, is a great film about humanity and our shared European background."  The movie is 162 minutes and documents the daily life of monks.  The director, Philip Gröning, spent six months living at the Carthusian monastery.

Commonweal Review of Into Real Silence

Into Great Silence: A Film and Study Guide which includes questions for reflection and conversation, prayer and reflection suggestions for retreats or days of reconciliation, and references and helpful resources for personal or group use, can be ordered for $4.95 from Pauline Books & Media at 1-800-876-4463.

Turtles Can Fly

Catholic Moves - Turtles Can Fly

Catholic Movies - Turtles Can FlyThe movie Turtles Can Fly won the Catholic SIGNIS award at the International Film Festival in Hong Kong.  The theme of the movie Turtles Can Fly is the ways humans respond to unspeakable  circumstances.  Turtles Can Fly is set in an Iraqi-Kurdish refugee camp on the Turkish-Iranian border. A Bahman Ghobadi movie.

Tom White

Catholic Movies- Tom White 2004 Film of the Year Australian Catholic Film Office

The movie Tom White starring Colin Friels was named 2004 Film of the Year by the Australian Catholic Film Office.  The theme of the movie Tom White is how mid-life crisis can lead to mental illness and homelessness.

Catholic Movies - Look Both WaysCatholic Movies - Look Both Ways

The movie Look Both Ways, the 2005 Australian Catholic Film of the Year, is the story of a 50-year-old bachelor diagnosed with cancer who meets a woman at the scene of an automobile accident returning from her father's funeral.  Jury Chair Father Richard Leonard said the movie Look Both Ways is "...a meditation on how we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves." 

Ahla Al Awqat/Best of Times

Catholic Movies - Tunisian Hind Sabri Best Leading Actress Catholic Egyptian Cinema Festival

Tunisian Hind Sabri won Best Leading Actress award for the film Ahla Al Awqat/Best of Times at the 53rd Catholic Egyptian Cinema Festival.  The movie also won for Best Film, Best Production and Best Direction. The theme of the movie Ahla Al Awqat is overcoming society's obstacles.

Olivia Newton-John

The Passion of the Christ

Vatican Top 45 Movie List

USCCB Top Movies from 1965-2007

Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting

Catholic News Service Current Movie Reviews

Soul Food Cinema
Discussion of movies from a Catholic perspective


 

 

 

 

 

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