Film Showcase at the LA Religious Education Congress 2017

2017 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Film ShowcaseFEBRUARY 24 7PM Coffee and dessert7:45 - 10PM event Anaheim Convention Center (Room 101)800 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, California 92802The LMU Center for Religion & Spirituality and the LA Office of Religious Education invite you to the 2017 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Film Showcase at the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday, February 24.Sponsored by LMU School of Film and Television, National Catholic … [Read more...]

An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story – Exclusive clips from PBS

A provocative new one-hour documentary, An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story, directed by Martin Doblmeier (Chaplains, Bonhoeffer, The Power of Forgiveness) is airing on PBS stations in April. The film explores the life and continued legacy of the influential Niebuhr, who spent most of his life on the FBI watchlist and whose writings influenced political figures including Pres. Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Jimmy Carter, civil rights leaders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and … [Read more...]

The Shack: Christian Film with a Catholic Touch

My feature story on the new film "The Shack" is now live at St. Anthony Messenger!Be sure to click through to read the entire story. (I have posted just a few opening paragraphs here.)The film opens on March 3, a great film - and just in time -  for Lent.In 2007, Canadian author William P. Young, with the help of two minister friends, self-published The Shack, a novel that he had written as a Christmas gift for his six children. It became a USA Today and New York Times best seller … [Read more...]

Liam Neeson sees God as love, not a stern master (interview)

Actor Liam Neeson plays the apostate Jesuit priest Fr. Ferreira in Martin Scorsese's new film "Silence."  I interviewed Neeson by phone on Jan. 18. It was a short interview (about twelve minutes). You can read my interview with Matt Malek, an executive producer on the film and my review at Sister Rose Movies and at the National Catholic Reporter.NCR: Have you seen the film?Neeson: Yes, twice in fact.What did you think of it?When you've worked on a film and see it for the first tim … [Read more...]

‘Patriot’s Day’ inspires and surprises

Patriots Day Most people will remember April 15, 2013, when brothers Tamerlan (Themo Melikidze) and Dzhokhar (Alex Wolff) Tsarnaev set off two homemade bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It was Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, the day of the Boston Marathon, held annually to commemorate the first two battles of the Revolutionary War: Concord and Lexington.Click here to continue reading at St. Anthony Messenger, February, 2017 (scroll down).P.S. I am adding this today, Jan … [Read more...]

Elizabeth “Liz” Thoman, Media Literacy Pioneer, Memorial Planned

Sister Elizabeth "Liz" Thoman, CHM died on December 22, 2019. She was a media literacy education pioneer, advocate, and educator.Here is a link to her obituary: Sr. Elizabeth Thoman, Media Literacy Leader DiesHere is a link to my essay about her, written in gratitude for her life, work, and influence on my life:Sister Elizabeth Thoman Altered the Course of My LifeTo RSVP for the Memorial Service, click here (or copy and paste): cml@medialit.orgIf you come, bring a memory to … [Read more...]

Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ is his most Catholic film

(Andrew Garfield, left, plays Fr. Rodrigues, and Shinya Tsukamoto plays Mokichi in the film "Silence" by Paramount)Shûsaku Endô (1923-1996) was a Japanese Catholic novelist whose extensive writings probed the conflicts and paradoxes of faith. He was born in Tokyo, lived in Manchuria, then returned to Japan and was baptized at about the age of 11. After university, he married, had a son and lived in France. The novelist Graham Greene, with whom Endo has often been compared, said h … [Read more...]

“The Shack” official trailer released!

The official trailer for "The Shack" was released today. The film, based on the NYTimes best seller, will be released in March, 2017.Just know that this film goes where no other film has gone before, speaking theologically. I normally don't post trailers before release but since I have seen this film twice I am posting it so you can get a taste of the film.    … [Read more...]

How taco trucks caused a mystical moment

 One day in 1958 on a street corner in Louisville, KY, the Catholic monk Thomas Merton had a mystical experience that he recounts in his book “Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander”:  “In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total stran … [Read more...]